A flavorful seasoning mix and special cooking technique create this perfectly Tender Eye of Round Roast Beef with Gravy. A meal special enough for a holiday but economical enough to serve any day of the week!
I’m really excited about this recipe, friends. If you’ve tried some of my recipes in the past and trust me, even just a little bit, I hope you will get this perfectly tender roast beef with gravy on your menu very soon. It has been a weird year and I know we’re all changing up our holiday traditions a bit. It is my hope that this delicious but less expensive roast beef recipe comes to you at a good time.
We most often think of beef tenderloin or prime rib when it comes to tender roasted beef. But, you’ve really got something special when you can create a juicy, tender roast with an inexpensive cut like the eye of round! There is no need to reserve this meal for a special occasion. This recipe allows you to enjoy a roast beef dinner anytime the craving strikes.
Table of contents
What is an Eye of Round Roast?
An eye of round is a lean but flavorful cut that comes from the “round” or hindquarters of the cow. This area gets a lot of movement so the beef is leaner and less tender than more expensive cuts of beef. The eye of round is an excellent choice for cooking on a budget and can be roasted to juicy, tender perfection if you know how to cook it properly.
The budget-friendly eye of round roast is my favorite cut for roast beef but other cuts will work. More cuts from the round area include top or bottom round, rump, or sirloin tip. This cut is also the best choice for my family’s favorite Deli Style Roast Beef.
- Eye of round roasts are typically easy to find at most grocery store chains. I buy mine at Costco. They sell prime eye of round roasts in a 2-pack at a very competitive price.
- Like my Instant Pot Pot Roast and Classic Stovetop Beef Stew, the key to the flavor in this recipe comes from a special seasoning mix for roast beef. It is made up of aromatic, flavorful dry spices – rosemary, thyme, granulated garlic, onion powder, paprika, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
- A little red wine goes a long way in adding great flavor to the luscious roast beef gravy. Most red wine will work just fine but I recommend going with a full-bodied cabernet sauvignon or a flavorful pinot noir or merlot. If you don’t cook with wine, you can sub an equal amount of beef broth.
- Browning sauce, like Kitchen Bouquet, is a great way to richen up the color and enhance the flavor of the gravies, stews, and meaty dishes. It has been a kitchen staple for home cooks since the 1800’s!
How to Cook an Eye of Round Roast
- Remove your roast from the refrigerator and allow it to rest on the counter for 45 minutes to take the chill off. Combine all the Roast Beef Seasoning Mix ingredients in a small bowl.
- Pat your roast with paper towels to dry the surface.
- Drizzle the roast with olive oil and use your hands to rub the olive oil, coating all sides.
- Sprinkle all sides, including ends, with the seasoning mix.
- Place your roast on a rack in a roasting pan with the fat cap side facing up. Transfer it to your preheated to 500 degrees F oven. Roast for 15 minutes until nicely browned. Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F and continue to roast for another 40 to 50 minutes. I don’t recommend cooking this roast beyond 130 to 135 degrees F (medium rare) for the most tender, delicious result. Watch it closely because the temperature can rise quickly towards the end of the cooking time. An instant read thermometer is a must have kitchen item for roasting meats to perfection.
- Transfer the roast to a cutting board to rest for about 20 minutes before slicing it against the grain.
How to Make Perfect Roast Beef Gravy
- After slicing the roast, pour those precious juices that have accumulated on your cutting board into the roasting pan with the rest of the drippings. Drippings equal a more flavorful gravy! Place the roasting pan over medium heat and add the red wine. Whisk, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom, for several minutes to cook off some of the wine.
- Add the low sodium beef broth.
- Add a paste mixture of softened butter and flour. Whisk the gravy vigorously until the butter mixture is completely melted into the sauce.
- Add a little browning sauce (a little goes a long way!). Bring the mixture to a low boil. Reduce the heat as needed to keep the gravy at a low simmer until thickened, whisking occasionally. Transfer to a gravy boat for serving.
What to Serve with Roast Beef and Gravy
In my opinion, mashed potatoes are absolutely required as a base for this luscious gravy. My Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes are the perfect choice.
Delicious veggie side dish choices include my Broccoli Pearl Onion Casserole, Bourbon Glazed Carrots, Honey Roasted Carrots and Brussels Sprouts, or Green Beans with Almonds and Bacon.
How Much Roast Beef Per Person?
When roast beef is the star of the meal and is served with a few sides, I recommend planning for 1/2 pound per person. Leftovers of this Tender Eye of Round Roast Beef are delicious served cold on sandwiches!
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Tender Eye of Round Roast Beef with Gravy
- 2 ½ to 3 ½ pound eye of round roast
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, or enough to generously coat all sides
Roast Beef Seasoning Mix
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon dried crushed rosemary
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ¾ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- ¾ teaspoon granulated garlic or garlic powder
- ¾ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
Roast Beef Gravy
- 2 tablespoons softened butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup red wine, like cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir, or merlot
- 2 cups low sodium beef broth
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon browning sauce, like Kitchen Bouquet
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Remove your roast from the refrigerator and allow it to rest on the counter for 45 minutes to 1 hour to take the chill off.
- Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 500 degrees F.
- Combine all the Roast Beef Seasoning Mix ingredients in a small bowl.
