Beef recipes - Roasts, Ground & Miscellany

This page starts with some recipe highlights for both "core" roasts and what we're calling roast-steak "in-betweeners" (roast cuts that are best prepared like steaks). Following the highlights, you'll find a summary table outlining the sometimes-subtle differences among roast cuts, with suggested cooking methods and recipe links. 

Then we move into ground beef, acknowledging the deserved primacy of burgers and meatballs, but also exploring creative, globally-inspired uses of ground beef. We conclude with some recipes for miscellaneous cuts. Enjoy!

Beef braise

Core Roasts: Some highlights

It took the internet by storm a few years back, but in our household now, Mississippi Roast is a workhorse dish. We serve the peppery meat with rice or quinoa, then repurpose leftovers in sandwiches or tacos. The recipe for our favorite version is behind a New York Times paywall, but there are plenty of free versions a click away as well.  By the way, the Times and some others use Chuck roast, and that works great, but so do the roast cuts from the round, e.g, Rump roast, Top Round roast, Eye roast, Sirloin Tip roast

Mississippi roast baby
What happens with Mississippi Roast in our family

This pot roast is mostly a standard take on the classic recipe. Easy to make and heartily delicious, it's become our other roast standby.  

The British have a Sunday Roast tradition, and customer Lindsay T. who hails from the UK and now calls NoVA home heartily recommends this Jamie Oliver recipe -- note that what the Brits call "Topside" we call Top Round roast. Germany's classic pot roast, Sauerbraten, uses ample vinegar to put the "sauer" in what's a sweet-and-sour dish: Customer Janell S. from Bethesda recommends this recipe which uses Eye roast. 

Beef roasts can also become amazing sandwiches.  Adam grew up in New England, where there's a proud roast beef sandwich tradition with epicenter on Boston's North Shore, but our region has its own formidable contribution!: The Baltimore Pit Beef sandwich, which is generally made from Top Round, Bottom Round or Rump roast, slow-grilled.    

Steak-Roast In-Betweeners: Some highlights

There are some amazing cuts that can be considered roasts... but also considered steaks. These are the London Broil, Coulotte and Tri-Tip, and we call them In-Betweeners. They're summarized in the table below, but it's over on the Steaks & Ribs Recipes page that we talk about them in detail. 

Roasts: Summary Table

Here we summarize the various beef roasts we typically allocate to subscribers. A few notes on cooking methods:

  • The suggested primary cooking method is listed first, followed by common alternatives 
  • "Braise" includes all moist-cooking methods, including slow cooker, Dutch oven, pressure cooker and Instant Pot
  • Sous vide is not included in the table, but sous vide plus searing can always substitutes for dry roast or grilling
  • When grilling a lean roast, use indirect heat followed by a sear - don't over-expose to high heat
  • Recall when using public recipes that cook times are generally oriented to conventional beef. Your 100% grass-fed beef will cook faster. Plan accordingly, and use a thermometer.  
Sauerbraten from Eye of Round RoastEye of Round for German Sauerbraten, prepared by customer Janell S.

Roast name

Defining qualities

Cooking methods

Notable dishes 

(* = Local specialty)

Basic Roasts

Top Round

(aka: Topside)

  • Leanest roast of all
  • Uniform texture with virtually no fat or connective tissue
  • Dry roast
  • Braise

Rump

(aka: Bottom Round)

  • Lean, with slightly more marbling than the Top Round
  • Uniform texture
  • Braise 
  • Dry roast

Eye of Round

  • Very lean
  • Cylindrical shape makes for even slices 
  • Dry roast
  • Braise

Sirloin Tip

  • Very lean
  • Comes from where the Sirloin converges with the Round 
  • Dry roast
  • Braise

Chuck & Chuck Tender

  • Collagen-rich, and also has some marbling 
  • Braise
  • Dry roast
  • Smoke

Brisket 

  • Comprised of Flat (aka, First Cut) and Point (aka, Second Cut, Deckle) 
  • Point is rich in intra-muscular fat
  • Braise
  • Dry roast
  • Smoke

Roast-Steak In-betweeners

London Broil

  • From Top Round, cut for steak-style preparation
  • Dry roast (Broil)
  • Grill

Tri-Tip

  • A mainstream steak option on the West Coast 
  • Tapered shape allows for  temperature gradient (great for entertaining)
  • Grill
  • Dry roast

Coulotte

(aka: Picanha, Sirloin Cap)

  • Very popular in French Bistros and Brazilian steakhouses
  • Generally cut into strips before cooking
  • Grill
  • Dry roast

Ground Beef

A recipe tour through some usual suspects (hello, burgers!) and around some global cuisines!

Burgers (and variations)

A well-made burger from 100% grass-fed ground beef is better than its conventional beef cousin. There: Gauntlet thrown. But if not made with care, the grass-fed burger can dry out easily, it is true.

