How to Cook Silverside

Close-up of cooked silverside
Close-up of cooked silverside (Image: AndyVernum1/iStock/Getty Images)

Silverside almost mirrors rump roast except for a slightly different cutting angle, but it's defining quality, tenderness, is the same -- poor. Australian and Irish beef retailers often label silverside as "corned beef," but it holds up well to roasting and grilling, too. Your first priority with silverside is coaxing its tightly wound muscle fibers into submission with a marinade, brine or quick cure.

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Brining and Marinating

Tenderize silverside with salt or acid before you cook it. Salt-based marinades, such as brines and quick cures, are more effective tenderizers than acidic marinades, but acidic marinades impart more flavor because oil and vinegar carry aromatic compounds better than water.

If you want a true Aussie or Irish corned beef, brine silverside in 8 ounces of kosher salt per gallon of water for 7 to 10 days; 8 ounces of kosher salt and 1 gallon of water create a 5- to 6-percent solution, which supplies the sodium needed to increase moisture while softening connective tissue. Add corned beef herbs and spices, such as bay leaf, cinnamon and allspice, to the brine before you submerge the silverside in it.

If you go with an acidic marinade, use 1 tablespoon of vinegar per cup of olive oil and use it as the base to build on with herbs and spices. Season acidic marinades to taste with salt to get a true tenderizing effect. Marinate silverside for up to 24 hours.

Salting

Early salting, or quick-curing, tenderizes like a brine but doesn't increase moisture content. Salt silverside about 24 hours before you grill or roast it; it will finish more tender than if you'd used a marinade, and will develop a crisper crust because salt causes some of the surface moisture to move inward, leaving the outside in the best condition to caramelize. Cover the roast with a layer of salt on all sides and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Place the silverside in a shallow dish and keep it in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

Roasting and Braising

You have to cook silverside using low temperature to melt the connective tissue that makes it tough. Marinated and roasted silverside need seared before cooking to caramelize the surface, whereas corned silverside doesn't.

To roast silverside, rinse off the salt and pat it dry or scrape off the excess marinade and pat it dry. Sear the roast on all sides in vegetable oil on the stove over medium-high heat then transfer it to an oven set to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Roast the silverside until it reaches the desired internal temperature: 125 F for medium-rare and 135 F for medium.

To cook corned silverside, simmer it in a pot of water with mirepoix until tender, about 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

Grilling

Grilling with low heat and the top down turns your barbecue into an outdoor oven that imparts the classic smokiness only outdoor cooking provides. To grill silverside, set up half of the grill to cook with medium-high heat and the other side without heat. Sear the silverside on the hot side, and after it turns golden brown, transfer it to the indirect side and grill, covered, until it reaches the desired doneness, turning occasionally.

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