- Pat your roast with paper towels to dry the surface and then drizzle with olive oil and use your hands to rub the olive oil, coating all sides of the roast.
- Sprinkle all sides, including the ends, with the seasoning mix. Place your roast on a rack in a roasting pan with the fat cap side facing up.
- Transfer to the preheated oven and roast for 15 minutes until nicely browned. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees F and continue to roast for another 40 to 50 minutes or until internal temperature reads 130 and no more than 135 degrees F. (medium rare). Begin checking temperature after 35 minutes by inserting an instant read thermometer through the center of the roast from the side. Watch it closely because the temperature can rise quickly towards the end of the cooking time. I don't recommend cooking this roast beyond 135 degrees for the most tender, delicious result.
- Remove from the oven and loosely tent a piece of foil over the meat while still on the rack in the roasting pan. Allow to rest for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Transfer the roast to a cutting board and set the roasting pan aside (you will need the pan and drippings to make the gravy later). Use a sharp knife to slice it against the grain about ¼-inch thick slices. Transfer the sliced beef to a serving platter and cover with foil to keep warm. Pour all of the juices that have accumulated on the cutting board into the roasting pan with the drippings.
For the Gravy
- Combine the softened butter and flour in a small bowl and set aside.
- Place the roasting pan with the beef drippings and accumulated juices over MEDIUM heat and add the red wine. Whisk, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom, for several minutes to cook off some of the wine. Add the beef broth and the butter and flour mixture. Whisk vigorously until the butter mixture is completely melted into the sauce Add the browning sauce (a little goes a long way) and whisk to combine. Bring the mixture to a low boil, then reduce heat as needed to keep the gravy at a low simmer for 3 to 4 minutes, or until thickened, whisking occasionally. Taste and season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper, only if needed (there is so much flavor in this gravy you might not need to add any additional seasoning).
- Transfer to a gravy boat and serve with the roast beef.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated using generic ingredients, and is an estimate not a guarantee. For more accurate results, please refer to the labels on your ingredients at home.
Questions and Reviews
Do you cover the pot with a lid while cooking?
No, the roast should cook uncovered.
Delicious! Will be making it again for sure.
Thanks for the recipe. Just wondering if you cook the roast covered or uncovered.
Best recipe. Thank you. It was easy and straightforward. Turned out perfect the trick is to keep an eye on the internal temperature and the “resting” part.
I am planning on cooking 4 2lb roasts. How does that affect the cooking time?
Also, can I cook in an aluminum pan for easy clean up?
Hi Jess. I think the cooking time will be similar since you are cooking two at the same time. I would recommend checking the temperature a little sooner than recommended in the recipe so you can gauge how quickly they are cooking.
I used your receipe to cook a 2 1/2 lb. eye of round roast last evening and I followed it explicitly. The shade of pink was close to your picture above. Because every oven has it own cooking behavior, I checked the temperature after the braising to get a temperature starting point. I do not have a thermometer I can leave in the over. I cooked it for 30 minutes then started checking it every 10 minutes and took it out at 134 degrees. Like you stated, the temperature rises quickly toward the end. Next time I will check it every 6 minutes when it gets close. I cooked it in a regular roasting pan with a rack. It was tender being a little chewy but not tuff at all. The flavor was excellent and the gravy was a nice surprise, lovely taste, adding even more flavor to the meat. I chose cabernet sauvignon for the wine. This receipe is definitely a keeper as I received compliments putting a smile on my face and making it worth the effort. I commend you Valerie for sharing your receipe. I have tried cooking Eye of Round several times in the past not liking it at all.
Rosemary herb isn’t my husbands favorite. Can you recommend a substitute?
Hi Barbara. I love marjoram. It’s a little “woodsy”, like oregano, but sweeter and milder. Or, if you like thyme (which is excellent with beef) you could just double it. The flavor won’t be as complex but still delish. Hope this helps!
Would tarragon work for this also? So many ppl disregard this herb but i LOVE it on my steaks! Gives it a sweeter but mature flavor enhancement.
If you like tarragon, definitely give it a try!
This is the second time I will be making this. The first time my roast had a fat cap and this time it doesn’t. I didn’t realize until I took it out of the packaging. Will this affect the cooking time or the way in which I cook it?
No, it won’t affect it at all and you don’t need to do anything differently. I did this roast again last night and mine had only a very slight fat cap on the edge and it roasted up perfectly.
Hmmm, I followed the recipe and it was not a good result. Favor was good, but I used a choice cut of meat and I think that (eye of the round) should be braised for sure… that’s on me.
Sorry it didn’t work out well for you, Kurt. I’ve used this recipe countless times and it is the best method I’ve found for cooking this lean cut to tender, medium-rare perfection. For braising, I prefer a cut with more fat, like a chuck roast.
My first time roasting beef and it came out great! Thank you.
Made it last night it,was delicious, I am known as the best cook in my family but, I could never cook a roast beef. Now at 65 I finally got it!! Thank you Valerie
Fantastic! Love to hear this, Ellen. Thanks so much for your comment 🙂
Used a slow cooker on slow 4hrs but felt it was a bit on the tough side. like beef more on the pink med not rare. how could you tenderize this cut of beef
I don’t recommend using a slow cooker to cook this cut. For a tender result, it is best cooked according to the directions set out in this post.