President Ford’s Braised Eye of Round Steak

On a recent Costco run, Hubby and I picked up an Eye of Round roast. It was a large roast, about 5 pounds. That was much too large for just the three of us, so we cut the roast in half, wrapped each half in plastic wrap, then sealed in bags for the freezer. I had never worked with Eye of Round cuts of meat before. Except for a thin ribbon of fat along one side, the rest of the roast was very lean – no marbling or lines of gristle. Top Round, Bottom Round and Eye of Round all come from the same section of beef – the hind quarter. The reason the meat is lean is because it gets a good work out. The reason the round section gets a rap for being tough is because it is a lean muscle. What no one seems to talk about is the flavor. The beef flavor is intense. And when cooked correctly, it makes for some kind of wonderful dining experience. The first time I cooked up this meat was to serve as my Tender Eye of Round Garlic Roast. That was a hit. Tender and packed with flavor.

Last night, it was time to try the Eye of Round as steaks. The recipe floating about the internet for Eye of Round Steak has an odd name – President Ford’s Braised Eye of Round Steak. Try as I might to see just when it may have been a part of the White House dinner menu, I came up empty. The only reference is that Gerald Ford had a fondness for Eye of Round, particularly as a braised steak. While there is no definitive proof that a braised Eye of Round steak was offered up at any state dinner or White House function, it would be a safe bet to say that this delicious steak graced the table in the private residence. After all, if you are the President of the United States, it stands to reason that you would eat the things you like when not hosting a gala event. Long after President Ford had left office, Hubby and I had the honor of meeting him at an awards dinner. (And no – braised steak was not on the menu). He was both kind and gracious. As you can imagine, a recipe with his name holds some sentimental value to me.

By braising the steaks, it will produce a tender piece of meat. The beef flavor is deep and satisfying. However; because the meat is extremely lean, it can also be on the drier side, so serving it with the pan sauce is an absolute must. That’s alright, since the pan sauce is marvelous.

One last thing before we get to cooking. As Hubby, Kiddo and I sat down to dinner last night, I said “Just think, we’re dining on something that was served at the White House during the Ford Administration.” To which my loving Hubby replied “Wow, it’s really well-preserved.” Think about it for a moment. The man makes me crazy, but he always makes me laugh.


Just a few notes: I used fresh rather than dried Thyme in my rendition. I also added a few sprigs of fresh Thyme to the braising liquid. The aroma was wonderful. I only used one onion rather than the two that the original recipe called for. My onion was very large, so one was enough to smother the steaks in onions. If yours are medium or if you want more onions, by all means use two. Finally, the recipes floating about the internet call for a cup of Beef Consomme. I went ahead and used the entire can (15 oz), as this made for a richer sauce.

President Ford’s Braised Eye of Round Steak
2 lb beef eye of round, cut into 6 steaks
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, sliced into rings
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fresh Thyme
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/4 cup all-purpose flour for coating
15 oz beef consomme (1 can, undiluted)
1 cup Burgundy wine
2 Sprigs Fresh Thyme

Cut Eye of Round into steaks. Season with salt and pepper, set aside. Let steaks rest on the counter for about 30 minutes.

Slice onion into rings and separate. Set aside.

Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions; cook and stir until lightly browned and tender, about 5 to 6 minutes. Remove the onions from the skillet using a slotted spoon and set aside on a plate until ready to return to the pan.

Season the steaks with thyme, pressing into the meat. Dust steaks with flour, then sprinkle with seasoned salt.

Swirl 1 tablespoon olive oil into the skillet for a light coating. Fry the steaks in the skillet over medium-high heat until browned on each side, about 3 to 5 minutes per side.

Pour the red wine and beef consomme in with the beef. Return the cooked onions to the pan. Cook over medium-high heat until the aroma of wine dissipates and the liquid is bubbling, 2 to 3 minutes.

Reduce heat to low, add sprigs of fresh Thyme to the pan, cover, and simmer for 1 hour.

Transfer steaks to a serving platter, top and surround with all of the onions. With a spoon, drizzle the steaks with some of the sauce.

Pour remaining sauce into a gravy boat or bowl with a ladle and serve alongside steaks. Pass the sauce at the table for diners to add as desired. This beefy wine-rich sauce goes well with buttery mashed potatoes.


Eye of Round Braised Steak (1)
Slice onions into rings. Cook in a skillet until just beginning to brown.
Eye of Round Braised Steak (2)
Season steaks with salt, pepper and fresh Thyme. Press Thyme into the meat.
Eye of Round Braised Steak (3)
Dust steaks with flour and sprinkle with seasoned salt. Place in a skillet over medium-high heat to sear.
Eye of Round Braised Steak (5)
Once steaks have been nicely seared, add wine and beef consomme to the skillet. Bring to a quick boil.
Eye of Round Braised Steak (6)
Reduce heat, return the onions to the pan, spreading over the steaks. Cover and simmer at least 1 hour or until tender.
Eye of Round Braised Steak (8)
Removed braised steaks from the pan. Transfer to a serving platter, tom with onions and drizzle with some of the pan sauce.
Eye of Round Braised Steak (10)
This steak goes well with mashed potatoes and a side of green beans. The sauce is equally delicious over the potatoes. Serve and enjoy!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

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