When it comes to cooking beef, there are plenty of portions of meat that you can choose from each area of the animal: whether it’s thin rib, thick rib, sirloin or flank.
Each cut of meat offers the meat-eater different textures and flavors, each one can be adapted for a range of different dishes.
If you’re a home cook and are looking to prepare and cook a quick meat dish that will feed a modest family of 4 or 5, then you can’t go far wrong with bottom round roast.
This thick cut of meat is often very cheap and you can get a lot of it for your money.
The meat is very succulent and flavorsome and slightly healthier than a lot of other varieties that you see on the market.
You can cook it quickly or slow roast to infuse it with delicious flavors as well as the natural taste of its own juices. This is a very versatile meat and perfect for a home cook that wants to experiment a little in the kitchen.
You can tinge this meat with herbs and spices, garlic, mustard and a whole other bunch of flavorings and condiments to give you a dramatic and interesting flavor for each meal that you prepare.
This is a simple dish with explosive results if prepared correctly, you can easily wow your guests and have them talking about your cooking skills for months afterward.
But how to cook a melt-in-the-mouth bottom round roast? What preparation has to be done for this meat to get it to taste nice and succulent?
How long does the cooking time have to be for this particular type of meat? Does slow cooking give you the best flavors?
Well, whether you’re an amateur or a professional home cook, we can answer all of the above questions and more with our comprehensive guide to prepping, cooking and serving bottom round roast.
What Is Bottom Round Roast?
Bottom round roast is a cut of beef that is not as popular as something like sirloin, but it comes from the rear leg of a cow and has a variety of different names in different quarters of the world.
In Europe it is known as a rump roast, and in the UK and Australia, they call it beef silverside.
Round roast has a much lower fat content than a lot of meat, which will surely be appealing to those cooks who want a healthy meal but still want to tuck into those sumptuous meaty flavors.
The reason for this lack of fat is that the leg is a lot more muscular than the belly or the flank of the cow.
The fact that bottom round roast has less fat also means that it can be slightly chewy and tough to eat.
This is why getting the preparation and cooking time right will be crucial for getting that meat nice and soft, absorbing whatever flavors you cook into it. You cannot grill or dry cook this meat, as it doesn’t have enough moisture.
The ideal way to cook this type of meat is by roasting and braising. You can also slow cook it, allowing plenty of juices to be introduced to give it that extra degree of flavor and an edible texture.
One of the main plus points for a bottom round roast is how much you get for what you pay for. Often you will be able to get 4 to 5 pounds of meat fairly cheaply at your local butcher’s or farmer’s market.
Some cooks will avoid this meat because of the difficulty in cooking, but if you relish the challenge of preparing a great and cheap meal, then this is the meat for you.
Now that we’ve looked at some of the great properties that bottom round beef has, now we’ll cover some of the many diverse dishes that you can prepare, along with cooking times, seasoning options and other serving suggestions.
How To Cook A Bottom Round Roast
As mentioned above, one of the most common ways to prepare a bottom round joint of beef is to braise it or roast it, usually in some kind of seasoned liquid.
For this next recipe, we’ll just cover roasting, showing you the proper technique for getting that great bottom round beef dinner at the end of it.
Cooking From Fridge Or Freezer
In terms of storage, you can keep your beef in the freezer if you don’t intend on cooking it immediately. Ideally, you should cook your bottom round beef within a few weeks of purchase.
Normally this type of meat will last around a week in the fridge and up to 12 months in the freezer.
Because of the lack of fat, you can keep it for a long time in the freezer, however, be aware that the longer you keep it in there, the longer it will take to revive once you start cooking it.
It may become even chewier and lose some of its unique flavors the longer you leave it in the freezer.
If you are removing it from the freezer, we recommend that you leave it in the fridge overnight to defrost.
If you don’t have time to do this, then take it from the freezer and put it in your microwave, allowing it to thaw on a high defrost setting for 30-45 minutes.
Bring To Room Temperature.
If you are taking your bottom round roast from the fridge, then we’d recommend that you leave it on your counter until it gets to room temperature (60-72 degrees Fahrenheit).
This will help the meat to cook more evenly once you have put it in the oven.
Adding Flavor With Dry Rub
One of the best ways to add flavor to your bottom round roast is to use a dry rub.
This is as easy as it sounds: simply rub your spices, salts and black pepper into the body of the meat.
We don’t recommend that you buy a pre-rubbed bottom round steak, as these are generally mostly salt and not very healthy. The meat used is also generally not as fresh as organic as one from a farmer’s market.
We would recommend that you rub coriander, white pepper, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin and kosher salt into your bottom round beef.
