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Top Round Roast Beef

Roast beef can be a delicious Sunday dinner.  My Top Round Roast Beef is so easy to make that you might even want to try it in the middle of the week.  I’ve laid out some easy-to-follow instructions so that you can make a tender, flavorful roast beef that your whole family will love in less time than you might think.  

A medium rare roast beef on a white plate, half of which is sliced.

Roast beef is truly the centerpiece of any meal.  So, it has to be delicious! My roast beef recipe is generously seasoned with flavorful Italian herbs and cooked to a perfect medium rare. I love to serve it with a simple red wine pan sauce to make it extra special.  This recipe is so easy that you don’t need to wait for a special occasion.  Go ahead and make this for your next family dinner!

If you have more time on your hands you will want to try my delicious and economical Bottom Round Roast Beef.

WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE

You are going to love this recipe.  

  • It is so easy to make.  Only a few simple steps and you will have an impressive main course.
  • A top-round roast is a lean cut of meat.  So, if calorie and fat content are a concern, this beef roast is right for you.
  • It’s a relatively inexpensive, but flavorful cut of meat.
  • Leftovers are delicious and versatile.  It is just as good cold as it is warm!      

WHAT IS A TOP-ROUND ROAST

You may have heard of a top round roast referred to as a round roast, an inside round, or a London broil, (although London broil is actually a cooking method rather than the cut of beef).  According to Beef It’s What’s for Dinner, the top round is part of the Round Primal cut of beef.  It comes from the rump and the hind leg area and is called the “top round” because it is the section above the bottom and eye of round primal cuts.

The cow’s hind legs do a lot of work and therefore cuts from this area are muscular with very little fat. This makes it crucial to cook this cut properly to get a flavorful and tender result.

Ingredients with labels for a roast beef, including seasonings, red wine and the roast.

INGREDIENTS YOU NEED

  • Top Round Roast or Bottom Round Roast:  Let the meat sit out at room temperature for 1-2 hours.  The meat will cook more evenly if it is at room temperature before going into the oven.  
  • Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Italian Seasoning, Kosher Salt, and Black Pepper  
  • Olive Oil
  • Red Wine and Butter – optional.  I use the wine and butter to make a sauce to serve with the beef, but if you don’t plan to make the sauce then you will not need these ingredients.

​STEP BY STEP INSTURCTIONS

A collage of 5 photos showing the steps for making a roast beef.

MAKE A TASTY TOP ROUND ROAST

  1. Season: Combine all the seasoning ingredients in a small bowl.  Dry the roast with paper towels, brush it with olive oil on all sides then season it generously with the rub. With a large cut of meat like a roast, there is no way to season the center of the meat.  So, for maximum flavor it is important that you generously season the outside of your roast.  Give those seasonings a chance to permeate the outer layer of meat by letting it sit for about 15 minutes.  This also allows the salt to do its magic and tenderize the meat a bit.
  2. Sear:  In a heavy skillet or a cast iron pan set over high heat, sear the roast on all sides until it is well browned. You may have to hold it with tongs to brown the ends. 
  3. Cook: Place the oven safe skillet in a pre-heated 325°f oven.  Alternatively, you can transfer the roast to a low rimmed roasting pan fitted with a roasting rack. Cook the top round until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the roast reaches a temperature of 125°f – 130°f. A round roast is usually between 2 1/2 and 4 lbs.  So, you will need to adjust your cooking times for the size of your roast.  A 4 lb. roast cooked in an oven set at 325°f took 45 minutes to reach an internal temperature of 125°f degrees.  
  4. Rest:  Once the roast has reached your desired internal temperature, remove it from the oven, transfer it to a cutting board and lightly tent it with aluminum foil.  Let it rest for at least 20-30 minutes.  
  5. Slice:   When you are ready to serve the roast, use a sharp carving knife to cut it across the grain, making sure your slices are very thin. Cutting across the grain will slice through all the tough connective tissue, resulting in more tender piece roast beef.   

