Tender Beef Bottom Round Roast Recipe with Gravy | Renee's Kitchen Adventures

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Tender Beef Bottom Round Roast Recipe with Gravy

Is there anything more comforting than a fork tender beef roast, full of flavor, smothered in gravy with a side of mashed potatoes? This roast recipe for Bottom Round Roast (with included recipe for an easy onion gravy made from the drippings) is a winner! Lean and economical bottom round roast (also known as rump roast) cooks up perfectly with this easy recipe.  

sliced tender beef bottom round roast with mashed potatoes and gravy and green beans on plate

A beef roast is a wonderful way to put dinner on the table. It conjurs up images of years past; A Sunday roast at the supper table with family all around. It's cozy, like a soft blanket. It's a midwest staple once the weather gets colder. 

Sliced tender beef bottom round roast with gravy sliced on platter with parsley as a garnish all around

You might be intimidated by roasting a large cut of beef, but I'm here to tell you if you use the best recipe for each cut of beef it's a snap! 

Take my recipe for Eye of Round Roast, for instance. The best way to cook an eye of round roast is on a high temperature and cooked to a medium-rare doneness. Sliced very thin, this tender and juicy roast is perfect for roast beef sandwiches. 

However, my recipe for Dutch Oven Pot Roast, which uses a chuck roast, is best cooked low and slow until well done and fall apart tender. If you switched these cooking methods with each roast, you would get tough, chewy and unappetizing end product. So it's important to choose the right cooking method for each roast. 

This easy roast beef recipe for Bottom Round Roast falls somewhere between the two of them. It can be oven roasted to medium-rare (intermal temperature of around 125-130 degrees F), but I find it a bit chewy at that degree of doneness. 

I prefer to braise a bottom round roast at a low temperature to a medium/medium-well degree of doneness (internal temperature of around 150 -160 degrees F) and until it's fork tender, then serve it with gravy for best results.

What is Bottom Round Roast? 

Round is the primal cut of beef that comes from the hind legs and the rump of the cow. Meat from this part of the cow tends to be farily lean and relatively inexpensive, making it a good value. 

Bottom round roast, also known as a rump roast, is a large cut of meat, averaging around 3 to 5 pounds. It is cut from part of the animal’s upper leg’s outside muscle. It's often triangular in shape and is usually cut to leave a fat cap on one side of it. The fat cap is important, since the meat has so little marbling.

 

Tender Beef Bottom round roast raw and ready to roast on a cutting board

When shopping for a bottom round roast, you will want to look for a roast with about an inch fat cap on one side. (Usually it's on the bottom of the roast in the package.) 

How to cook Bottom Round Roast

There are several ways to cook a bottom round roast: roasting in the oven, braising in the oven, in a slow cooker, and in a pressure cooker. 

In my opinion, the best way to cook a bottom round roast is by braising it in the oven. Because it's so lean, a bottom round roast can be tough and dry out easily. 

To minimize this, bottom round roasts are best braised on low heat. Braising is the process of cooking meat on low heat with moisture in a tightly sealed vessel, such as a dutch oven or slow cooker (crock pot). 

This cooking process allows time for the connective tissue to break down which allows for tenderness while retaining moisture. When braised tightly covered on low heat, what can be a tough cut of meat, is transformed into a fork tender piece of meat. An instant pot or pressure cooker will also give you similar results.

Bottom Round Roast in Oven

This is my favorite way to prepare a fork tender bottom round roast. I like to use a heavy, cast iron dutch oven pan with lid, but any heavy roasting pan that the bottom round roast fits in will work as long as you can seal tightly with aluminum foil. 

Prepare the roast: After patting the beef roast dry with paper towels, season with a mixture of garlic powder, kosher salt and black pepper and allow to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour.

This allows the salt and seasonings to absorb into the meat. I like to use about a half teaspoon of kosher salt for every pound of bottom round roast. You could do this step ahead of time and season it, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight. If you do this, make sure you remove it from the refrigerator and allow it to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour before searing it. 

Sear the roast: Once the roast has set out at room temperature for the alloted time, it's time to sear it on all sides. Over medium-high heat on the stove top, in an olive oil and butter mixure in the dutch oven, sear all sides until very golden brown, starting with the fat cap side. 

If you don't have a dutch oven, this process can be done in a heavy skillet. Once the roast is browned on all sides, remove it from the pan onto a plate and set aside for a few minutes. 