We've found that Sam Sifton's "Tavern Burger" is a winning burger style for 100% grass-fed ground beef. Though behind a paywall, the gist is: Don't pack the burger tight. Form your patties very loosely, and grill or pan-fry it with very high heat.

Sifton advocates adding nothing to the patty mix, only applying salt and pepper to the outside of the patties. That can work! If you do want to add some moisture and fat, you can always add egg, or even shred in some onion

Hamburger Steaks - Abandoning the bun, these hamburger "steaks" rely on a flavorful pan gravy with mushrooms, onions, and thyme.

We like this sheet-pan burger idea as a family-sized, broiled variation. (Feel free to sub in generic soy sauce and umami powder if you don't want to stock up on Momofuku's signature products.)

Don't laugh about this Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole -- well, OK, laugh, but also try it: It's a winner for kids, Keto/Paleo eaters... and really everyone.

Meatballs (and variations)

Meatballs can of course be put on spaghetti, but also can be featured in other ways -- this recipe for "everyday" meatballs gives you four applications. 

In the same pasta-don't-hold-me-back spirit, these sheet-pan meatballs are served with a bright and herbaceous “salsa verde” that really elevates this dish.

This Moroccan meatball soup gives you a fantastic protein for just about any soup base. In this recipe, you’re flavoring your broth with an aromatic cilantro and scallion puree as well as some harissa paste for a spicy kick.

Not lamb, but...

The fact that 100% grass-fed beef has a more herbal, mineral-forward flavor means that it can substitute for lamb better than conventional beef can. This opens up the world of lamb-based recipes.

For example, try this Indian curry with our ground beef rather than ground lamb, serving alongside basmati rice.

Then, of course, iconic Shepherd's Pie becomes Cottage Pie when beef is used. This recipe does not call for celery or fennel, they both make excellent additions. And if you don’t have a dark stout on hand, red wine works!  

East Asian ideas 

This Korean Beef Bowl recipe is extremely fast to make, and tasty both for eaters who appreciate Korean flavor profiles, and those who aren't all in on all Korean (read: it does not have kim chi in it... but you can certainly serve it on the side!) 

Korean beef bowl

Korean Beef Bowl (Photo: Gaby Garcia-Astolfi)

Also from a Korean perspective, in this Bulgogi meatloaf recipe, ingredients typically used in Bulgogi  are marshaled to flavor-pack a meatloaf. Serve it in a sandwich as pictured on the recipe page or by itself with a few sides.

How about "Japanese-Style Meat & Potatoes," a delicate, light stew made aromatic with fresh ginger. 

More globetrotting

  • Jamaica: In this recipe which originally comes from a cookbook compendium of Bay Area immigrant chefs, you’re making Jamaican beef patties from scratch, including the dough.  (Consider it a weekend project.)  
  • Eastern EuropeA creative take on a regional classic, this removes most of the labor out of traditional cabbage rolls. Take all the same ingredients, chuck em’ in a pot with some broth, and you get Cabbage Roll Soup!
  • Pakistan: Flavorful seekh kebabs can be grilled or pan-fried. 

Miscellany

  • Soup Bones: In your soup pot these impart nice collagen and minerals from the bones and bone marrow, as well as beef flavor of course from the meat. If you allow your soup to boil, you'll get these benefits from the soup bones -- which is enough for many home cooks -- but much of the meat may end up too tough to eat. With a low-and-slow cook that doesn't get above a simmer, the meat will not be as tough and you can carve it off the bone and include it as a tasty feature in your soup. (The soup bones are basically thin-cut osso buco, a dish that's cooked with a long braise -- see below.)  There are lots of flavors that work well with beef soup - a good combination to start with is tomatoes, mixed vegetables and greens.  

  • Oxtail: Oxtail is so hot right now! There are scores of great recipes but having been fortunate enough to have had Chef Kwame Onwauchi's Jamaican braised oxtails before he left his DC Waterfront Kith/Kin restaurant, it's a treat to be able to make it at home!
  • Stew meat: It can be a fine line between braised roasts and stews, so also review the roasts table above. But for recipes that start with cut stew meat, check out this rich Ethiopian stew -- Ethiopian cuisine being such a gift to our region from the large Ethiopian population in and around DC.  
    • Kebabs: Our family's go-to is a dead-simple recipe for marinating and preparing the skewered meat, with a tasty marinade of common ingredients like soy, lemon, mustard and Worcestershire.  (We also use this marinade for Tender Medallions and other lean steaks.)
    • Corned beef: Although the corned beef our friends at Meatcrafter's Epic Curing make for us comes in a boil-safe bag, our new preferred way to prepare it is to remove it from the bag and boil it directly in seasoned water to your desired temperature, then finish with a broil or pan-sear to brown the outside. We've found that boiling with water-contact produces a flakier, falling-apart corned beef than does bag-boiling (or using sous vide). 

     


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