​MAKE THE PAN SAUCE

  1. While the roast is resting on the cutting board, place the skillet or roasting pan on the stove set to medium-high heat.  Add the wine and use a wooden spoon to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. 
  2. Once the liquid has reduced by half, add a tablespoon of butter, and gently stir until it is melted then season with salt and pepper to taste.  You can even add some fresh herbs if you like.  Remove it from the heat and pour it into a serving dish or a gravy boat.  
Half a medium rare roast beef with slices laid in front of it.  eef with

COOKING TIPS

The lack of fat in a round roast makes it a lot tougher than some of the more expensive cuts of beef like Prime rib or tenderloin.  But there are some easy things that you can do to make sure that your top round roast beef is moist delicious and tender. 

Rest before cooking – Make sure you rest the meat at room temperature before you cook it.  Giving the roast an hour or two to warm up a bit will ensure that your roast cooks evenly.  If the meat is cold when it goes into the oven the outside will cook much faster than the center, resulting in a large ring of dry meat around a rare center.

Don’t skip the sear – Browning the outer layer of meat creates a rich flavor packed crust. If you don’t want to sear it on the stovetop, you can sear it in the oven.  Start by setting your oven to 450°f.  When the oven is pre-heated, place your roast in the oven for 15 minutes.  This will sear the outside of the meat quickly.  Then, immediately turn the heat down to 325°f and let the roast finish cooking. 

Do not overcook your roast! –  Cooking the meat to the right temperature is probably the single most important thing that you can do.  Remember that this is a very lean and unforgiving piece of beef, so if it is overcooked it will dry out!  I would not rely on cooking time alone to determine doneness.  Using an instant read thermometer will ensure that you cook a perfect roast beef every time. 

Final Rest – This is also an important step because the juices need to redistribute in the roast to create moisture.  If you don’t give the roast time to rest, all of the juices will run out when you cut into it leaving you with a dry rather than a juicy piece of beef.  After all you did to get here, take the time to let your roast rest.  You will be so happy that you did!

HOW TO SERVE ROAST BEEF

This really is a versatile recipe.  You can serve a roast beef as the centerpiece of a fabulous dinner with a side of vegetables, Italian Scalloped Potatoes or a Green Bean and Potato Salad. But it is also perfect sliced very thin, for a more casual dinner like Beef on Weck sandwiches (a Buffalo, NY favorite), Roast Beef Sliders with Cheese or even a French dip with au jus.  Roast beef also makes a great addition to a salad.  

A roast beef cooked to medium rare on a white place with a stripped cloth and a sprig of rosemary.

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO COOK A TOP-ROUND ROAST BEEF

One of the best ways to cook this meat is low and slow like smoking or in a slow cooker or Dutch oven.  A pot roast is a good example.  The other option is to sear it under high heat, roast it in the oven, and then cut it very thin across the grain, as in this recipe.  Top round roasts are often used to make tasty deli roast beef which is cooked rare and sliced super thin. 

I can’t stress this enough, but when oven-roasting a top-round roast, it is important not to overcook it.  The more well-done the meat is, the drier it will be.  For this reason, you don’t want to cook your roast beyond medium rare.  A meat thermometer is an essential tool in cooking your roast to the optimal temperature. You don’t want the internal temperature to go beyond 130°f (medium rare). 

STORING LEFTOVER ROAST BEEF

Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Just be sure to place them in an airtight container or a plastic storage bag.  If you want to freeze leftovers, I suggest storing them in a freezer bag with all the air pressed out.  

MORE BEEF RECIPES

We love beef in our house! During the colder months a hearty Beef Stew , Short Rib Ragu or Bolognese Sauce always hits the spot. You will also love my very easy but delicious Steak Pizzaiola, which is perfect for a weeknight dinner.

I love to get your feedback so if you tried this Top Round Roast Recipe or any other recipes on this website, please leave me a comment below.  I hope you enjoy our recipes and look forward to hearing from you!

You can also follow me on FacebookInstagram and Pinterest for more recipes your family will love!

A roast beef cooked to medium rare on a white place with a stripped cloth and a sprig of rosemary.

