Here’s the roast that’s likely the best dinnertime value in the entire meat case! Bottom Round Beef Roast is an economical cut of beef that simmers low and slow until it’s fall-apart tender and juicy.
Fork-Tender Bottom Round Roast Recipe
Please tell me what could be better than a delicious, savory roast beef meal on a cold day. Talk about classic comfort food that everyone adores.
When you need something hearty and soul-warming for your family and friends, this bottom round roast is just the ticket, especially when served with mashed potatoes and creamy gravy on the side.
I’m sharing my favorite way to make a fork-tender bottom round roast, simmered low and slow in your oven. You don’t need tons of cooking experience to make a rich and juicy roast, I can assure you, and I’ve done it for years.
All you need are a few common ingredients and seasonings, a bottom round roast, a Dutch oven or pot for cooking, and about 4 hours of oven time to allow the roast to slowly braise and get very tender.
So exactly HOW do you cook a perfect bottom round roast? I’m here to share all my best insider tips and tricks to make sure your roast turns out just right.
WHAT TO LOVE
- Bottom round roast is one of the most economical beef roasts in the entire meat case.
- Because there is no bone in a bottom round roast, your family can eat the entire piece of meat – what a great value!
- This roast is braised low and slow until all the flavors are simmered into the meat – talk about rich and savory.
My family enjoys all kinds of roast beef meals – we are total carnivores around here.
Beef Tri Tip Roast (With Crispy Potatoes!) is a favorite beef roast that I like to make for my guys, and so is Eye of Round Roast. **Eye of round roast is another great boneless beef roast, just like bottom round roast in this recipe – such a great way to stretch your food budget!
If you like using your Instant Pot and are short on time, check out my recipe for Instant Pot Eye of Round Roast, too.
- Bottom round roast – these are typically about 3 pounds in size (give or take a few ounces) in most grocery store meat cases, here in the Midwest.
- Your favorite steak seasoning – I use Montreal Steak Seasoning.
- Oil – for searing and browning the exterior of the roast. You can use olive oil, vegetable oil, canola oil, or even peanut oil.
- Yellow or white onion
- Fresh garlic – or substitute minced garlic from a jar or even granulated garlic (garlic powder)
- Diced tomatoes – use what you have on hand, I used Roma tomatoes.
- Tomato sauce – whatever you have on hand is fine, you don’t need anything special or fancy.
- Water or substitute chicken broth, if preferred. Chicken broth adds more flavor, but also more sodium.
- Fresh basil – may substitute dried basil leaves (from your spice cabinet).
- Dried oregano leaves
- Salt and pepper, as desired
HOW TO MAKE A DELICIOUS BOTTOM ROUND ROAST STEP-BY-STEP
**PRINT THE FULL RECIPE FROM THE RECIPE CARD AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Remove the rump roast from refrigeration and unpackage. Season the roast on all sides with steak seasoning. Let the roast rest on the counter, uncovered, for an hour before you begin the cooking process to allow the chill from refrigeration to subside a bit. **Don’t skip this step! Allowing the roast to rest is important for the cooking process and a good eating experience.
In a Dutch oven or large pot, heat a good swish of olive oil; add the onion and sauté for 2-3 minutes, then add the garlic and tomatoes, cooking an additional 1-2 minutes.
Stir in the tomato sauce and water or chicken broth; add the oregano and fresh basil.
Meanwhile, add a good swish of olive oil to a deep, skillet over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, use a pair of long-handled tongs to add the seasoned roast to the skillet, searing it on all sides, just until nicely browned and caramelized all around.
Place the seared roast into the pot with the onion/tomato sauce mixture; ladle some of the tomato sauce mixture over the top of the roast. Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid.
Place the covered roast into the preheated oven on the center rack. Let the roast slowly braise (simmer) for 4 – 4 1/2 hours, or until the roast is very fork-tender and 195-205 degrees F. at the center when tested with an instant-read meat thermometer.
Remove the roast from the oven and let it rest, covered, on the counter for 20 minutes. Serve the roast with mashed potatoes, topped with some of the tomato gravy in the pot. Delicious!
WHAT IS A BOTTOM ROUND ROAST?
