A top round roast is a relatively lean section of meat taken from the inside of a cowís hind leg. Despite being an inexpensive slice of meat, it is lean and very flavorful. Like its name suggests, roasting is the most common way to cook a top round roast, although it can be incorporated into stews. Once the meat reaches the desired temperature, it can be eaten right away or even used as deli-style roast beef.[1]

  • 1 top round roast
  • fresh parsley, chopped
  • Dijon mustard
  • olive oil
  • unsalted ****er
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 shallot, minced


EditSeasoning the Roast

  1. Defrost the roast for up to 2 days in the refrigerator. This process can take a while due to the size of the roast, so get started ahead of time. Leave the roast in its original packaging while it thaws. You will have an easier time rubbing in the spices and cooking the meat after it is unfrozen.[2]

    • If youíre in a hurry, you can try defrosting it in the microwave. Heat it at a low temperature until it is no longer frozen.
    • Another way to speed up defrosting is to submerge the meat under cold water. Do this only if your roast is in a watertight container. Change the water out as it warms.

  2. Remove the roast from the refrigerator an hour ahead of time. The wait time brings the roast up to room temperature, causing it to cook more evenly. It wonít be out long enough to make bacteria an issue. You can vary the resting time between 30 minutes and 2 hours, depending on how much time you have available.[3]

    • If you need to get the roast in the oven right away, that is fine. It will still cook well and taste good.

  3. Mix all ingredients besides the roast in a separate bowl. Choose a mixing bowl and pour of olive oil into it. Add of Dijon mustard along with of ****er, of chopped parsley, and a minced shallot. Sprinkle in about of both salt and pepper before stirring the ingredients into a paste.[4]
    • You can mix the ingredients 24 hours in advance and put them in a bag with the roast. The meat will absorb more of the flavors while the salt draws out flavor from the meat.
    • Experiment with your ingredients. For example, you can leave out the shallot and mustard. You can add other herbs and spices or make a balsamic glaze.

  4. Rub the entire surface of the top round roast with the paste. If you have a basting brush, use it to easily coat the outer surface of your roast. A brush is helpful if your mixture is too liquid. You can also pour the paste onto the roast and try to spread it using a knife or other tool.[5]
    • Dry rubs and pastes can usually be worked into the meat by hand. If youíre not shy about getting your hands dirty, you donít need to reach for a brush.

EditRoasting the Meat

  1. Preheat your oven to . Turn on your oven and give it a few minutes to get up to the proper temperature. Once it is heated, begin cooking the roast as soon as you can. You may see recipes using wildly different temperatures, and cooking the beef at a different temperature is fine if you want to experiment.[6]

    • Lower temperatures mean slower cooking, so adjust your timer accordingly.
    • Instead of using an oven, you can cook roasts in a dutch oven. Start by searing the meat in oil, then add beef stock and other ingredients. Put the dutch oven in your oven for 2 to 3 hours.[7]
    • Another option is a slow cooker. Sear the meat before adding all of your ingredients to the slow cooker. Cook for about 4 to 6 hours on high or 8 to 10 hours on low.

  2. Place the roast in a roasting pan with the fat side up. Look for a layer of white fat on top of the red meat. This fatty end will usually appear rounded, while the opposite end is flatter and easier to rest against your roasting pan. Put the roast directly in the center of the pan.[8]
    • You can also use a roasting rack. Fit it over a roasting pan or baking sheet, which will catch any dripping juices. If you use a slow cooker, donít use a rack and instead cook the roast in the stock or other liquid you use.
    • Another option is an oven bag. Seal the roast in the bag, then set it in a pan. Cut a few vents in the top.

  3. Multiply the weight of the roast by 21 minutes to find your cooking time. For example, a top round roast takes about 84 minutes, or 1 ľ hours. Larger roasts take longer to cook than smaller roasts. Similarly, a cold roast takes a little longer to cook than one at room temperature. Keep a close eye on your roast and test it with a meat thermometer if you arenít sure it is done.[9]

    • This is the average time to get your top round roast to medium rare. If you want it to be closer to well done, expect it take 30 to 35 minutes per pound. Roasts are best served medium rare, though.
    • The average roasting time can also vary depending on your oven and the heat setting you use.