Experiment with these different flavors by mixing them in a bowl first and tasting frequently to get the flavor that you desire.
Rosemary is often considered one of the best herbs for beef, providing that strong, scented flavor to complement the earthy texture and taste of the meat itself.
Tying Up Your Beef
You might notice that your bottom roast beef has been tied up, especially if you’re buying it fresh from the butchers.
We would suggest that you keep this string on during the entirety of the preparation and cooking, as it will help the meat keep its shape throughout.
The string is completely fireproof and is perfectly safe to put in the oven. If your beef doesn’t come with string, then you should buy your own and wrap your beef before cooking to keep its integrity.
Now we’re going to move on to the cooking process. We’ll cover a few different methods of cooking bottom round beef, but be aware that there are many ways of preparing it.
You can pot-roast, which involves searing the meat before cooking it on a low heat for an extended period of time, usually immersed in water or vegetable broth and covered with a lid.
This is preferred for beef like this that has less fat and will be generally a lot tougher.
When you cook this type of meat for a long time, it will eventually become soft enough to slide off the bone, secreting a wonderful sumptuous taste. It might be a long process, but the flavor palette you get at the end will certainly be worth the wait.
If you’re a professional chef with access to a cast-iron oven, then we would certainly recommend this for cooking your bottom round beef to within an inch of perfection.
The intensive heat of something like a Dutch oven will be able to blast your beef until it is sliding off the bone.
However, we understand that having a cast-iron oven is not always possible, so a conventional oven will more than suffice.
Make sure you can get the what to at least 500-degrees Fahrenheit. Preheat the oven before you put your beef in there.
Before you do place your beef in the oven, make sure that the fattier side is facing your topmost grill.
This will result in the fat fast-melting as it cooks, running down the side and giving your meal that rich flavor and texture, as well as keeping it moist.
Firstly, you’re going to need to sear your meat and here’s why…
You’ll need to subject your beef to low temperatures for the majority of the cooking, although at the start the likelihood is that it won’t be browned very well.
This is where starting off with a higher heat really comes in useful.
Searing the roast beforehand will get the sinews and the tougher parts of the tissue nice and loose before you put it in the oven to slow roast.
You can sear your bottom round roast in the oven by turning to heat up to 500-degrees (if it goes up that far).
Remove the roast from the oven while it is searing and leave it to stand for around 5-7 minutes. The temperature of this will steadily increase as it sits out.
After this, place the roast back inside and cook it until you have a nice brown color developing. If you have a temperature probe, measure it until it gets to 131-degrees.
If you sear this roast to any temperature over 136-degrees, then it will probably become too tough to eat, so try and remove it from your oven before this happens.
Once you’ve finished fast-roasting your meat, now it’s time to turn the heat right down and cook things a lot slower. Ideally, you should be cooking your bottom round beef at a low temperature for a long period of time, and here’s why…
A low temperature will cause the meat to cook more evenly throughout.
Even if you choose to cook this meat at a higher temperature than 250-degrees, you’ll want to aim for a nicely-browned outer layer, with the inside being a nice pinkish texture.
Also, the slower that you cook your bottom round beef, the more time you’ll be giving to your connective tissue to break down, which will ultimately give you a much more tender roast at the end.
We would recommend that you have a temperature probe at hand, withdrawing the beef from the oven when it reaches 118-degrees.
Finishing And Serving
Once your roast is nice and cooked right the way through, let it sit for around 10 minutes.
This is to allow the temperature to rise even more, plus it will be too hot to slice and serve just yet. While the roast is sitting, you can start work on the sauce to cover it.
To make the sauce, add some flour to water and start to cook it to make a roux. Then add around a cup of beef stock and mushroom base to give it that rich and earthy flavor.
The mushroom adds a little bit of zing to the dish, although you can also add a dash of Worcestershire and balsamic vinegar for that extra kick.
Once the sauce has reached boiling point, reduce the heat to simmer and stir it until it reaches a decent conistency.
Once this sauce is of the desired heat and thickness, you can drizzle it over your bottom round roast to give it that delicious flavor.
Carving It Up
Carving this kind of roast is an art and you will need to have precise hand-eye coordination, as you will need to make sure that the meat is as thin as possible.
This is because it is very dense and you won’t want to overload your plate will too much of it. This makes it great meat for putting in sandwiches also.
When you are cutting this meat, we would recommend that you use a simple electric knife, as this will make short work of the tougher muscular texture. You can pick one up for less than $20.
When cutting the meat, go against the grain of the tissue, as this will make the meat feel much more tender once you have put it in your mouth.