The eye of round is a roast that comes from the round section of the cow, in the back end. The eye of round is an economical roast, but it is also lean, without much marbling, and pretty tough. Tougher roasts like the eye of round usually rely on slower methods of cooking to stay moist inside, but you can produce a tasty end result with faster cooking times by making some adjustments.
Braising and Roasting
The eye of round roast is usually best-suited for slower, moist heat cooking such as braising or stewing. If you want to keep it in its full roast form, braise it in roughly 1/2 cup of broth, wine or juice in a pot with a tight-fitting lid until it is fully cooked and fork tender. Braise an eye of round roast over low heat on the stove top or in a 300 degree Fahrenheit oven. To stew the roast, cut it into bite-sized cubes and completely cover it with broth, water, wine or a combination. This method also requires a covered pot and low heat until the meat is cooked and tender.
To speed up the cooking time, try butterflying and marinating the roast prior to cooking. To do a butterfly cut, make a slice lengthwise down the center of the roast. Leave about 1/2-inch of meat at the base of the cut so the two sides stay connected. Open the roast like a book so it lays flat, increasing the surface area. Create a marinade with ingredients such as wine, balsamic vinegar, sugar, garlic, onion and herbs, and place the roast and the marinade into a large zip-top bag together. Leave it in the fridge for several hours or overnight. When it is time to cook, lay the butterflied roast on a hot grill and it will be ready in 30 minutes or less. The marinade will add flavor and help tenderize, but it isn't necessary if you're in a hurry.
When you are pressed for time and don't mind enjoying the roast out of its "roast" form, slice it into thin, uniform strips and stir-fry it with other ingredients. The trick is to set the roast in the freezer for about 10 minutes until it has firmed up so it will be easier to slice. Get your wok or pan and the oil inside hot before you start cooking. Cut up any vegetables you plan to use and make your sauce ahead of time so you can keep stirring without any breaks once you start. If you slice the roast against the natural grain of the meat when making the slices, it will be more tender when you eat it.
However you decide to cook the eye of round roast, keep food safety in mind. The recommended safe internal temperature for beef roasts is 145 F, so use a meat thermometer and check it before you stop the cooking. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the roast to make sure it registers 145 F, before removing it from the heat. Let it rest for 3 to 5 minutes and slice it against the grain before serving.
Joshua McCarron has been writing both online and offline since 1995. He has been employed as a copywriter since 2005 and in that position has written numerous blogs, online articles, websites, sales letters and news releases. McCarron graduated from York University in Toronto with a bachelor's degree in English.