Bottom round roast is a very lean cut of beef that is best cooked low and slow in preparation. Because it is considered a tougher cut of beef, it is often a better price point in the meat case than other more tender roasts.
WHERE DOES BOTTOM ROUND ROAST COME FROM ON THE COW?
Bottom round roast is a cut of meat that comes from the hind quarters of the cow. Because this muscle gets a lot of use, it is a tough cut of beef.
ARE THERE OTHER NAMES FOR BOTTOM ROUND ROAST IN THE MEAT CASE AT THE GROCER?
Yes. Bottom round roast can also be referred to just as bottom round, rump roast, and London broil. Top round roast is a similar cut of beef since it comes from the same area of the cow.
WHAT IS BOTTOM ROUND ROAST USED FOR?
Because bottom round roast is a very lean cut of beef, it is mainly used for roasts, deli meat, and beef jerky.
HOW DO YOU TENDERIZE BOTTOM ROUND ROAST?
The best way to tenderize a bottom round roast is by cooking it very slowly at a low temperature. Because bottom round roast is low in fat, it takes more cooking time to get the muscle in the roast to break down and become tender.
HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN A BOTTOM ROUND ROAST IS FULLY COOKED AND TENDER?
When any roast is fully tender, it means you can easily stick a fork into the center of the cut without any resistance as you do so.
WHAT DOES FORK-TENDER MEAN?
Fork-tender means that when you insert a fork into the cooked roast to test for doneness, it goes easily into the meat. If you give the fork a twist, the meat around it will give way and come apart, indicating the roast is finished cooking and ready to eat.
WHEN A ROAST IS FORK-TENDER AT THE CENTER, WHAT WILL THE INTERNAL TEMPERATURE BE?
The internal temperature of a fully cooked, fork-tender roast will be 195-205 degrees F. when temped with a meat thermometer.
IF MY BOTTOM ROUND ROAST IS TOUGH, WHAT DID I DO WRONG?
If you bottom round roast is tough and chewy, it usually means that the roast was cooked in too much of a hurry and at a temperature that wasn’t low enough. Cooking a good bottom round roast requires patience! It should be cooked at no more than 250 degrees F. for at least 4 hours, often even 5 hours for a 3 pound roast. The larger the roast, the more time it will take to cook until fully tender and delicious.
DOES MARINATING A BOTTOM ROUND ROAST MAKE IT MORE TENDER?
Marinades add great flavor to meat and acids in the marinade can break down connective tissues somewhat, helping the meat be a little more tender. However, the best way to help a bottom round roast become tender is always going to be cooking it slowly at a low temperature (no more than 250 degrees F.) for several hours.
WHY IS BOTTOM ROUND ROAST CONSIDERED TO BE A GOOD VALUE IN THE MEAT CASE?
Because bottom round roast is very lean and can be more challenging to cook (say in comparison to a chuck roast with more fat and connective tissue throughout) it very often costs less per pound. And, because there are no bones within a bottom round roast, there is zero waste because the entire cut of beef can be eaten.
DOES BOTTOM ROUND ROAST FREEZE WELL?
Yes! When I find bottom round roast on sale, I usually grab 2-3 from the meat case and freeze them to use at a later time. A well-wrapped roast from the meat case will keep perfectly fine in the freezer for up to 6-8 months.
HOW DO I TAKE THE INTERNAL TEMPERATURE OF A BOTTOM ROUND ROAST AS I’M COOKING IT?
The easiest way to know if a bottom round roast is done is by checking to see if it is fork-tender since this can be done very quickly. To test the internal temperature of a roast, insert the temperature probe into the very center of the meat, making sure you aren’t touching any bones or the sides/bottom of the pan. When the temperature stops rising after a few seconds, this is the internal temperature of the roast. A fully fork-tender bottom round roast should be 195-205 degrees F. at the center.
IF I WANT TO SLICE THE COOKED BOTTOM ROUND ROAST, CAN IT BE COOKED TO JUST MEDIUM RARE?
Bottom round can be cooked to medium rare doneness IF you are planning to slice it VERY THINLY like shaved deli meat. Medium rare doneness is 130-135 degrees at the center of the meat, with residual cooking of the meat raising the final temperature of the meat (as it rests out of the oven) to 140-145 degrees.
