Rosemary and Garlic Beef Top Round Roast with Roasted Potatoes

A confession: I don’t really know how to cook the beef roasts that I remember my parents making for Sunday supper, when I was growing up. I can deal with expensive cuts, like standing rib roasts or chateaubriand, great hunks of beef so perfectly marbled that the less you do to it, the better the result. But my efforts to turn cheaper beef roasts, like the everyday top round, into delicious dinners more often than not results in either a well-done braise or an accidental pot roast.

Beef Top Round Roast

Cooking a cheap hunk of beef slow and low until it falls apart into shreds is fine, but sometimes I’m wanting more of a carving, slicing situation, with perfectly medium rare beef that I can swipe through a slash of horseradish cream. Impossible with an inexpensive cut, you say? Nay.

Beef Top Round Roast

This technique is super easy, pretty fast, uses just a handful of ingredients, and is nearly foolproof. In just an hour, you’ll have carveable, craveable slices of beef roast that rival the $17.95 “Queen Cut” special at your local prime rib joint. Well, the scuzzy one, anyway. No, not that one. The one by the check cashing place.

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Rosemary and Garlic Beef Top Round Roast with Potatoes
Serves 8
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
55 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
55 min
160 calories
20 g
4 g
8 g
3 g
2 g
134 g
52 g
2 g
0 g
6 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 160
Calories from Fat 75
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 8g
Saturated Fat 2g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 4mg
Sodium 52mg
Total Carbohydrates 20g
Dietary Fiber 2g
Sugars 2g
Protein 3g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  2. 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  3. 6 garlic cloves, minced
  4. 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  5. Coarse salt and ground pepper
  6. 1 top round beef roast (3 pounds), trimmed and tied
  7. 2 pounds fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise
For the horseradish sauce
  1. 1/4 cup sour cream
  2. 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, combine 3 tablespoons oil, rosemary, garlic, and lemon zest; season with salt and pepper. In a Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high. Add beef to skillet. Increase heat to high and cook, turning with tongs, until beef is browned on all sides, about 10 minutes.
  2. Brush or spoon rosemary mixture over roast and place in oven. Roast 20 minutes. Remove from oven and place potatoes around roast, tossing in pan juices. Roast until potatoes are tender and beef is medium-rare (an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of roast should read 115 to 120 degrees), 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer roast to a cutting board, loosely tent with foil, and let rest 10 minutes. Toss potatoes with pan juices; tent with foil. Thinly slice meat against the grain and serve with potatoes.
For the horseradish sauce
  1. Combine ingredients in a small bowl, and stir to combine.
Adapted from Martha Stewart
Adapted from Martha Stewart
From Away

Malcolm Bedell is co-author of the critically acclaimed "Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road," as well as Brocavore, a blog focusing on street food culture, and the junk food-centric "Spork & Barrel." His contributions include Serious Eats, Down East, L.A. Weekly, The Guardian, and The Huffington Post and his food truck, "'Wich, Please," was named "Hottest Restaurant in Maine" for 2015 by Eater. Finally, he finds it very silly to be trying to write this in the third person.


  1. I made this last weekend. Delicious! (Although we did find that we needed to get the internal temperature to 140-145 degrees to get it to medium-rare.) We sliced the leftovers into sliver-thin slices for sandwiches, and froze some for hot roast beef sandwiches/roast beef hash.

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  2. ^^^ I, too, wish recipes like this gave the amount of time PER POUND. I almost never have a roast that’s exactly the size mentioned in the recipe. This recipe sounds terrific and I think I’ll try it, but I will have to keep checking the roast to make sure it doesn’t over-cook (we like it quite rare!). Thanks!

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    1. I noticed that this is virtually the same recipe as Martha Stewart’s online. Very similar wording. Martha’s says an ovenproof skillet should be used. Maybe that’s where that came from?

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  3. OK. I’m gonna try this right now. And I pray that it comes out of the oven tender and pink. But I’m skeptical that it’s gonna turn out tender enough. So I’ve already decided that if it is tough, I’m throwing it into the crock pot for a while so it will get tender.

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