Top Round Roast with Italian Herb Seasoning

Top Round Roast with a simple Italian herb seasoning is the perfect centerpiece for a Sunday dinner or for slicing up and making sandwiches. Cook it to medium rare and slice it very thin for a juicy tender roast beef that won't put a dent in your wallet.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Resting time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Course dinner, Main Course, Snack
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 8 servings
Calories 434 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Instant Read Thermometer
  • 1 Cast iron pan or
  • 1 Roasting pan with a rack

Ingredients
  

  • 4 lb Top Round Roast or Bottom Round Roast, allowed to sit at room temperature for 1-2 hours
  • 4 tbsp Olive oil divided
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Onion powder
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • ½ tsp Black Pepper ground
  • 1 cup Red wine optional
  • 2 tbsp Butter optional

Instructions
 

  • Combine all the seasoning ingredients in a small bowl.  Dry the roast with paper towels, brush it with olive oil on all sides then season it generously with the rub. Let it rest for about 15 minutes.  
  • Pre-heat the oven to 325℉. Set a heavy skillet or a cast iron skillet over high heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot, sear the roast on all sides. You may need to hold the roast with tongs to sear the ends.
  • When the roast is nicely browned, insert an oven safe digital thermometer or meat thermometer in the thickest part of the roast and place the pan in the oven. You can also transfer the beef to a low rimmed pan fitted with a roasting rack.
  • The roast beef is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 125℉-130℉. I would recommend starting to check the temperature after 30 minute to make sure that you don't overcook the roast. If you have a smaller roast, begin checking at about 20 minutes.
  • Remove the roast from the oven and transfer it to a cutting board or a plate. Tent it loosely with aluminum foil and let it rest for 20- 30 minutes. The temperature of the meat will continue to rise slightly.
  • To serve the roast, use a sharp carving knife or an electric knife to cut thin slices across the grain of the meat.

Red Wine Pan Sauce

  • While the roast is resting on the cutting board, place the skillet or roasting pan on the stove set to medium-high heat.  Add the wine and use a wooden spoon to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Once the liquid has reduced by half, add a tablespoon of butter, and gently stir until it is melted, then season with salt and pepper to taste.  You can even add some fresh herbs if you like.  Remove it from the heat and pour it into a serving dish or a gravy boat.  

Notes

COOKING TIPS

The lack of fat in a round roast makes it a lot tougher than some of the more expensive cuts of beef like Prime rib or tenderloin.  But there are some easy things that you can do to make sure that your top round roast beef is moist delicious and tender. 
  • Rest before cooking – Make sure you rest the meat at room temperature before you cook it.  Giving the roast an hour or two to warm up a bit will ensure that your roast cooks evenly throughout.  If the meat is cold when it goes into the oven the outside will cook much faster than the center, resulting in a large ring of dry meat around a rare center.
  • Don’t skip the sear – Browning the outer layer of meat creates a rich flavor packed crust. If you don’t want to sear it on the stovetop, you can sear it in the oven.  Start by setting your oven to 450°f.  When the oven is pre-heated, place your roast in the oven for 15 minutes.  This will sear the outside of the meat quickly.  Then, immediately turn the heat down to 325°f and let the roast finish cooking.  
  • Do not overcook your roast! –  Cooking the meat to the right temperature is probably the single most important thing that you can do.  Remember that this is a very lean and unforgiving piece of beef, so if it is over cooked it will dry out!  I would not rely on cooking time alone to determine doneness.  Using an instant read thermometer will ensure that you cook a perfect roast beef every time. 
  • Final Rest – This is also an important step because the juices need to redistribute in the roast and create moisture.  If you don’t give the roast time to rest, all of the juices will run out when you cut into it leaving you with a dry rather than a juicy piece of beef.  After all you did to get here, take the time to let your roast rest.  You will be so happy that you did!

Nutrition

Serving: 8servingsCalories: 434kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 51gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 148mgSodium: 442mgPotassium: 827mgFiber: 0.3gSugar: 0.2gVitamin A: 97IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 56mgIron: 5mg
Keyword Beef, Round Roast, top round roast, red wine pan sauce, Italian herbs, oven roast
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