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Transform an affordable cut of meat into tender, juicy beef that’s topped with a rich and savory mushroom and onion gravy. Cooked low and slow, this smothered round steak is an easy dinner recipe to enjoy over a plate of mashed potatoes or egg noodles!

Plate of mashed potatoes topped with round steak and mushroom gravy
Table of Contents
  1. How to Cook Round Steak So It’s Tender | 1-Minute Video
  2. Top Round Steak Recipe
  3. Round Steak
  4. Is flank steak the same as round steak?
  5. Ingredients for Smothered Round Steak
  6. How to Cook Round Steak Tender
  7. Serving Suggestions
  8. Storage
  9. Recipe Variations
  10. Tips for the Best Round Steak Recipe
  11. Smothered Round Steak Recipe

How to Cook Round Steak So It’s Tender | 1-Minute Video

Top Round Steak Recipe

You don’t often find a delicious recipe for top round steak, since this less-popular cut of meat isn’t as common as ground beef or as “fancy” as filet mignon. That said, when prepared with the proper cooking methods, you can transform the affordable round steak into a family-friendly, flavorful dish that practically melts in your mouth.

Here, we braise the tenderized steaks in a flavorful mushroom and onion gravy, then cook is low-and-slow for a few hours to break down the tough fibers. Slice it thinly, pile it high on a plate of mashed potatoes, and watch your whole family smile!

Overhead shot of the best round steak recipe with mushrooms and onions

Round Steak

Round steak is a lean, versatile cut of beef that comes from the “round,” the rear leg of the cow. The round is divided into cuts including the eye of roundbottom round, and top round, with or without the “round” bone, and may include the knuckle (sirloin tip), depending on how the round is separated from the loin.

For this recipe, I recommend either beef round tip or ideally, the top round (shown here), which is the most tender part of the round. Bottom round steaks aren’t ideal.

Process shot showing how to tenderize steak

Is round steak tough? How should round steak be cooked?

It is a moderately tough cut of meat because it includes a lot of connective tissue and comes from a heavily exercised muscle. Lack of fat and marbling makes round dry out when cooked with dry-heat cooking methods like roasting or grilling, so this cut is best suited for slow cooking methods with gentle, moist heat. The low-and-slow cooking process helps to tenderize the meat, maintain its moisture, and result in fork tender steaks.

Browning top round steak in a skillet

What is round steak used for?

It’s typically used for slow cooking methods such as braising, Crock Pot meals, Swiss steak, London broil, Italian beef, and stews.

Adding mushrooms to a pan

Is flank steak the same as round steak?

Butchers use the term “London Broil” to refer to either flank steak, top round steak or top blade steak. Flank steak and round steak are two different cuts, however.

The flank steak is a unique, flat steak that has good flavor and is best when seared or grilled. It comes from the abdominal muscles or lower chest of the steer, so it’s a different piece of beef than round steak. Flank steak is a popular choice for fajitas or carne asada.

Adding beef broth and Worcestershire sauce to a skillet

Why Tenderize Steak?

Tougher cuts of meat require tenderizing in order to start breaking down the tough fibers and connective tissue. The easiest way to tenderize round steak is by pounding it with the textured side of a meat mallet or tenderizer.

Seasoning top round steak

Ingredients for Smothered Round Steak

This is a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for this one-dish round steak recipe. As always, specific measurements and complete cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Olive oil: to brown the meat.
  • Boneless beef round steak: preferably top round steak, which is the most tender portion of the round.
  • Butter: to sauté the mushrooms and onions.
  • Mushrooms, onion and garlic: add savory flavor to the dish and create a rich gravy.
  • Lower-sodium beef broth: the liquid for braising the meat. I prefer the lower-sodium variety so that you can control the salt in your dish.
  • Worcestershire sauce: for umami flavor.
  • Rosemary and thyme: fresh herbs that brighten up the dish and pair nicely with the rich flavor of the beef.
  • Lipton onion soup mix: just the dry seasoning from a soup and dip mix packet adds delicious flavor to the meat and gravy.
  • Cornstarch: to thicken the gravy at the end.
Whisking mushroom and onion gravy in a skillet

How to Cook Round Steak Tender

As I mentioned above, slowly cooking the steak in moisture is one of the best ways to tenderize this cut, creating a flavorful, versatile meat that can be used in a variety of ways.

