According to the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, a moist and tender beef roast results from the proper cooking method for the particular cut of beef. Because eye of round roasts have a tendency to be dry, proper cooking techniques ensure a perfect, juicy result your whole family will love. The recommended cooking methods for eye round roasts are roasting and braising. While the oven can be used for both methods, braising can also be done on the stove top or in a slow cooker. The cooking times differ for each method. Choose the one that best suits your schedule and meal preferences.
The roasting method uses dry heat to cook the beef in the oven. Place the roast on a rack in a roasting pan to prevent the meat from sticking. This will also allow the juice drippings to collect in the pan. Because an eye round is a lean cut of beef, it may produce less juice than cuts with more fat. Combine the drippings with liquid, such as water, wine or broth, to increase the amount of juice. Once it's roasted for the recommended cooking time, remove the roast from the pan and cover it with a foil tent. Let it stand for 15 minutes before carving.
The braising method involves several hours of slow cooking in liquid. Place the roast directly into the pan and add water or broth when oven-braising or pour liquid over the roast in a slow cooker or large pot on the stove top. The liquid simmers the roast until it is tender and moist on the inside while the liquid in the pan combines with the beef juices to create a flavorful au jus. The key to a successful braise is a long, slow simmer that isn't allowed to boil. The slow cooker method is a good choice for busy days since it involves little interaction after the initial preparation. To save additional time, prepare the food in the evening and refrigerate all but the liquid overnight in the slow cooker insert. Add the liquid just prior to turning on the slow cooker in the morning.
Seasoning and Vegetables
When cooked properly, eye of round is very flavorful and doesn't require much more than seasoning with salt, pepper and garlic powder. If your family enjoys a particular spice or you want to tailor the meal to their favorite cuisine, experiment with recipes for spice rubs or sauces to enhance the flavor. Toss chopped vegetables into the roasting pan or slow cooker. The veggies will enhance the flavor of the juice as they cook alongside the beef roast. This also saves on cooking time and eliminates the need to clean additional pans. If you don't have time to chop the veggies in the morning before you leave for work, serve your family a mixed green salad with fresh veggies. A creamy tomato or onion dressing will complement the flavor of your eye of round.
Temperature of Beef
Young children are among the USDA's list of those most susceptible to food-borne illness so check the temperature of your roast before you serve it to your family. A roast that is cooked to the proper temperature will remain juicy, but an overcooked roast may become dry. The best way to ensure a moist roast that is safe for your family is to test it with a meat thermometer. The USDA recommends using an instant-read thermometer that registers a minimum of 145 degrees Fahrenheit when inserted into the thickest part of the roast. Avoid touching the thermometer to bone or fat and test the temperature in several parts of the roast to ensure overall readiness.
Christine Gauvreau is a freelance writer from the East Coast. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and has spent over 10 years writing for several online publications.