Cutting into a cooked eye of round roast to find out it's stringy and tough is a disappointment at best, and a waste of money at worst. Avoid that problem by cooking the eye of round roast, cubed meat or steak slowly with moisture. Long, slow cooking without moisture causes the meat to dry out before it becomes tender.
Make a Marinade
Not all marinades are created equal. Some add tons of flavor but do little to tenderize the meat. For example, you might not think of using buttermilk or yogurt for a beef roast, but the calcium acts as a tenderizer. Rinse the buttermilk off and pat the roast dry before cooking. Marinades using an acid-based liquid flavor the meat and break down the fibers during the cooking process. Heat up the marinade to the boiling point before braising the meat.
Braising is not drowning the eye of round by completely submerging it in liquid. The liquid comes about halfway up the sides of the roast. Try wine, beer, broth or tomato juice as the liquid. Cover the pan with a tight lid and simmer. Every 20 to 30 minutes spoon up some of the liquid over the top of the roast. You can also do this in a slow cooker or in the oven.
All Wrapped Up
Trapping the moisture up close and personal to the eye of round keeps it steaming in its own juices. Season with herbs and spices, like basil, oregano, fennel seeds and garlic powder. Give the roast Mexican flare with cumin, coriander seeds and dried red pepper flakes. You have two choices for the next step. Wrap the meat tightly with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for two hours depending on the size of the roast. The other choice might seem a little unusual. Wrap the meat tightly with kitchen plastic wrap to seal it airtight. Then wrap with aluminum foil. The aluminum foil keeps the wrap from touching the roasting pan. The plastic causes the roast to steam.
Give It a Rest
A juicy roast is a tender roast. Keep the juices in the eye of round by letting it rest for 30 minutes before carving. Carve against the grain. Hold the knife at a 45-degree angle and cut across the roast. Serve with cooking juices, the reduced marinade or a cream gravy.
- Fine Cooking: Marinades Add Flavor but Don't Always Tenderize
- The Washington Post: Lisa King's Thanksgiving Turkey
- The Art of Cooking; Arnold Zabert
Katie Jensen's first book was published in 2000. Since then she has written additional books as well as screenplays, website content and e-books. Rosehill holds a Master of Business Administration from Arizona State University. Her articles specialize in business and personal finance. Her passion includes cooking, eating and writing about food.
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