Smothered Round Steak Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Round Steak and Gravy

Total Time
Prep: 15 min. Cook: 6 hours
Serve this tender top round steak with tomato-mushroom gravy over egg noodles for a hearty, budget-friendly meal.

Updated: May 21, 2024

Transforming the often-overlooked round steak into a delectable dinner is easy with a slow cooker. This affordable cut might not boast the fame of a filet mignon, nor the ubiquity of ground beef, but with a low-and-slow braise, it can rival any gourmet beef dish.

Slow-cooking the tough steak in a rich mushroom-and-onion gravy tenderizes the meat and infuses it with flavors that meld into every bite. Round steak not only satisfies the palate but also warms the soul, especially when served atop a bed of creamy mashed potatoes or nestled alongside twirling strands of egg noodles.

Our beef round steak recipe can be prepped in 15 minutes in the morning and left to braise while you go about your day and come home to a hot meal. It’s an easy dinner idea to make on already busy days. Round steak is particularly straightforward to throw together, but most of our easy slow-cooker recipes are simple go-to options in their own right.

Ingredients for Slow-Cooker Round Steak and Gravy

  • Top round steak: Round steak is a lean and tough cut of beef that comes from the cow’s rear leg. It’s divided into cuts, including the eye of round, bottom round and top round, which is the most tender.
  • Flour: Coating the meat in all-purpose flour helps thicken the gravy as it cooks, resulting in a rich and velvety texture. The coating also helps seal in the steak’s juices for a more tender result.
  • Onion and green pepper: Sliced onions and green peppers release flavorful compounds during the cooking process, adding a savory aroma to the stew.
  • Canned tomatoes and jarred mushrooms: For ease, this recipe uses canned diced tomatoes and jarred sliced mushrooms, which become the gravy base. The tart tomatoes and earthy mushrooms give the dish depth of flavor and umami.
  • Soy sauce and molasses: These ingredients impart complexity to the dish’s flavor profile. The soy sauce amplifies the meat’s richness, while the deep, robust sweetness of molasses complements the savory elements of the stew.

Directions

Step 1: Slice the steak

With a sharp chef’s knife, slice the top round steak against the grain into thick strips. As you go, place the steak in a mixing bowl.

Step 2: Season the steak

Add flour, salt and pepper to the mixing bowl and toss the steak to thoroughly coat the meat.

Step 3: Slow-cook the steak

In a 3-quart slow cooker, combine the steak, sliced onion, sliced green pepper, canned diced tomatoes, jarred sliced mushrooms, soy sauce and molasses. Cook covered on the low heat setting until the steak is tender, six to eight hours.

Step 4: Serve with noodles or potatoes

If desired, serve the round steak and gravy with hot egg noodles or mashed potatoes.

Slow-Cooker Round Steak Variations

  • Substitute Worcestershire sauce: For a similarly salty, umami flavor, you can use Worcestershire sauce instead of soy sauce.
  • Try other steaks: If you can’t find top round steak, use other parts of the round, flank steak, chuck, skirt steak or blade steak in this recipe.

How to Store Round Steak and Gravy

Leftovers from this round steak recipe can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for three to four days. Reheat the meat and gravy in a skillet over low heat until warmed through, or reheat individual portions in the microwave for about a minute.

How to Freeze Round Steak and Gravy

Freeze round steak in an airtight container in the freezer for up to three months.

Slow-Cooker Round Steak Recipe Tips

What type of round steak should you buy?

Buy top round steak, since it’s the most tender part of the round, and slice the meat against the grain (perpendicular to the steak’s fibers). Once cooked, the steak will be so tender that it practically falls apart.

What is the best way to cook round steak so it’s tender?

Lack of fat makes round steak dry when cooked with dry-heat cooking methods like roasting or grilling, so this cut is best when slow-cooked with gentle, moist heat. The slow, gentle heat works its magic, breaking down tough fibers and transforming them into tender morsels that practically melt in your mouth.

Beef round steak is a moderately tough cut of meat because it includes a lot of connective tissue and comes from a heavily exercised muscle, but by braising the meat and vegetables in a slow cooker, we coax out the steak’s inherent tenderness, allowing it to soak up layers of flavor.

What is round steak best for?

Round steak is typically used for slow-cooking methods such as braising, slow-cooker meals, Swiss steak, London broil, Italian beef and stews.

How do you tenderize round steak?

Tougher cuts of meat require tenderizing in order to start breaking down the tough fibers and connective tissue. For this recipe, the steak is simply sliced into strips and cooked low and slow. If serving the round steak whole, tenderize it by pounding it with the textured side of a meat mallet or tenderizer.

Smothered Round Steak

Prep Time 15 min
Yield 4 servings.

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 pounds beef top round steak, cut into strips
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 large green pepper, sliced
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 jar (4 ounces) sliced mushrooms, drained
  • 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • Hot cooked egg noodles, optional

Directions

  1. In a 3-qt. slow cooker, toss beef with flour, salt and pepper. Stir in all remaining ingredients except noodles.
  2. Cook, covered, on low until meat is tender, 6-8 hours. If desired, serve with noodles.

Nutrition Facts

1-1/4 cups beef mixture: 335 calories, 6g fat (2g saturated fat), 95mg cholesterol, 1064mg sodium, 28g carbohydrate (14g sugars, 4g fiber), 42g protein.

Try less expensive round steak and gravy served over egg noodles for a hearty meal. Meaty and chock full of veggies, this slow-cooker creation will take the worry out of what's-for-supper any weeknight. Kathy Garret - Camden, West Virginia