This Herb-Rubbed Top Round Roast Beef recipe is the perfect way to cook top round roast. It’s slathered in a flavorful herb and mustard rub, braised to get that crispy exterior, then cooked low and slow until fall-apart tender.
Want a perfect feast that tastes like it was made by the best professional chefs but that’s actually made by you, super affordable, and about as simple as it gets? This herb-rubbed top round roast beef is the answer to your prayers.
This recipe is ridiculously easy to make, super simple with just a few pantry staples, and will leave your guests totally impressed!
What is top round roast beef?
Top round roast beef is a lean cut of meat that comes from the rear leg of the cow. The great thing about a top roast is that it’s more affordable than other cuts of beef. However, since it’s a leaner cut of meat, it also has a reputation for being tough.
The good news? Even leaner cuts of meat like top round can rival the best filet mignon in flavor, juiciness, and tenderness…and the key is in the preparation!
What you need to make this recipe
- Parsley, Thyme, and Shallot – the herbs/aromatics used for the herb rub. I highly recommend using fresh herbs for the best flavor. However, dried will work as well if that’s all you have.
- Dijon Mustard and Olive Oil – the base for the herb rub. Olive oil adds moisture while dijon mustard adds a kick of spice.
- Unsalted Butter – mashed with a portion of the fresh herbs to make homemade herb butter. Be sure to bring the butter to room temperature so it can be incorporated with the herbs easily.
- Top Round Roast – trim the fat first if needed.
- Salt and Pepper – enhances flavor and gives the meat a subtle kick of heat.
How to make herb-rubbed top round roast beef
First, you’ll mix the parsley, thyme, and shallot together in a small bowl. Remove two tablespoons of the herbs, then set aside.
To the main herb mixture, add in dijon mustard and olive oil, then stir to combine. To the two tablespoons of reserved herbs, add in butter and mash with a fork until mixed well.
Butterfly the roast by cutting down the center and folding the cut end back, flattening it until you have cut almost entirely through.
While spread flat, season with salt and pepper on all sides, then use your fingers to spread the mustard mixture evenly over the interior of the meat.
Fold the meat up and tie with kitchen twine, then cover and let rest in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
When you’re ready to cook, sear the beef on all sides until just browned, then transfer to the oven and cook for 1.5-2 hours or until the internal temp is 125ºF.
Once it’s done cooking, transfer the beef to a cutting, spread a generous dollop of herb butter over the roast, cover with foil, and let it rest for 20 minutes before slicing and serving.
Should you sear roast beef before cooking?
Yes! I definitely recommend searing the beef on all sides before cooking it in the oven. This locks in the moisture and creates that delicious crispy exterior.
How do you tenderize a top round roast?
The key to a tender top round roast is to cook it low and slow. In this case, 275ºF for 1.5-2 hours. The slower cook time helps infuse flavor into the meat while it becomes ultra-tender.
If you want to take an additional step to tenderize your top roast, try marinating it in buttermilk for 30 minutes to 2 hours. The acidity helps break down the meat so it’s extra tender. I don’t recommend going longer than 2 hours because you risk losing the texture and the meat might become too tender. (Yes, there is such a thing.)
Tips, tricks, and notes for this recipe
- Let it rest before cooking. Make sure you let your meat rest for 4 hours in the fridge after you add the herb rub and before you cook it. This gives it time to soak in the flavor from the mustard and herbs and the moisture from the olive oil.
- Let it rest after cooking. After the beef is done cooking, top it with the herb butter and let it sit for 20 minutes before slicing into it. This gives the juices and flavor a chance to redistribute throughout the meat. If you cut into it too soon, the moisture will seep out.
- Use other herbs. I use a combination of parsley, thyme, and minced shallot for the herb rub, but if you prefer other herbs, like rosemary, sage, basil, cilantro, etc., feel free to use those instead.
- Check the internal temperature. I recommend using a meat thermometer to verify that the internal temperature of the meat is at least 125ºF before serving it.
- Don’t overcook. After the beef is fully cooked, take it out of the oven right away to avoid overcooking it. Since top round roast is lean meat, it can dry out very quickly.
What to serve with herb-rubbed top round roast beef?
Once the main dish is in the oven, you can use that time to whip up a couple of quick and easy sides! I love mashed chipotle cheddar potatoes, easy thyme-infused biscuits, BBQ glazed smoked brussels sprouts with bacon, or roasted root vegetables!
How to store
The cooked round roast will last in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw in the fridge if frozen, then reheat wrapped in foil in the oven at 275ºF until warmed through.
More roast beef recipes to try
- Perfect Eye of Round Roast
- Stout Braised Short Ribs
- Perfect Oven Roasted Rack of Pork
- Perfect Pan Seared Rib Eye
- Steak and Potato Soup
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Herb Rubbed Top Round Roast Beef
- ⅓ cup fresh parsley chopped fine
- 2 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
- 1 shallot minced
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 tablespoon unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 4-5 lbs top round roast fat trimmed if needed
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon pepper
- Mix the parsley, thyme, and shallot in a small bowl.
- Remove 2 tbs of the herb mix to another bowl and set aside.
- Add the mustard add 1 tbs of the oil to the remaining herb mix and stir to combine.
- With the previously reserved herbs, mash in the butter with a fork to mix everything well.
- Butterfly the roast by carefully cutting down the center of the roast, folding the cut end of the beef back, flattening, until you have cut almost entirely through. This allows for a better seasoning application throughout the beef.
- While spread flat, season liberally with salt and pepper on all sides.
- Using your fingers, spread the mustard mixture evenly over the interior of the meat.
- Fold the meat back up and tie with kitchen twine.
- Cover and allow the beef to rest in the fridge at least 4 hours.
- When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.
- In a large oven-safe skillet, heat the remaining oil.
- Sear the beef on all sides, until just browned, about 5 minutes per side.
- Transfer to oven and allow to cook 1 ½ to 2 hours, or until the meat temps at 125 degrees F.
- Carefully transfer the beef to a cutting board to rest.
- Spread a generous dollop of the herb butter over the roast and cover with foil.
- Allow to rest for 20 minutes before slicing and serving.