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO SLICE A ROAST (OR ANY MEAT) INTO VERY THIN SLICES?
Cook the meat and then allow it to fully cool. Place the meat into refrigeration until fully chilled. Next, place the meat into the freezer for 1 – 2 hours (depending on how big your roast is), just until the meat is PARTIALLY frozen. Now take your sharpest knife (or an electric slicing knife) and slice the roast ACROSS THE GRAIN into VERY THIN slices. Partially freezing the meat gives it more structure as you slice down, making the task much easier.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO SLICE THE BOTTOM ROUND ROAST AGAINST THE GRAIN?
Slicing meat against the grain means slicing across the direction that the muscle/protein fibers run. Slicing across the fibers of the meat shortens them, making the meat more tender and easier to chew.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I’M SLICING THE MEAT ACROSS THE GRAIN AND NOT WITH THE GRAIN?
Lay the piece of meat on a cutting board. Look for the lines of the meat to see which direction they are running. Turn the meat so the lines (fibers) of the meat are running horizontally on the cutting board, then slice ACROSS the grain of the meat into slices.
SHOULD YOU ALWAYS CUT ACROSS THE GRAIN NO MATTER WHICH CUT OF MEAT YOU ARE SLICING?
Yes!! Whether it’s a steak or a roast, meat should always be sliced against the grain to shorten the protein fibers, making the meat easier to chew. If the cut of meat is a more tough cut, make sure the slices are thin and sliced on the bias, too.
MORE FAVORITE RECIPES TO ENJOY –
- SHREDDED BEEF TATER TOT CASSEROLE – Shredded cooked roast beef (leftover from your favorite roast!) is sauced, topped with tater tots and cheese, then baked until golden brown – such an easy weeknight meal.
- HOMEMADE BOTTOM ROUND ROAST JERKY – Here’s the best recipe for making your own oven-baked beef jerky, and you need zero special equipment to do it.
- SMOKED POT ROAST BURNT ENDS – Smoker burnt ends made from a chuck roast come out extremely tender, with good bark and great smoke.
Bottom Round Beef Roast
- 3 lb. bottom round roast, may substitute top round roast or rump roast
- Montreal steak seasoning to taste
- olive oil for searing the roast and cooking the vegetables may substitute vegetable or canola oil
- 1 medium yellow or white onion
- 2-3 cloves garlic may substitute 2-3 teaspoons of jarred minced garlic or 1 tsp. granulated garlic or garlic powder
- 2 medium Roma tomatoes roughly chopped
- 15 oz. can tomato sauce
- 1 cup water or chicken broth
- 1 sprig fresh basil may substitute 1 tsp. dried basil leaves
- 1 tsp. dried oregano leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
- Remove the rump roast from refrigeration and unpackage. Season the roast on all sides with steak seasoning. Let the roast rest on the counter, uncovered, for an hour before you begin the cooking process to allow the chill from refrigeration to subside a bit. **Don't skip this step! Allowing the roast to rest is important for the cooking process and a good eating experience.
- In a Dutch oven or large pot, heat a good swish of olive oil; add the onion and sauté for 2-3 minutes, then add the garlic and tomatoes, then cook an additional 1-2 minutes.
- Stir in the tomato sauce and water or chicken broth; add the oregano and fresh basil.
- Meanwhile, add a good swish of olive oil to a deep, skillet over medium high heat.When the oil is hot, use a pair of long-handled tongs to add the seasoned roast to the skillet, searing it on all sides, just until nicely browned and caramelized.
- Place the seared roast into the pot with the onion/tomato sauce mixture; ladle some of the tomato sauce mixture over the top of the roast. Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid.
- Place the covered roast into the preheated oven on the center rack. Let the roast braise (simmer) for 4 – 4 1/2 hours, or until the roast is very fork-tender at the center and 195-205 degrees F. when tested with an instant-read meat thermometer.
- Remove the roast from the oven and let it rest, covered, on the counter for 20 minutes. Serve the roast with mashed potatoes, topped with some of the tomato gravy in the pot. Delicious!
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