Where to Find Whole Steamship Rounds for Your Next Big Roast

A steamship round is one of the most impressive and flavorful cuts of beef you can roast. The nearly perfect cylinder of meat makes an unforgettable centerpiece for feeding a crowd. While most butcher shops don’t regularly stock this massive cut, you can still track down whole steamship rounds from specialty suppliers and wholesalers.

In this article, I’ll explain exactly what a steamship round is, why it’s great for roasting, and where to source them. I’ll also share tips for tackling this big boy at home, from seasoning and searing to roasting low and slow Let’s dive in!

What is a Steamship Round?

Steamship round refers to the nearly intact hindquarter round of a beef carcass. It gets its name from its use to feed hungry passengers on transatlantic steamships back in the day.

This primal cut comprises the full back leg muscle without separating any of the individual roasts A whole steamship round can weigh 60 pounds or more! That’s why it’s most often seen at large catering events rather than home kitchens

The shape resembles an oversized football evenly thick across its length. This allows it to cook incredibly evenly and self-baste during roasting. When sliced the grain stays uniform so each serving has a consistent texture.

Why Cook a Whole Steamship Round?

Cooking a full steamship round makes for an incredibly moist, delicious, and impressive roast that can feed a small army. Here are some specific benefits of roasting this monster cut:

  • Dramatic presentation – A whole steamship round makes a statement as the focal point of a carving station or buffet table.

  • Perfect uniformity – The consistent thickness, grain, and shape means even cooking with no tapered ends or odd angles.

  • Self-basting – The outer layer of fat continuously bastes the meat from top to bottom as it renders.

  • Lean yet tender – With less fat marbling than rib and loin cuts, it remains juicy while being easier to slice when cooked properly.

  • Cost effective – Buying and roasting a whole round can cost significantly less per pound compared to individual roasts.

If you love cooking for crowds or holiday feasts, a steamship round is ideal for serving up bountiful, beautiful roasted beef. Now let’s look at where to source this monster meat.

Where to Buy a Whole Steamship Round

Asking your standard supermarket butcher for a 60 pound steamship round will likely be met with bewilderment. Very few retail butchers regularly break down full beef rounds. However, there are several avenues to get your hands on this impressively intact cut:

Specialty Meat Purveyors

Businesses that supply restaurants and professional kitchens will have better access to primal and subprimal cuts like steamship rounds. Check companies like Buckhead Beef, Wild Fork Foods, and Golden Gate Meat Company that service pro chefs and caterers.

Restaurant Depot and GFS

Restaurant supply retailers like Restaurant Depot and Gordon Food Service offer better meat selection to food industry customers. You need a free membership but can find steamship rounds and other large cuts.

Local Meat Lockers

Independent butcher shops and meat processors that work directly with ranches may get whole carcasses to breakdown. Building a relationship with them can give access to subprimals before they are portioned smaller.

Online Mail Order Steaks

Online retailers like Chicago Steak Company, Porter Road, and Snake River Farms let you order large cuts like whole rib roasts and saddle steaks. Check if any source prime-grade steamship rounds that can ship frozen.

Wholesale and Cash & Carry Stores

Restaurant wholesalers like US Foods Chef’Store and Smart Foodservice often sell to retail customers too for personal shopping. They stock harder-to-find subprimals.

If you ask around, you can likely locate a steamship round with a bit of effort. Be sure to give 1-2 weeks lead time on ordering since suppliers don’t keep them in regular inventory.

How to Prepare and Roast Steamship Round

Once you track down the perfect steamship round, here are some tips for tackling this meaty beast:

  • Plan ahead – You’ll need a large roasting pan, heavy foil, roasting rack, butcher twine, instant read thermometer, and sharp carving knife.

  • Trim any silver skin – Use a thin, sharp boning knife to remove the outer silver skin which can toughen during cooking.

  • Season liberally – Coat all sides with olive oil, salt, and pepper or a spice rub. Garlic, rosemary, thyme all pair well.

  • Sear the outside – Brown the entire exterior over high heat on the stovetop before roasting to develop a flavorful crust.

  • ** Roast low and slow** – Cook at 275 ̊F, allowing 1-2 hours per 10 lbs. Internal temp should reach 135 ̊F for medium rare.

  • Rest and carve – Let meat rest 30-60 minutes before carving across the grain into thin slices.

With some preparation and hands-on searing, you can achieve incredible roast beef from this impressive cut. Low and slow roasting brings the internal temp up gradually so the meat stays juicy and tender.

Sample Recipes for Steamship Round Roasts

To highlight the flavor of beef, you can keep seasonings simple. But steamship rounds also stand up well to bold spice blends and sauces. Here are some serving ideas:

  • Onion and garlic rub – Coat with generous minced onions, garlic, salt, and black pepper before searing.

  • ** Chili coffee rub** – For Southwestern flair, use ancho chili powder, coffee, cumin, oregano, cayenne, and brown sugar.

  • Herb crusted – Mustard and a blend of rosemary, thyme, parsley gets a crisp crust when seared.

  • ** Wine and mushroom gravy** – Thinly slice and serve with a rich gravy made from wine, stock, and sautéed mushrooms.

  • Horseradish cream – Mix shredded horseradish and sour cream for a tangy topping to sliced steamship round.

  • Jus reduction – Make an au jus gravy by deglazing the sear pan with wine and stock for a natural sauce.

Get creative with marinades, spice blends, compound butters, and sauces to complement the mildly beefy flavor. Just stick to quick-absorbing types that penetrate before searing versus prolonged marinating.

Carving Tips for Steamship Rounds

Carving a steamship round properly ensures every serving has the ideal against-the-grain texture. Follow these steps for clean, consistent slices:

  • Place cooked and rested roast on a large cutting board with twine removed.

  • Locate line of fat separating the main muscles and use it to guide your knife.

  • With a long, thin slicing knife, make a full length cut down the side of the grain.

  • Turn the roast 90 degrees to now cut thin slices straight across the grain for tenderness.

  • Cut slices to desired thickness based on guests’ preferences.

  • Arrange slices neatly on a platter with plenty of natural juices for moisture.

Take slices from the full circumference to get both the outside seared portions along with the perfectly pink interior sections.

Is Roasting a Whole Steamship Round Worth It?

Considering the effort to source and wrestle this hefty cut, is it ultimately worth roasting at home versus individual roasts? For the right scenario, absolutely!

When hosting large gatherings like holidays, reunions, or weddings, a whole steamship round makes for an unforgettable feast. It can feed a crowd economically while presenting beautifully at the table.

The wow factor and juicy, consistent slices you obtain are unmatched by piecemeal roasts. If you have the oven space and nerve to tackle it, seek out a steamship round for your next big beef roast.

What is a Steam Ship Round Cut? – Steam Culture


What cut is a steamship round?

A steamship round is a full round excluding the aitchbone and part of the rump.

What is beef steamboat?

whole and is usually carved on a serving line. Because of the expense and elegant presentation of a. steamboat round, this roast beef is considered a. luxury or a prestige item that is served on the most.

What is the bone in the round?

The round is divided into cuts including the eye (of) round, bottom round, and top round, with or without the “round” bone (femur), and may include the knuckle (sirloin tip), depending on how the round is separated from the loin. This is a lean cut and it is moderately tough.

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