Contrary to popular belief, searing doesn't "seal in the juices." What searing does do is impart great flavor to the roast and to the pan for gravy. So don't skip this step! 

Tender Beef Bottom Round Roast recipe with Gravy seared and ready for the oven

Braise the roast: Add onions and beef broth to the pan and cook for a few minutes, scraping up any brown bits from the roast into the mixture. Place roast back in the pan (fat cap up), and sprinkle with dried or fresh herbs (sage, thyme, rosemary.) 

Place in a 325 degree oven, tightly covered, until fork tender. I find this to equal about 45 minutes to an hour PER POUND give or take (Total cook time will depend on the size of the roast.) 

Toward the end of the cooking time, keep checking the roast with a fork about every 10 minutes. When the fork goes through the meat easily, it's done. 

It's more important to check to see if the connective tissues have given way, than to check the internal temperature for this recipe. If you take it out when the fork goes through easily, it will be at the right internal temperature. 

sliced onions being seared in a dutch oven for Tender Beef Bottom Round Roast recipe with Gravy

Rest the roast and make gravy: Let the beef roast rest 15 minutes loosely covered in aluminum foil on a cutting board and then carve in half-inch thin slices against the grain for maximum tenderness. 

While the roast rests, make the simple pan gravy to accompany it. This onion gravy makes a wonderful sauce for the beef. For full list of ingredients and complete directions for roast and gravy, scroll down to recipe card below

Bottom Round Roast in the Slow Cooker (CrockPot)

Using a slow cooker is my second favorite way to prepare a beef bottom round roast. This is a great cooking method to use in the warm months, when you don't want to heat up your kitchen from the oven. The bottom round roast is seasoned and seared on all sides over medium-high heat in an olive oil and butter mixture in a heavy skillet then added to the crock of the slow cooker. Onions are sauteed in the same pan used to sear the roast and then beef broth is added scraping up all the bits left on the bottom of the skillet from the roast. Everything is added to the crock of the slow cooker and covered with the lid to cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours, until fork tender. The roast is removed to a platter once done, and tented with foil for 15 minutes before being sliced against the grain. Gravy is made on the stove while the roast rests. For full list of ingredients and complete directions, scroll down to recipe card below. 

Bottom Round Roast in the Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker)

This method is great if you are short on time, as it does decrease the overall cook time considerably. Sear the roast on all sides using the saute function with the butter/oil mixture, remove roast and set aside. If needed, add more oil and saute the onions until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the roast back in and top with herbs. Add beef broth. Seal and cook on high pressure for 20-25 minutes PER POUND (total cook time will depend on the size of the roast). Allow for 10 minute natural pressure release, followed by a quick release before opening the lid. Remove roast to cutting board and tent loosely with aluminum foil. Make gravy on the stove top while roast is resting. For full list of ingredients and complete directions, scroll down to recipe card below. 

Substitutions and Variations


  • Try other liquids in place of the beef broth such as chicken broth, a mixture of red wine and beef broth, beer, or even water.
  • Try other herbs in place of the sage, rosemary and thyme such as marjoram, oregano, parsley, mint
  • Add a bay leaf to the liquid in the roast before cooking
  • You can substitute a top round roast in this recipe. The top round is very lean but tends to be more tender than the bottom round. Because it's more lean, take extra care to check it toward the end of cooking. I would not recommend top round that has been cut into steak. For that, I recommend this London Broil recipe.
slices of Tender Beef Bottom Round Roast recipe with Gravy on a plate ready to eat

Why this recipe works

  • Braising this roast (fat cap up) on a lower heat oven helps the roast to retain moisture, and keeps it from drying out.
  • The long cooking time on a lower oven temperature helps break down connective tissue fibers allowing it to become tender.
  • Salt, Pepper, Garlic and herbs give this roast delicious flavor. 
  • Bottom Round Roast is a great value because it's lean, economical, and tasty


What to serve with a Bottom Round Roast


I think the obvious choice is always mashed potatoes. That's my midwest roots talking here though. We also love this bottom round roast recipe served with green beans, stuffing, or buttered egg noodles. A good homemade bread also pairs well and is perfect for sopping up the gravy. 