  4. Place the meat on a center rack in your oven. Position the meat, making sure it is in or over a pan that can catch any dripping juices. Close the door as soon as possible so the heat doesnít escape. Then, set your timer as your roast begins to cook.
  5. Cook the roast in the oven for about 1 ľ hours. Leave the roast in the oven for the amount of time you calculated earlier. Donít open the oven door if you can help it, since doing so lets out the heat. If you think the roast may be done before the time is up, you should definitely check it to avoid overcooking.[10]

    • You can start the roasting process at a higher temperature, then lower it after about 15 minutes. The high temperature can give the roast a nice, brown sear.
    • Another option for browning is to heat olive oil in a pan, then sear the meat about 2 minutes per side. Put the roast in the oven when you are done.

  6. Use a thermometer to test the roast for a temperature of . Slide the thermometerís tip into the center of the roast about 30 minutes before the cooking time is up. A temperature of indicates a medium-rare roast, but you should remove the roast before it reaches this level of doneness.[11]

    • A rare roast has a temperature between when it is done.
    • A medium roast reaches , while a well done roast reaches .

EditServing the Meat

  1. Take the roast out of the oven before it finishes cooking. The meat gets hot enough that it continues cooking even after it is taken out of the oven. Plan on taking it out when it is 5 to 10 degrees below the desired internal temperature. This way, you get the exact doneness you want in your meat.[12]
    • For example, if you want a medium-rare roast, remove the roast from the oven at the mark.

  2. Tent the roast in foil and leave it on your counter. Move the pan to a safe location, such as a counter or your stovetop. To tent the roast, wrap a piece of aluminum foil over the top of the pan. The foil seals in the heat, allowing the roast to finish cooking to its final temperature. You do not have to remove your thermometer if you used it to test the meat earlier.[13]
    • If you have the roast on a rack, take it off the rack and wrap it loosely in foil. Be careful not to burn your fingers!

  3. Allow the roast to rest for 15 minutes before carving. The additional waiting time is needed for the roast to cook up to the proper temperature. It also allows the juices to seal inside the meat. Instead of getting a bloody mess, you get a juicier piece of meat when you finally cut the roast.[14]
  4. Cut the meat into thick slices against the grain. Unwrap the roast and look closely at its surface. You should be able to see lines running across it, which are the meatís muscle fibers. Instead of cutting along those lines, cut across them. The exact size of cuts doesnít matter, but try slicing the beef as thinly as possible for lots of flavor with a minimal amount of chewing.[15]
    • Use a sharp knife to ensure the meat cuts cleanly.
    • Cutting the meat against the grain leads to delicious, tender pieces that are easier to chew.

  5. Store leftovers in airtight containers in the refrigerator or freezer. You can wrap the beef tightly in plastic or foil if you donít have a container big enough. Also consider cutting the beef into multiple chunks in order to make storage easier. Keep it in the refrigerator if you plan on using it right away or make use of the freezer for long-term storage.[16]
    • The beef should last up to 4 days in the refrigerator. If it looks slimy or smells bad, throw it away.
    • Beef stored in the freezer will last up to 3 months. You can defrost it as needed before storing it in the refrigerator.


  • Consider making gravy with the drippings from the roasting pan. Drain excess fat, then combine the remainder with a mixture of milk and water boiled over medium heat.
  • Increase the amount of olive oil you use in your rub if the roast is very lean. The oilís fat is essential in keeping the meat moist while it roasts.
  • Top round roasts can also be braised in sauces in a slow cooker or Dutch oven, although roasting is more common with top round roasts.

EditThings You'll Need

  • Roasting pan
  • Mixing bowl
  • Measuring spoons
  • Oven
  • Meat thermometer
  • Aluminum foil
  • Sharp knife

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