Roast Beef With Garlic and Thyme

Cooked roast beef on a white plate
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  • 105 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 90 mins
  • Yield: 6 to 8 Servings
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This lean roast beef is rubbed with a savory mixture of garlic, lemon zest, and herbs. The roast is cooked at a higher temperature for the first 10 minutes, and then it's slow-roasted to perfection.

This is an excellent roast beef for a Sunday dinner, and the leftovers can be used in sandwiches, on salads, or in casseroles, like this shepherd's pie.

See the tips and variations below the recipe for a basic pan gravy.

What You'll Need

  • 1 tablespoon butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic cut in half
  • 1 beef roast, about 3 pounds, eye of round, top round, sirloin roast, etc.
  • thinly sliced red onion and tomato slices for garnish

How to Make It

Heat the oven to 450 F.

In a small bowl combine butter, lemon peel, thyme, salt, and pepper.

Rub garlic halves over the surface of beef roast.

Spread butter and herb mixture over roast, coating the beef thoroughly on all sides.

Place the meat on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Roast uncovered in the preheated 450 F oven for 10 minutes.

Reduce temperature to 325 F; roast the beef about 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 minutes longer.

A meat thermometer should register about 145 F for medium.*

Remove roast from oven, cover loosely with foil, and let stand for 10 minutes before slicing.

Place slices on a serving dish and place onion and tomato slices around the edge.

Serve immediately.

Roast beef serves 6 to 8.

*According to the USDA, the minimum safe temperature for beef is 145 F. Here's a chart of doneness temperatures:

Steak/Beef Temperature Chart

  • Rare120 F - 125 F (48.9 C to 51.6 C)
  • Medium-rare130 F - 135 F (54.4 C to 57.2 C)
  • Medium140 F - 145 F (60 C to 62.8 C)
  • Medium-well150 F - 155 F (65.5 C to 68.3 C)
  • Well done160 F (71.1 C) and above

Tips and Variations

  • To make a pan gravy, pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the drippings left in the pan. Place the pan over medium heat. Combine 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 1/4 cup of water and stir into the drippings. Add 2 cups of beef stock and cook, stirring, until thickened and bubbling.

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