  1. Use the textured side of a meat mallet to tenderize the round steak and pound it to ½-inch thickness.
  2. Brown the steaks in olive oil, just to give them some color on the outside. Remove them to a plate.
  3. Sauté the mushrooms, onion and garlic in butter.
  4. Add broth and Worcestershire sauce.
  5. Return steaks to the pan and sprinkle with dry onion soup mix. Tuck fresh herbs into the broth.
  6. Cover and bake in a 300°F oven for about 2 ½ – 3 hours, or until the meat is tender.
  7. Remove the meat from the pan and discard the herb stems.
  8. Thicken the gravy with a little bit of cornstarch slurry, adding extra broth to thin, if necessary.
  9. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  10. Thinly slice the steak against the grain, smother in the mushroom and onion gravy, and serve over mashed potatoes.
Close up side shot of a spoon in a skillet of top round steak with gravy

Serving Suggestions

This classic comfort food dish goes well with any of these sides:

Side shot of a plate of round steak with gravy

Storage

Leftover steak and gravy will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Reheat the meat and gravy in a skillet over very low heat, just until warmed through. You can also reheat individual portions in the microwave for about 30 seconds – 1 minute.

Freeze leftover round steak and gravy in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Overhead shot of top round steak recipe in a skillet with fresh herbs

Recipe Variations

  • Don’t have Lipton soup mix? You can substitute with other fresh herbs or seasoning of your choice. Dry dried minced onion, garlic powder, kosher salt and pepper, or extra fresh or dried thyme, rosemary or parsley would all be great. Our favorite all-purpose seasoning is also a nice option!
  • Instead of Worcestershire sauce, substitute with soy sauce for that same salty, umami flavor. Balsamic vinegar is also a nice option.
  • Add more vegetables to the gravy recipe, such as diced carrots or drained, canned diced tomatoes.
  • Instead of round steak, use flank steak, London broil, chuck, skirt steak, or blade steak in this recipe.
  • Slow Cooker: if you prefer to make this dish in the Crock Pot, I recommend browning the meat and sautéing the vegetables in a skillet first. Transfer everything to a slow cooker and cook on LOW for 7-8 hours or on HIGH for 3-4 hours. Thicken the gravy with cornstarch in a skillet at the end.
Overhead shot of smothered round steak on a plate with mashed potatoes

Tips for the Best Round Steak Recipe

  • Look for top round steak, if possible, since it’s the most tender part of the round.
  • Brown the meat. This is an extra step, but it’s worth the effort. The caramelized surface gives the beef extra flavor, while the browned bits and drippings in the pot add even more flavor to the gravy.
  • This is the 3.5-quart cast iron braiser that I use.
  • Use lower-sodium beef broth so that you can control the saltiness of the dish. The Worcestershire sauce and the onion soup mix both add salt to the dish as well. If it’s not salty enough for your taste, you can always season with extra salt and pepper at the end.
  • If the pan is getting dry during the cooking process, add extra broth so that the meat is about ½ – ⅓ submerged in liquid. You can also add extra broth to the skillet at the very end if you’d like more gravy in your pan.
  • Add the cornstarch slurry slowly to the pan. Start with just half of the mixture, since that’s likely all that you’ll need to thicken the gravy.
  • If the meat is not tender at the end of the cooking time, return it to the oven. It probably just needs some extra time for those tough fibers to break down.
  • Thinly slice the meat against the grain (perpendicular to those long fibers that you see). It should be so tender that it practically falls apart!
Serving spoon in a pan of boneless beef round steak
Square overhead image of smothered round steak on a plate of mashed potatoes

Smothered Round Steak

4.74 from 30 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 3 hours 30 minutes
Total: 3 hours 40 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 318 kcal
Cooked low and slow, this easy Smothered Round Steak with mushroom and onion gravy turns an affordable cut of beef into a tender, flavorful meal.

