Eye of round steak is an inexpensive boneless cut of beef that is also very low in fat and calories. The ideal way to cook this cut of steak to medium rare is by grilling, braising, pan broiling or frying in a skillet, according to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
The Cut: Eye of Round
An eye of round steak, also known as a beef eye of round steak, is cut from the round, or rump and rear leg of the cow. According to the Mayo Clinic, both eye of round roast and steak meet the USDA's regulations for qualifying as extra lean meats. This means that a 100-gram serving of this cut of beef contains less than 5 grams of total fat, 2 grams of saturated fat and 95 milligrams of cholesterol.
Because it is so low in fat, which generally makes steak more flavorful, eye of round steak can often result in a tough and dry piece of meat. If you're wondering what's the worst cut of steak, this might be one of them. Cooking methods such as marinating, stewing and sauteing in a skillet can help you add more moisture to this lean cut of beef.
Read more: How to Cook a Tender Steak on the Stove
What Exactly Is Medium Rare?
To cook eye of round steak or any steak to medium rare, the most important tool you will need is a precise digital instant-read meat thermometer. Though the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service recommends cooking beef to at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit in order to ensure safety from foodborne illness, many chefs consider this internal temperature to signify a medium or medium well steak.
According to the Noble Research Institute, a medium rare steak has an internal temperature of 130 to 135 F. A steak at this degree of doneness has a warm red center and will release juices when cut. A medium steak, on the other hand, has an internal temperature of 140 to 145 F, and a medium well steak has a temperature of 150 to 155 F.
No matter the degree of doneness, you should allow your steak to rest for at least three minutes after removing it from the heat source, according to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service.
Searing Eye of Round Steak
Grilling and pan frying, also known as searing, are ideal methods for cooking steak to rare or medium rare, as they brown the meat on the outside quickly while keeping the internal temperature relatively low. Also, keep in mind that lean meats like eye of round steak cook faster than fatty meats.
Start by seasoning and marinating your eye of round steak to your liking and patting it dry. Next, heat a medium cast-iron skillet to high heat and drizzle with olive oil. Place the steak in the pan once the oil just starts smoking and sear for three minutes on each side.
Cook time is not a universal measure of doneness. If six minutes is not enough, you can continue flipping the steak or finish cooking the steak in the oven until the internal temperature reaches 130 to 135 F. To add some freshness and spice to your dish, you can try this LIVESTRONG.com recipe for steak with chimichurri sauce and broccolini on the side.
Read more: How to Cook Steak on a Baking Sheet