What Is The Leanest Cut Of Steak?

Cuts of cooked steak
Cuts of cooked steak - Static Media / Shutterstock

You have plenty of options when choosing the ideal steak to satisfy your carnivorous palate. If you prefer your beef on the leaner end of the spectrum, eye of round is typically the way to go. Known for its firm character and mild taste, eye of round is among the tougher cuts of steak on a restaurant's menu. Sourced from the rear leg of the cow, specifically from the round primal, eye of round beef boasts a well-defined muscle and minimal, if any, fat.

According to USDA standards, beef is labeled lean if it has less than 10 grams of total fat and 4.5 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams. Eye of round easily meets this criteria, often containing 3 grams of fat per 3.5-ounce serving. It's an excellent source of protein, providing more than 20 grams per serving, as well as essential nutrients including iron, potassium, and zinc, which make it a favorite among those looking to reduce their fat intake without sacrificing the steak experience.

Eye of round steak can be identified by its robust, fine grain. Unlike marbled cuts, eye of round's low fat content means it lacks the melt-in-your-mouth quality of a ribeye or a New York strip; however, the steak has a pleasantly chewy texture that some meat eaters genuinely appreciate. Eye of round may not possess the intense beefiness of these fattier cuts, but its subtle, clean bite serves as a canvas for an array of delectable marinades, rubs, and sauces.

Read more: Cuts Of Steak, Ranked Worst To Best

How To Cook Eye Of Round Steak

Sliced eye of round beef
Sliced eye of round beef - Atsushi Hirao/Shutterstock

Properly preparing eye of round steak means you have to prevent it from becoming too tough. Due to its ultra-low fat content, this cut can be less forgiving than fattier options, but with the right techniques, you can achieve a dinnertime masterpiece. For instance, a simple marinade of oil, butter, or vinegar helps break down the muscle fibers, tenderizing the meat and adding a hint of flavor. Braising or slow-cooking eye of round steak in a warm crockpot can transform it into a succulent delight perfect for roasts, stews, and sandwiches. In fact, the "low and slow" method is often considered the best way to cook eye of round steak, as it allows the connective tissues to gently dissolve as broth seeps in. Keep in mind that overcooking eye of round will result in a dry, leathery slice of meat.

Pair eye of round steak with roasted or grilled vegetables like carrots, celery, onions, and potatoes for a delicious, wholesome meal. These veggies offer a sweetness that will complement the steak's earthy flavor. You can also serve eye of round with a creamy mushroom sauce, blue cheese dressing, homemade chimichurri sauce, or a red wine reduction for added richness and tang. During cooking, be sure to infuse the steak with aromatic complexity via fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme, and garlic. For a kick of heat, top your eye of round with a dollop of zesty salsa verde or spicy sriracha mayo.

Read the original article on Mashed.