A rump steak is trimmed from the round, or rump, primal section of a cow, just behind the cuts that produce sirloin and flank steaks. All the muscles in a cow's rump are among the most worked throughout its life, resulting in a dense, marbled and occasionally chewy cut of meat that can dry out fast and turn to leather if the right touch is not employed. Nevertheless, many will forgo the often-advised slow-cooking methods in a braising pan or Crock-Pot® and fry these steaks in a heavy skillet with some oil to sear in the flavor and get the meat up to temperature fast before it gets too tough.
A much-lauded method for preparing rump steak is by stuffing it in a Crock-Pot® with a marinade and even root vegetables like potatoes and carrots. This can then be cooked on low for several hours, producing a rump steak that will fall apart with a fork. Such a method allows the chef to start cooking during the meat's marination period.
Braising is another "low and slow" method regularly recommended for cuts like rump steak. This can take place in a Dutch oven or braising pan and also will take the place of traditional marination. First, the steak is flashed in a pan to create a sear on all sides, and then it is placed in a covered pot with a sauce made of various vegetables and spices. A traditional, European style of steak or roast marinade contains ingredients like wine, beef stock, garlic, onions, carrots and celery as well as herbs like rosemary, bayleaf and thyme. Depending on the size of the round steak, it could take as long as six hours to get the meat up to the 145°F (about 63°C) internal temperature needed before it is ready to serve.
When these moistening methods are not employed to untoughen a rump steak, other methods can come in handy. Many pound out a rump steak vigorously to make the meat more tender, and then marinate it for at least an hour in a glaze of ingredients from oil and herbs to soy sauce and mustard. The steaks are then seared quickly on a heavy skillet in light oil and aromatics like garlic or fresh herbs, about six minutes a side for medium.
In the United Kingdom, a prized cut of rump is called the popeseye steak, or "Pope's eye." Trimmed from the tenderest regions of the top, bottom and eye sections of the round primal, this cut is renowned for being tender. This characteristic makes its especially suited for the frying pan.