I usually use thinly cut top round to make milanesas. While the cut has an annoying fat vein in the middle, it’s very tender, the version sold by Safeway is very thin and it just works great for milanesas.
This week, however, Safeway had thinly cut bottom round at half the price as top round – so I figured that I would give it a chance and see how it worked. The answer is that it will do in a pinch, but it’s definitely inferior to top round.
First, the “thin” bottom round steaks sold by Safeway were two to three times thicker than the top round ones. Bottom round is a very tough cut of meat, so I beat the hell out of the meat to tenderize it. It worked quite well, though I ended up with a blister on the side of my finger. A larger problem was that as the cut was thicker, so were the pieces of fat/gristle in the middle of the steaks. There weren’t too many and I try to cut them, but it made it harder to eat the milanesas in sandwiches (it’s not a big deal if you’re using fork and knife). I also don’t think the flavor was as tasty as the top round, but the issue might also have been the olive oil I was using.
All in all, I’d use bottom round again under similar circumstances, but at full price, I definitely prefer top round.