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 ½ – 2 lbs. boneless beef round steak (I use top round steak)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 8 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 sweet onion, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
  • 2 ½ cups low-sodium beef broth, plus more as needed
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dry onion soup mix (from a 1-ounce packet), such as Lipton brand
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, about 3-4 inches long each
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, about 5-6 inches long
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon of cold water
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • Optional garnish: chopped fresh parsley or thyme

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 300°F.
  • Use a meat mallet to tenderize the meat by pounding to ½-inch thickness.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a Dutch oven or deep braising skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, if necessary, add the steak and cook until browned, about 5 minutes per side. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  • Reduce the heat to medium; add the butter to the drippings in the pan. When the butter melts, stir in the mushrooms and onion; cook until starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the broth and Worcestershire sauce, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.
  • Return the steaks and any juices to the pan. Sprinkle dry onion soup mix over all. Tuck thyme and rosemary sprigs into the broth.
  • Cover and bake for 2 ½ – 3 hours, or until the meat is tender. Check the steaks once or twice during the cooking process, adding more broth to the pan if necessary. You want about ½ – ⅓ of the steaks submerged in the liquid for proper braising. If the steaks are still tough at the end of the cooking time, return the pan to the oven and continue baking.
  • Remove the meat from the pan and cover loosely with foil to keep warm. Discard the herb sprigs.
  • To thicken the gravy, bring the liquid to a boil over medium-high heat. If you’d like even more gravy in your pan, you can add more beef broth at this time. Add about half of the cornstarch slurry, whisking until the mixture thickens. If you’d like a thicker gravy, add the remaining cornstarch slurry (I find that I don’t usually need all of the cornstarch). To thin the gravy, add extra broth. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if necessary.
  • Slice the steaks thinly against the grain. Spoon the gravy over top and serve with mashed potatoes, noodles or rice. Garnish with chopped fresh herbs.

Video

Notes

  • Look for top round steak, if possible, since it’s the most tender part of the round.
  • Brown the meat. This is an extra step, but it’s worth the effort. The caramelized surface gives the beef extra flavor, while the browned bits and drippings in the pot add even more flavor to the gravy.
  • This is the 3.5-quart cast iron braiser that I use.
  • Use lower-sodium beef broth so that you can control the saltiness of the dish. The Worcestershire sauce and the onion soup mix both add salt to the dish as well. If it’s not salty enough for your taste, you can always season with extra salt and pepper at the end.
  • If the pan is getting dry during the cooking process, add extra broth so that the meat is about ½ – ⅓ submerged in liquid. You can also add extra broth to the skillet at the very end if you’d like more gravy in your pan.
  • Add the cornstarch slurry slowly to the pan. Start with just half of the mixture, since that’s likely all that you’ll need to thicken the gravy.
  • If the meat is not tender at the end of the cooking time, return it to the oven. It probably just needs some extra time for those tough fibers to break down.
  • Thinly slice the meat against the grain (perpendicular to those long fibers that you see). It should be so tender that it practically falls apart!

Nutrition

Serving: 1/4 of the recipeCalories: 318kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 44gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 111mgSodium: 605mgPotassium: 1206mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 92IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 55mgIron: 4mg
Keyword: round steak in oven, round steak recipe, top round steak
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    My husband & I loved this recipe. Instead of baking it I pressure cooked it in my Instant Pot for 45 minutes. When it was done I took out the meat, added the corn starch slurry, and cooked the sauce on the saute setting until it began to thicken. I sliced the meat, returned it to the sauce and served it over mashed potatoes. I’m so glad you recommended not adding salt or pepper until it was done. It was so flavorful that it didn’t need it. I will definitely be making this again!

    1. Awesome, Jackie! Thank you for the tip about the Instant Pot. I know that will be helpful for others, too!

  2. 5 stars
    I went through many, many, Instant Pot recipes for a pot roast. I was looking for a good ‘ole fashioned’ one like what my parents were used to making in the slow-cooker. She’s nailed the recipe and the instructions and please visit us: https://www.beckandbulow.com

  3. My family really enjoyed this and I loved the simplicity and ease of it. Will definitely make again. This is a hearty winter dish that left clean plates all around the table! I did not have the soup mix but used some crispy fried onions from Trader Joe’s.

    1. Hi, Mindi! Yes, here are the instructions:
      If you prefer to make this dish in the Crock Pot, I recommend browning the meat and sautéing the vegetables in a skillet first. Transfer everything to a slow cooker and cook on LOW for 7-8 hours or on HIGH for 3-4 hours. Thicken the gravy with cornstarch in a skillet at the end.

  4. 5 stars
    This was fabulous! I did it in the instant pot, as one commenter suggested. Fall apart tender! Will do again and again!