Slow-Roasted Oven Recipe for Perfect Roast Beef
I wanted to learn how to slow-cook a roast in the oven. This recipe was so basic (but still mouthwateringly delicious) and so easy that it was a keeper for me! I actually was skeptical about the cooking time that was listed in the recipe I had seen on SimplyRecipes and am glad that I did not follow the recipe exactly because the cook time listed there was far in excess of what was actually needed.
By tweaking the recipe a bit, I ended up with a rump roast that was super moist and wonderfully tender. Cutting the leftover roast into paper-thin slices will be perfect for sandwiches like roast beef sandwiches with Swiss cheese, in a panini, or as an open-faced sandwich with leftover gravy.
Oven-Roasted Roast Beef And Gravy
- 3 to 3-1/2 lb. boneless rump roast
- Olive oil
- Peeled garlic
- Salt and pepper
- Herbs (optional) - tarragon, thyme, marjoram, rosemary in combination or to taste
- Drippings from drip pan
- Red wine or port, water and/or beef stock (divided - about 1/8 to 1/4 cup - about 1 cup total liquid used but tweak to preference of thick or thin gravy)
- Cornstarch (about 1 tablespoon)
- Worcestershire sauce (dab) - optional
Prepping the Roast Beef
- Let the roast sit out for about an hour at room temperature, but keep it in wrapping. Remove the wrapping when ready to put in oven.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Sliver some garlic, and then stab a few sliver-sized holes in the roast so that you can insert the garlic slivers around the roast. You as many or as few as you like.
- Pour a few teaspoons of olive oil on the roast, and smear it all around the meat. Then salt and pepper it to taste on all sides. Add herbs to the rub at this point if desired.
- Put the roast into the oven, and set it directly on the oven rack. NOTE: Mine was a rather triangular cut and wanted to fall over, so I propped it against the oven thermometer to keep it upright. The idea here is that you want the fat side up so that the fat will run down over the meat as it cooks and keep it moist and tender.
- Place a drip pan under the roast to catch the drippings for the gravy you will make later.
- Cook at 375 for 30 minutes only. Again, the roast is not in a pan but right on the oven rack so the drippings will be going down into the drip pan below. You do not need to turn the roast at all.
- Reduce the temperature to 225 degrees. NOTE: I used a 3-1/2 pound roast, and the original recipe said to cook the roast another 2-3 hours. Luckily, I have a meat thermometer with a probe that I insert in the meat, and the monitor sits outside the oven. I did not even cook the roast 1 hour, and it was registering 135 so that is why I think the cooking time is off in the recipe.
- I would use a meat thermometer of any kind (such as an instant-read thermometer or an oven-safe one) to check the meat's internal temperature after 30 minutes when you reduce the heat to 225 degrees. You want to get a reading of 135-140 degrees. The roast will continue to cook once it is outside the oven, so that temperature (135-140) would be for medium rare. If you wanted the end result to be medium, then you would let it go to about 150-155. The meat will probably go up at least another 5 degrees upon being removed from the oven but always check with a thermometer.
- Once removed from the oven, cover with foil until ready to carve.
I did find this recipe so simple to do, and you could increase the time and do larger roasts quite easily. I was worried it would make a frightful mess of the oven, but with the drip pan, it really was okay. And there was not a lot of smoking because the temperature was fairly low after the initial 375 degrees for 30 minutes.
Also of note, the recipe suggests that if you want more drippings to accumulate in the drip pan, turn the heat down further to 175 and that should ease out more drippings. I found the drippings adequate at the above temp, but recipes are for tweaking.
Preparing the Gravy
- Take the drip pan out of the oven, and place it over medium heat (or add a little beef broth or water/wine to the drippings, stir, and then scrape the result into a small pan).
- If you do not have much in the way of drippings, you can always add a little butter to make up for them.
- Add water, beef broth, red wine, or port to the drippings and deglaze (loosen the drippings and combine into the liquid). I added about 1/8 to 1/4 cup at this point, but my measurements here are not exact. It is all a matter of preference for how much gravy you are making and deciding how thin or thick you want it. This is just to get the base going, but in the end, I think my total liquid use was about 1 cup.
- Remove any pieces of garlic that may have fallen in. I added a little dash of worcestershire sauce to the mix as well.
- Dissolve about a tablespoon of cornstarch in a small amount of water and add to the drip pan, whisking all the while. You will see it start to thicken almost immediately so add more water, beef broth, red wine, or port to taste.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- You can also add herbs to taste such as tarragon, rosemary, thyme, or marjoram if you have not put them on the roast as a rub. They each impart the roast with a different flavor individually, or a combination of all of them is great too.
I served this with roasted red potatoes (skins on) and some baked butternut squash. The roast will serve 4-6, but if it is just two of you, you will have plenty left over for lunch meat for sandwiches!
Accompaniments for Your Roast
- 4-8 red potatoes depending on size - scrubbed/skin on
- Olive oil
- Herbs of choice (try tarragon, marjoram, thyme, sage, rosemary)
- Salt and pepper
- Cooking spray
- Heat oven to 400 degrees.
- Spray an 8 x 8 square pan with cooking spray.
- Scrub potatoes and remove any blemishes, but leave skin intact.
- Chunk the potatoes into a bowl or place in a Ziploc bag. (Use as many as will fit comfortably without crowding into the 8 x 8 square pan—there will be a little shrinkage, but the size of the pan is about right for roasted potatoes for two people.)
- Add a few teaspoons of olive oil. Sprinkle with herbs of choice (I used tarragon, rosemary, thyme, and marjoram).
- Add salt or pepper to taste or just leave as is with herbs and oil.
- Stir or shake/toss to coat in Ziploc bag. (I have also added just a few teaspoons of an Italian dressing such as Paul Newman's at this point instead of the olive oil and herbs; it worked just as well.)
- Turn out into the pan and place in oven. Cook uncovered for 20 minutes.
- Flip the potatoes over, loosen any browning in bottom of pan, spray with cooking spray, and return to oven for 20 minutes.
- Check on the potatoes, and bake longer if more browning is desired.
NOTE: You can also roast the potatoes at 425 or 450 degrees, but be sure to watch for browning and cooking time will be reduced per side.
- Butternut squash
- Butter if desired
- Salt if desired
- Cinnamon if desired
- Brown sugar if desired
NOTE: I find that the flavor of butternut squash is so wonderful that I don’t add butter or brown sugar, but some people like squash with those additions. I would recommend not going too heavy on it though with this particular type of squash because it is already a very flavorful squash.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Slice the butternut squash in half the length of its body. Scoop out the seeds. (You can roast the seeds if you like after cleaning, much like pumpkin seeds).
- Sprinkle with salt or even a tad of cinnamon if desired. If using butter or brown sugar, do a smear over the orange flesh of the squash.
- Wrap securely in foil (I always cook mine wrapped in foil. In a pan or on a cookie sheet would work too because you really just want to prevent spills in the oven).
- Bake in the oven for an hour, although cook time will depend on the size of the squash. If you squeeze the squash, it will be soft when you press on it, and that's how you know it is done.
- If you have cooked without butter and brown sugar, you can scoop out the squash's flesh and add a tad of butter, brown sugar, salt, or spices to taste. I find butternut squash to be just perfect as is.
Leftover butternut squash: I have used some of it to stir into soups and stews or added it to potpies rather than flour or potatoes because it has such a great flavor. Also delicious as a soup—and the health benefits are great!