This top round roast recipe turns a budget-friendly cut of beef into a flavorful and juicy roast. It’s a mostly hands-off meal that makes for an impressive main course that needs very little prep.
As much I love serving my family a sirloin tip roast or ribeye roast for a fancy beef dinner, it’s too pricy to enjoy regularly. Enter- my top round roast beef. It’s a much more affordable cut of the beef but also equally as elegant and incredibly easy to make.
I herb-crust the beef and transform it from a humble cut of meat into a masterpiece. Just like I do with my bottom round roast recipe, the secret to juicy meat is to sear the crust before roasting- it’s golden on the outside and fall-apart tender on the inside- Yum!
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Why this recipe works
- Quick and easy. Besides a quick 5-minute prep, the oven takes care of the rest. I like to use this time to make some simple side dishes to pair with it.
- Incredible texture and flavor. The texture of the meat is extra juicy in the middle with that gorgeous tender crust. I sometimes make a simple gravy to pair with it, but honestly, it’s delicious enough as it is.
- The best leftovers. Now, if you are a leftover fiend like me, you know that any leftover roast meat makes the BEST roast beef sandwiches. I’m pretty sure this is why my family begs me to make this so often.
This beef top round roast recipe is so easy, and besides the meat and seasonings, there isn’t anything else needed to make. Here is what you’ll need:
- Top round roast. Buy a roast that has some fat marbled throughout and has a relatively uniform thickness to ensure that it cooks evenly. My butcher often leaves the fat cap intact, which is unnecessary for this recipe, so slice it off using a sharp knife. Don’t throw it away, though- use it to pan-fry some vegetables or roast some potatoes with it!
- Dried herbs. I like to coat the beef in a generous layer of dried oregano, thyme, and rosemary. This may sound basic, but it allows the natural flavor of the beef to shine.
- Dry mustard. This helps tenderize the beef and gives it a tangy bite.
- Salt and pepper. Use kosher salt or sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper to enhance the taste and texture of the crust.
How to cook a top round roast
Fall-apart top round roast is easy to make: the only thing to remember is to mop up any excess moisture the meat naturally contains.
Step 1- Season: Stir the herbs and spices together, then rub them all over the outside of the beef.
Step 2- Sear. Place the herb-crusted beef in a shallow roasting pan and sear at 450F for 15 minutes.
Step 3- Roast. Reduce the heat to 350F and roast for 50 minutes, or until desired doneness.
Step 4- Rest, then slice. Remove the beef from the oven and tent it loosely with foil. Let rest before slicing and serving.
Recipe tips and variations
- Bring to room temperature. Remember to take the meat out of the fridge 30 minutes before cooking. This gives it a chance to come down to room temperature, helping it cook evenly.
- Cook it fat side up. Roast the beef with the thin fat cap facing up. This helps the fat render and distribute throughout the rest of the meat, giving you extra tender and juicy beef.
- Cook to medium-rare. I know not everyone is a fan of meat that’s rare or medium-rare but this is the kind of roast that is designed to be enjoyed a little more pink in the middle. To ensure the meat is fully cooked, always use a meat thermometer to check. This beef is best enjoyed once it has an internal temperature of 135F-140F.
- Rest before slicing. When it’s done cooking, take the beef out of the oven and loosely place a large piece of foil over top. Let it rest for at least 15 minutes so the juices can redistribute throughout the meat. I know it’s a little more time-consuming but it really helps yield a more juicy and flavorful roast.
- Slice against the grain. The best way to slice roast beef is against the grain and into thin, even slices. This also is perfect for those sandwiches the next day, ha!
- Use a seasoning blend. A great way to save time is to swap the seasonings in the recipe for a store-bought Italian, Cajun, or Montreal steak seasoning blend.
- Use different herbs and spices. Swap the seasonings in the herb coating with your favorites! Dried parsley, dried sage, marjoram, garlic powder, onion flakes, smoked paprika, and red pepper flakes would all be delicious. While fresh herbs may sound better, they don’t work as a coating for meat because they burn quickly.
Alternative cooking methods-
This exact recipe can be cooked in several other ways and achieve the same delicious results. Here is what I have personally tested successfully-
- Pot roast: Keep the seasoned beef as it is then submerge it in a Dutch oven (my preferred pot) or stockpot (next best option) with 4-5 inches worth of beef broth. Cook on low heat for 4-5 hours.
- Slow cooker: This is a little more time-consuming but well worth it! Sear the seasoned beef in a skillet on all sides then add it to a slow cooker. Add enough beef broth to cover half the beef and cook on low for 8-10 hours.
Please note that two methods will yield meat that falls off the bone versus tender sliced.
To store: Let the leftovers cool to room temperature and place them in an airtight container. The beef will stay fresh in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.
To freeze: Wrap the beef in aluminum foil or place it in a freezer-safe container. Freeze for 2 to 3 months. Let the leftovers thaw in the fridge before reheating.
The best way to go all out is to use the leftovers in sandwiches, like a Italian beef sandwich.
You can also toss the thinly sliced roast beef with your favorite combination of salad greens, fresh veggies, and dressing, just like in this steak salad recipe. And when your beef stew or vegetable soup needs extra bulk, stir in the leftover meat!
More impressive ways to cook beef
- London broil
- Garlic Butter Steak Bites
- Beef Wellington
- Hanger Steak
- Beef Short Ribs
- Eye of round roast
Frequently asked questions
The total cooking time varies depending on the size of the roast and your desired level of doneness. In this recipe, a 4-pound top round roast takes 15 minutes to sear at 450°F, then approximately 1 hour to finish cooking to medium-rare at 350ºF. Aim to increase the roasting time by 15 minutes per pound.
If you want! You can baste the beef by spooning the drippings in the bottom of the pan over the top as it roasts. This can keep the beef moist and juicy, but be careful not to overdo it as the drippings can make the seared crust soggy.
Top Round Roast Recipe
- 4 lbs top round roast
- 4 teaspoons oregano dried
- 4 teaspoons thyme dried
- 2 teaspoons Rosemary dried
- 2 teaspoons salt coarse
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon mustard powder
- Preheat oven to 220C/450°F.
- Combine all ingredients and rub evenly on the top round roast.
- Place the roast in a shallow roasting pan fitted with a rack.
- Roast for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 180C/350°F. Roast for around 50 minutes, or until the beef reaches an internal temperature of 140°F.
- Remove the roast from the oven and tent it loosely with foil. Let the meat rest for 10-15 minutes before carving against the grain.
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