Classic Roast Beef recipe is so flavorful and easy to make for a holiday and weekend dinner. This recipe features eye of round roast cooked in the oven at a lower temperature for the best and most tender texture. Roast beef is perfectly cooked to medium-rare temperature but you can easily adjust it to medium by cooking it a few more minutes.
Roast Beef has been bringing the family together for holidays and Sunday dinners for generations. When I was younger, I always thought it was such a special thing to have at dinner and imagined that it was so hard to cook. It could be because it looks so grand standing at the center of the table, surrounded by many side dishes. It could also be the way everyone’s eyes light up when mom brings it out of the kitchen.
What is not to be excited over? Roast beef is lean, tender, and so flavorful. It’s best when cooked to medium rare temperature and sliced thin to retain the tenderness. Even though it is not the most tender cut, like rib roast or tenderloin, it’s still incredibly soft and tender. Eye of round makes a good roast because it’s lean but still has a little bit of fat and the cut is usually a uniform size throughout.
Since the eye of round cut is pretty lean and roasted in dry heat, it should be roasted slower, at lower temperature. To avoid dry roast beef, make sure not to overcook it. It should be cooked to medium rare temperature (or medium at the most). Anything above medium will dry the meat.
When talking roast beef and steaks, it’s better to let the meat speak for itself and not overload it with seasoning and sauce. Don’t overwhelm the meat with seasoning, go with simple salt and pepper. Garlic and rosemary both go beautifully with beef to enhance the flavor of the meat.
WHICH CUT OF BEEF TO USE FOR ROAST BEEF
I used to think it was one special piece of beef that was used for a roast beef. But really, it refers to a large piece of beef roasted in the oven. There are many cuts of beef that are good when cooked in the oven, from the most tender ones to the tougher or leaner ones. Each cut of beef has a little bit different requirements and even go by their own name. For example, prime rib and beef beef tenderloin are both cooked a little differently.
When thinking “roast beef,” we use more budget-friendly and leaner cuts, but not too tough that it would require extra slow cooking. Great cuts that work for roast beef are eye of round, top sirloin roast, and bottom round. The reason I prefer eye of round is because it is lean but still has some fat around it. It is flavorful and uniform in size so cooks evenly.
Eye of round is the best choice for roast beef whether you are making it as a main dish for dinner or slicing it to make sandwiches.
HOW TO COOK ROAST BEEF
Don’t be scared, cooking roast beef is incredibly easy with a few things to remember.
First of all, it’s important to take the meat out of the refrigerator about an hour before cooking it to let it warm up a bit.
When seasoning, season generously but simply. Stick to salt and pepper and enhance the flavors with garlic and rosemary. Make small incisions with a knife, just big enough to fit slivers of garlic into it. Slice garlic cloves into 2 or 3 slices and fit a slice of garlic into each cut. Try to keep the cuts spread evenly throughout the surface of the meat so the flavor infuses evenly.
Combine kosher salt, cracked black pepper, and minced rosemary in a small bowl and generously season the meat all around. Make sure to cover all the sides.
Preheat the oven to 325° and line a roasting pan with aluminum foil to catch the drippings. Preheat a skillet over medium-high heat and add a little oil. Sear the meat until golden brown on all sides. (It will take about a minute per side.)
Transfer the roast onto the rack in the roasting pan and insert a leave-in thermometer into the center. (If you don’t have a leave-in thermometer, you will need to take the meat out of the oven to take the temperature.)
Let the beef cook until internal temperature reaches 130°-135° for medium rare. Personally, I take it out at 130° because it continues to cook for a few minutes as it rests. Take the meat out of the oven and onto a rimmed cutting board. Tent with some foil and let it rest for about 15 minutes. (Cook to 140° to 145° for medium.)
Slice roast beef thinly, against the grain.
HOW TO SERVE ROAST BEEF
Main Dish – roast beef makes a beautiful main course for the holiday dinner of a weekend dinner. Serve it with all your favorite sides like potatoes and vegetables.
Horseradish sauce – this sauce goes great with all cuts of roasted beef and gives you a creamy and tangy bite. To make horseradish sauce, combine 1/2 cup of sour cream, 2 tablespoons of mayo, 2 tablespoons of horseradish, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and mix it well.
Au Jus – another classic sauce for roast beef. Check out my tasty Red Wine Au Jus recipe here.
Roast Beef Sandwich – if you have any beef leftover, it will make delicious sandwiches. Slice cold meat as thinly as you can. When the meat is cold, it’s a lot easier to cut thinly so don’t heat it up if you’re planning on making sandwiches. (Reheating instructions are below.) Serve sandwiches with cheese, gourmet mustard, pickles, and/or horseradish sauce.
HOW TO REHEAT ROAST BEEF
Reheating roasted beef and keeping it at the same temperature is a tricky thing and best done in the oven. The best way I found to reheat delicate meats like this one is wrapped in foil and heat just until heated through.
Preheat the oven to 350°. Slice meat and place it in a single layer in a middle of a sheet of aluminum foil. Wrap it loosely and place right on the rack in the oven, not on a baking sheet. Depending on the thickness of meat, heat it up for 5-10 minutes, until just hot.
SIDE DISHES TO SERVE WITH ROAST BEEF
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- 3 lb eye of round roast
- 6 garlic cloves
- 1/2 tbsp minced rosemary leaves
- 1 1/2 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp cracked black pepper
Prepare the roast:
- Take the meat out of the refrigerator about an hour before cooking it and take it out of the packaging. (You can let it rest on a sheet of aluminum foil, on a baking sheet.)
- Combine salt, pepper, and minced rosemary in a small bowl.
- Make small incisions with a knife, just big enough to fit slivers of garlic into it. Slice garlic cloves into 2 or 3 slices and fit a slice of garlic into each cut. (Try to keep the cuts spread even throughout the surface of the meat so the flavor infuses evenly.)
- Generously season the meat with salt/pepper/rosemary all around. Make sure to cover all the sides.
Cooking the roast:
- Preheat the oven to 325° and line a roasting pan with aluminum foil to catch the drippings.
- Preheat a skillet over medium-high heat and add a little oil. Sear the meat until golden brown on all sides. (About a minute per side.)
- Transfer the roast onto the rack in the roasting pan and insert a leave-in thermometer into the center. (If you don’t have a leave-in thermometer, you will need to take the meat out of the oven to take the temperature.)
- Cook until internal temperature reaches 130°-135° for medium-rare. Remember that meat continues to cook a few degrees as it rests. (Cook to 140°-145° for medium.)
- Take the meat out of the oven and onto a rimmed cutting board. Tent with a sheet of aluminum foil and let it rest for about 15-20 minutes.
Cutting the roast:
- (You can place the cutting board in side a rimmed baking sheet to catch the juices.)
- After the meat had time to rest, use a sharp knife to slice roast beef thinly, against the grain.