Top round, also known as top round steak or top round roast is a cut of beef that comes from the inside of the upper part of the back leg. Compared to other cuts, this is less expensive as it tends to be on the lean side. As a result, it does not carry as much flavor as those parts with more fat, nor is it as tender as prime cuts. When prepared using traditional cooking methods such as frying, grilling and roasting, top roast tends to dry out and become chewy.
To tenderize this cut and make its flavor come out, it is best cooked with moisture using methods such as braising and stewing. Needless to say that such technique often requires long hours of cooking and watching over the meat. Sous vide top round is a convenient and easy way to prepare this cut of beef. It will work in a similar manner as the moisture is retained during the slow cooking at a controlled heat. Not having to keep watch over the process is a big advantage of this cooking method.
For a medium rare piece of top round, the meat should be held at 131°F or 55°C. For less pinkness and a medium cooking, it is best done at 140°F or 60°C. Under both temperatures top round should be cooked for about 1 to 3 days. On the other hand, for a more traditional well done top round, the beef should be held at 160°F or 71.1°C for 1 to 2 days.
With the use of sous vide it is possible to cook top round and either serve it as is, or simply prep the meat for other uses. The meat may be seasoned before being cooked making it ready to eat once it is done. It may also be simply flavored with basic spices and finished off later on. Once prepped sous vide style, top round becomes a versatile cut that can be used for a wide array of dishes.
French dip sandwiches are a classic deli food and they are very easy to make at home using our sous vide recipe with a top round roast. Once the meat is cooked for several days it is seared and thinly sliced. I like to pile the slices on a hoagie roll with melted swiss cheese but you can serve it however you prefer. Many people enjoy thinly sliced red onion on it.
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