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Slow-Roasted Oven Recipe for Perfect Roast Beef

This roast beef recipe is lip-smackingly succulent.

This roast beef recipe is lip-smackingly succulent.

Slow Cooked Roast Beef in Oven

This recipe is simple and simply amazing. Its simplicity is its strength; the result is a mouthwateringly succulent and savory hunk of homemade roast beef. I bet you'll be like me: you won't be buying store-bought roast beef ever again.

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

Gravy Ingredients

  • Drippings from the 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
Ingredients for delectable roast beef

Ingredients for delectable roast beef

How to Prep Roast Beef for the Oven

  1. 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 the oven.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Place a drip pan under the roast to catch the drippings for the gravy you will make later.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

How to Prepare Gravy for Roast Beef

  1. 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).
  2. If you do not have much in the way of drippings, you can always add a little butter to make up for them.
  3. 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.
  4. Remove any pieces of garlic that may have fallen in. I added a little dash of Worcestershire sauce to the mix as well.
  5. 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.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. 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!

Photo Guide

Step 1: Let the roast sit out for about an hour

Step 1: Let the roast sit out for about an hour

Step 2: Sliver the garlic and stuff it in the meat

Step 2: Sliver the garlic and stuff it in the meat

Step 3: Oil the cut and spice it to your tastes

Step 3: Oil the cut and spice it to your tastes

Step 4: Let it rest, and then slice it up!

Step 4: Let it rest, and then slice it up!

How to Eat It

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 I 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 with Swiss cheese, a panini, or an open-faced sandwich with leftover gravy.

What Should I Make to Go With My Roast?

Red Potatoes


  • 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


  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Spray an 8 x 8 square pan with cooking spray.
  3. Scrub potatoes and remove any blemishes, but leave the skin intact.
  4. 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.)
  5. Add a few teaspoons of olive oil. Sprinkle with herbs of choice (I used tarragon, rosemary, thyme, and marjoram).
  6. Add salt or pepper to taste or just leave as is with herbs and oil.
  7. 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.)
  8. Turn out into the pan and place in the oven. Cook uncovered for 20 minutes.
  9. Flip the potatoes over, loosen any browning in the bottom of the pan, spray with cooking spray, and return to oven for 20 minutes.
  10. 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


  • 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.


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. 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).
  5. 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.
  6. 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!


Which Part of the Animal Does Roast Beef Come From?

Realistically, whichever part you like! Roast beef is exactly that: roast beef. You can use whichever cut of beef tickles your fancy. If you're looking for the most bang for your buck, you might go for a cheap cut, such as chuck steak. However, if you're searching for the best cut for sandwiches, you're going to be on the lookout for something with ample marbling, such as a bottom roast.

Which Cut of Meat Is Best for Roast Beef?

You may find that you prefer one cut over another. I recommend trying a couple different cuts before you settle into a favorite! I find that tri-tip is the best for roast beef because of how well it takes on flavor and how tender it is. However, it's a bit pricey.

  • For Value: Eye of round roast, rump roast, sirloin tip roast, ball tip roast
  • For Tenderness and Flavor: Top round roast (often misnamed "London broil," which is a method of cooking, not a cut of meat.), tri-tip roast, prime rib, petite tender roast (Teres Major)

At What Temperature Do You Cook Roast Beef?

375 degrees for a half-hour, and then 225 degrees for 1–3 hours depending on the size of your roast and your oven. You'll need a meat thermometer to keep track of the meat's internal temp. You're shooting for 160 degrees, and you'll want to pull the meat out before it reaches 160 because it'll continue to cook for a bit after it's removed from the oven.

When Should I Cut My Roast Beef?

Let the roast rest for 10–20 minutes before you cut it.

Why Does Roast Beef Sometimes Look Green?

It has to do with the way that light reflects off of the meat. In one of their food and safety pamphlets, the USDA says that "Meat contains iron, fat, and other compounds. When light hits a slice of meat, it splits into colors like a rainbow. There are various pigments in meat compounds that can give it an iridescent or greenish cast when exposed to heat and processing. Wrapping the meat in airtight packages and storing it away from light will help prevent this situation. Iridescence does not represent decreased quality or safety of the meat."

How Do I Cook Roast Beef Without a Thermometer?

Ideally, you'd have a meat thermometer. You can pick one up somewhat

What Kind of Meat Thermometer Should I Get?

Thermaworks' super-fast classic thermapen is lab-quality, reliable, instant-read, and just plain awesome—but at $80 a pop, this price may be prohibitive for some. Fortunately, they make a $24 option that is nearly identical but takes 5–6 seconds to give you a reading.

What Should My Roast Beef’s Ideal Temperature Be?

160 degrees! Remember that your beef's internal temperature will continue to rise for a few minutes even after you pull it out of the oven.

Questions & Answers

Question: Will cooking at 160 degrees Fahrenheit give me a well-done roast?

Answer: Yes, 170 degrees is well-done, but if you take it out between 160 and 165 degrees and let it rest, it will continue cooking to well-done.

Question: How long will a 3-pound roast beef take to cook in a 300-degree oven?

Answer: Every roast is going to be different. The only way to assure that it is done to the desired degree (rare, medium rare, medium, etc) is to use a meat thermometer. If you do that, it will be perfect.

Question: How long do I cook a 14 lb beef roast at 225 degrees?

Answer: I would still go with braising it - meaning cooking it for 15-20 minutes at 450 degrees, and then lowering the temperature to 325 for the remainder of the time. It would be about 20 minutes per pound for medium rare - so about 4-1/2 hours for a large roast like that. I would always use a meat thermometer though. I would still look it up on the Internet and do some more research for that one as that sounds like a very large roast.

© 2009 Audrey Kirchner