Roast Beef With Garlic and Thyme

Cooked roast beef on a white plate
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Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 90 mins
Total: 105 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
407 Calories
19g Fat
6g Carbs
51g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 407
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 19g 25%
Saturated Fat 8g 39%
Cholesterol 156mg 52%
Sodium 256mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0g 2%
Protein 51g
Calcium 60mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This lean roast beef is rubbed with a savory mixture of garlic, lemon zest, and herbs. The roast is cooked at a higher temperature for the first 10 minutes, and then it's slow-roasted to perfection.

This is an excellent roast beef for a Sunday dinner, and the leftovers can be used in sandwiches, on salads, or in casseroles, like this shepherd's pie.

See the tips and variations below the recipe for a basic pan gravy.


  • 1 tablespoon butter (room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon peel (finely grated)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (freshly ground)
  • 1 clove garlic (cut in half)
  • 3 pounds beef roast (eye of round, top round, sirloin roast, etc.)
  • Garnish: thinly sliced red onion
  • Garnish: tomato slices

Steps to Make It

  1. Heat the oven to 450 F.

  2. In a small bowl combine butter, lemon peel, thyme, salt, and pepper.

  3. Rub garlic halves over the surface of beef roast.

  4. Spread butter and herb mixture over roast, coating the beef thoroughly on all sides.

  5. Place the meat on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Roast uncovered in the preheated 450 F oven for 10 minutes.

  6. Reduce temperature to 325 F; roast the beef about 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 minutes longer. A meat thermometer should register about 145 F for medium.*

  7. Remove roast from oven, cover loosely with foil, and let stand for 10 minutes before slicing.

  8. Place slices on a serving dish and place onion and tomato slices around the edge.

  9. Serve immediately.

*According to the USDA, the minimum safe temperature for beef is 145 F. Here's a chart of doneness temperatures:

Steak/Beef Temperature Chart

  • Rare120 F - 125 F (48.9 C to 51.6 C)
  • Medium-rare130 F - 135 F (54.4 C to 57.2 C)
  • Medium140 F - 145 F (60 C to 62.8 C)
  • Medium-well150 F - 155 F (65.5 C to 68.3 C)
  • Well done160 F (71.1 C) and above

Tips and Variations

  • To make a pan gravy, pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the drippings left in the pan. Place the pan over medium heat. Combine 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 1/4 cup of water and stir into the drippings. Add 2 cups of beef stock and cook, stirring, until thickened and bubbling.