My family loves this bottom round roast prepared this way and I know yours will too. It's the quintessential meat and potatoes meal! 



bottom round roast, bottom round roast recipe, beef bottom round roast,
main course, beef, roast
American
Yield: 6
Author: Renee Paj
Tender Beef Bottom Round Roast recipe with Gravy

Tender Beef Bottom Round Roast recipe with Gravy

Prep time: 1 HourCook time: 4 HourInactive time: 20 MinTotal time: 5 H & 20 M
Fork tender Bottom Round Roast perfectly seasoned and braised in the oven smothered in homemade onion gravy is pure comfort food at it's best!

Ingredients

For Bottom Round Roast
  • 3-5 pound bottom round roast
  • 2-3 teaspoons of Kosher salt (1/2 tsp. per pound of beef)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder (OR dried granulated garlic)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 large sweet onion, sliced
  • 1 cup beef broth (OR beef broth concentrate dissolved in 1 cup hot water)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
For Onion Gravy
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 Tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • Pan drippings to taste
  • salt and pepper, to taste, if needed

Instructions

For Bottom Round Roast
  1. Pat roast dry with paper towels and set on a plate.
  2. Combine kosher salt, black pepper, and garlic powder in small bowl. Rub mixture all over the roast, coating it on all sides. Set roast aside and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  3. On stove top, over medium high heat, add olive oil to dutch oven (or heavy skillet). When oil begins to shimmer, swirl in butter until melted. Add in roast, fat cap side down and brown well turning to brown all sides.
  4. Remover roast to plate and set aside. Add onions to pan and cook for about 5 minutes to begin to soften. Add in beef broth and stir with spoon to scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Carefully add roast back into dutch oven, fat cap side up. (If not using a dutch oven, place roast in roasting pan and pour onion beef broth mixture over the roast.) Sprinkle roast with dried sage, thyme, and rosemary. Cover tightly with lid. (or aluminum foil if using roast pan).
  5. Braise in oven for about 45 minutes per pound. Toward last 15 minutes, check the roast with a fork to see if it pierces it easily in thick part. If not, cover back up and check every ten minutes. Once fork goes through meat easily, remove from oven and place roast on platter, tented loosely with aluminum foil to rest for 15 - 20 minutes to allow juices to redistribute before slicing against the grain. While roast rests, make the onion gravy.
For Onion Gravy
  1. In large skillet, melt butter over medium high heat.
  2. Once melted, whisk in flour. Stir continuously for 1 minute.
  3. Take skillet off heat and whisk in cold water until paste forms.
  4. Return skillet to medium heat and add in pan drippings. Use as little or as much as you like. If gravy is too thin, add more water. Taste for seasonings and add salt and pepper as needed. Serve with bottom round roast.

Notes

Alternative Cooking Methods:


Slow Cooker- Season, let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes to and hour, and sear roast on all sides over medium-high heat in an olive oil and butter mixture in a heavy skillet. Add to the crock of the slow cooker and top with herbs. Onions are sauteed in the same pan used to sear the roast and then beef broth is added scraping up all the bits left on the bottom of the skillet from the roast. Everything is added to the crock of the slow cooker and covered with the lid to cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours, until fork tender. The roast is removed to a platter once done, and tented with foil for 15 minutes before being sliced against the grain. Gravy is made on the stove while the roast rests as directed above. 


Pressure Cooker- Sear the roast on all sides using the saute function with the butter/oil mixture, remove roast and set aside. If needed, add more oil and saute the onions until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the roast back in and top with herbs. Add beef broth. Seal and cook on high pressure for 20-25 minutes PER POUND (total cook time will depend on the size of the roast). Allow for 10 minute natural pressure release, followed by a quick release before opening the lid. Remove roast to cutting board and tent loosely with aluminum foil. Make gravy on the stove top while roast is resting as directed above.

Nutrition Facts

Calories

506.52

Fat (grams)

21.43 g

Sat. Fat (grams)

7.97 g

Carbs (grams)

5.73 g

Fiber (grams)

0.68 g

Net carbs

5.07 g

Sugar (grams)

2.78 g

Protein (grams)

68.37 g

Sodium (milligrams)

1356.48 mg

Cholesterol (grams)

197.69 mg

Nutritional Information is an estimate it is provided as a courtesy.

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4 comments:

  1. How much water for gravy.....you wrote 1/ cup

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my gosh, thanks for catching that. I've added the missing number! 1/2 cup of cold water. :)

      Delete
  2. Receipe calls for garlic powder but instructions say onion powder

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. These are the days I wish I didn't have to wear all the hats; recipe creator, chef, photographer, author, editor...haha I've fixed it in the recipe card. It should've been garlic powder.

      Delete

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