For some readers, the most baffling part of cooking beef is … well, cooking beef. Each cut is different and the experts have come to some basic conclusions about which type of cooking method works best for each specific cut.
Why cook different cuts different ways? The fat content of the meat. Fat typically makes the meat tender. And while Laura’s Lean Beef products are all lean, some cuts (the ribeye steak) have more natural marbling (fat running through the meat) than others (eye of round). So it’s easier to cook that ribeye steak quickly, on the grill for example, and at a high heat and still get a nice tender piece of beef on your plate. The leanest cuts of beef, while often full of great beefy flavor, are the least tender and take nicely to longer, slower cooking whether you decide to braise or roast.
These cuts of Laura’s Lean Beef products are great for fast, high heat grilling, broiling or roasting (cooking in dry heat):
Flank steak can be grilled or broiled (high and dry heat) but most frequently gets grilled (to medium rare at its best, leaving some juices in) only after it has been marinated or tenderized some way. Thinly sliced, always across the grain (that applies to every cut of meat), it’s nice and tender.
Eye of Round and Top Round both can be roasted, although they are great for braising, which uses a bit of moisture and long, slow, covered cooking to yield tender beef. Set the oven to 250 and after you bring the braise to temperature on the stove top, place it in the oven until your stew is done. If you want the science in a nutshell, this low, slow method allows for the collagen in the meat to melt and make the meat tender and moist. If you do want to roast these cuts, set the oven at about 225 F and don’t overcook it—go medium rare at the most (and serve the ends to those who insist on well-done meat).
Tips for Cooking Any Cut:
Let roasts and steaks rest on the counter, out of the fridge for about 30 minutes before cooking.
Pat the meat dry. You’ll get a nicer sear.
Season the meat with salt and pepper.
Sear roasts in Dutch oven or skillet before putting them into the oven, whether you are roasting or braising.
Always let the meat stand before you cut into it. This lets the juices flow back into the fibers of the meat and keeps the meat from becoming tough.
Slice meats, no matter the cut, into thin slices and always across the grain for tender, juicy results.