Holiday Eyes of Round



The single muscle whole eye of round is in low demand; especially this time of year.  It’s November 2014 and I paid $4.47 per pound at a wholesale club store.

trimmed jerky meat

This is eye number 1 denuded of fat and cut into 8 little slabs.

jerky slabs

Here are the slabs just prior to going into a freezer to get well chilled.  Jerky slices should be cut off slabs lengthwise, with the muscle fiber orientation (“with the grain”).

jerky cuts

Knife-cut pieces of semi-frozen raw beef heading for marination.  Marinate contained a bit of purified salt, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, prepared yellow mustard, brown sugar, crushed garlic a few drops of concentrated liquid smoke, hot pepper sauce, 2 1/4 tsp. retail meat tenderizer and 1 tsp. of Prague powder # 1.

jerky pasturization

Raw jerky strips were soaked overnight under refrigeration then spread thin on cookie sheets.  Next, they were pasteurized in a 170F oven for one hour in order to help assure bacterial food safety during low temperature dehydration.

jerky trays

Cooking purge (a little coagulated protein) was rinsed off jerky pieces then they were placed on dehydrator racks.  This occasional user type dehydrator cost about $40 and has enough capacity to do a whole eye of round at once.

dehydrated jerky

Jerky after 9 hours of dehydration.  Admittedly, a little bit was eaten before this picture was taken.  The yield was about 2 1/2 pounds which works out to about $11.85 per pound.  Since this jerky was made from Choice beef round it did have a small amount of intramuscular fat (marbling) in it.  I store such jerky under refrigeration to greatly reduce the rate of fat oxidation then let it warm to room temperature prior to serving.


Eye # 2:

trimmed roast

Eye of round number 2 trimmed down to a fat thickness of no more thin 1/8th inch at any one point.  After trimming it weighed 5 1/2 pounds.

pumped roast

Roast was pumped with water, 2 tsp. sodium phosphate,  just over 1 tsp. of Prague powder #1, 2 1/4 Tbsp. purified salt, about 1 1/2 Tbsp. of brown sugar and a small pinch of sodium erythorbate (cure accelerator).  Next, I boiled, then chilled some fresh crushed garlic and coarse ground black pepper to rub over the uncooked roast’s exterior.  Roast was then held in refrigeration a day and a half to allow time for the hand-pumped brine to adequately distribute throughout.

oven ready

Roast ready to be cooked on a rack in a covered roaster at 170F.

cooked corned beef

Reached internal temperature of 150F after 4 hours.  The chilled corned beef slicer weighed 2 pounds and 6 ounces.  Loss from green weight was minimal mainly due to pumping.  This corned beef cost $5.58 per pound, less then half the cost of jerky.


jerky & corned beef

These items may not be the most popular things on a Holiday party tray, but they will be locally and minimally further processed and that’s something to talk about.

thin slice

Thin sliced corned beef.