Never Fail Roast Beef (or, Pleased to Meat You)

An urgent email showed up from a woman I used to work with. Turns out she was fixing a special dinner for a male friend and wanted to make an impression. What she needed was the secret weapon of meat recipes: the 500 degree eye round.

The 500 degree eye round is a foolproof method for roasting a perfect piece of meat that will make you a hero in the kitchen. I don’t claim any ownership of this recipe. It comes from the Texas Beef Council, which means that it must be good. Those people in Texas know a thing or two about meat.

Anyway, this is guaranteed to yield a perfectly cooked and delicious roast worthy of a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. And it is ridiculously simple:

1 eye of round roast (2-3 pounds). Preheat oven to 500°F. Season roast as desired; place on rack in shallow roasting pan. Do not add water or cover. Place roast in the preheated oven and lower temperature to 475°F. Roast at 475°F for 7 minutes per pound. Turn oven off and let roast sit in oven 2-1/2 hours. DO NOT OPEN OVEN DOOR DURING THIS 2-1/2 HOUR TIME PERIOD. Remove roast and slice thinly.

Seasoning is also important. Lemon pepper is a great or use one of the spice mixes you find at the supermarket these days. You can’t really beat good old salt and pepper, but no matter what you do people will be fighting over the end pieces.

One downside: because you MAY NOT open the oven for two-and-a-half hours this recipe can put a little crimp in your cooking. If necessary you can let it rest under some foil while you throw other stuff in the stove. Be sure to make extra gravy and mashed potatoes; you can put together a killer shepherd pie with the leftovers.

Oh… and about that special dinner. I heard back later that the meal was a huge success, but it opened a can of worms. She wrote back:

I made the roast and now he actually thinks I can cook. This is a problem because… well… I can’t cook.

13 thoughts on “Never Fail Roast Beef (or, Pleased to Meat You)

  1. Intriguing. I saw this technique before when looking for ways to cook a standing rib roast. But I was too afraid to try it on such an expensive piece of meat.

  2. I think that eye round may have been the last thing I actually cooked for said male friend. But we’ve been dating for more than a year now and I moved in with him this past summer…… must have been darn good!!

  3. Sheila – Just by reading this I immediately knew you had to be the one making this for your “male friend”. If you make said friend your famous cocktail franks he will definitely know you can cook and you two will be together forever… BTW – this sounds like a great Christmas eve dinner!!

  4. This sort of recipe is a no-brainer for anyone with cooking experience. In essence, what you’re doing when you “roast” this thing at 500 degrees is searing the outside, which is the proper way to do a roast. By doing it this way, you get a nice even sear and don’t have to worry about oil splattering all over you. But then again, you’re also searing the outside at a temperature that is undoubtedly lower that the BTUs a good gas range would pump into a pan.


    My advice to kick this up a bit would be to cook up a nice fat pan of bacon, then liberally season the aforementioned slab of beef. Heat up the grease until it’s nearly smoking and then sear the meat on each side for about 2 minutes. Put the meat on a rack and transfer it to an oven that’s set at 161 degrees(125 degrees if you like rare beef). Then forget about it for about three or four hours. It really doesn’t matter how long you leave the roast in for, because the internal temp will never rise about whatever you set your oven at. And as long as you don’t greedily cut into the thing before it rests for a half-hour or jam it with a hamhock-sized thermometer, you’ll have a nice, very-tender roast that will be both juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside.

    Of course, you may also end up with third-degree and a grease fire if you’re inexperienced and not used to flipping a heavy piece of meat searing in bacon fat. But rest assured, you can’t screw this one up.

  5. I followed this recipe exactly, and it was good, but it ended up cooking up more than I wanted. I used an electric meat thermometer, and it was reading 130 (perfect) after only 90 minutes. I should have stopped there, but I let it go and it eventually rose all the way up to 144 (too medium) after two hours before it stopped rising. Perhaps my oven has a particularly good seal and held in the heat longer than normal. Not sure. I was figuring my meat thermometer was off because I couldn’t imagine it could cook that fast with the oven turned off. I’d try it again, but next time, I’ll trust the thermometer.

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