Reverse-Sear Roast Beef

published Dec 7, 2021
Roast Beef Recipe
Jump to Recipe
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
sliced roast beef cooked rare, on a platter.
Credit: Shilpa Uskokovic

There’s nothing quite like serving a beef roast to a hungry crowd. But the cost of larger cuts of beef can add up quickly, with prime roasts often blowing the budget. I wanted to find a roast that would please a crowd without completely breaking the bank.

Cuts from the loin are the best for roast beef. These cuts come from the back along the spine and don’t do much work for the cow, ensuring more tender meat. These cuts include the following:

The first three are classic holiday centerpieces, but come with a hefty price tag. Top loin and tri-tip roasts are excellent options for beefy bang for your buck. If you can find one with a fat cap, all the better, but trimmed roasts are still an excellent option.

Cuts from the round (rump, sirloin tip, eye of round, top/bottom round) can be used for roasts, but have a much tighter grain and are tougher. They come from the hindquarters, where they did a lot of work moving the cow around. These cuts do better very thinly sliced — especially when you’re serving cold roast beef. The same technique can be used to cook them, but may take longer, as the shape tends to be much thicker and rounder.

Credit: Shilpa Uskokovic

Do I Need to Tie My Roast Before Cooking?

Tying a roast is often done for irregular cuts of meat, forcing it into an even shape for more even cooking. It can also be done to help cuts retain a rounder shape during the cooking process, but it isn’t strictly necessary.

The tri-tip used for this recipe is very irregularly shaped, forming a triangle. As is, the narrower end will end up more well-done than the thicker end. I actually find this ideal for larger gatherings. You’re able to serve a roast with an array of doneness for a variety of palates. To ensure a little bit of everything for everyone, pull the roast from the oven when the thickest part registers nearer the rare side.

If, however, you know everyone you are serving prefers medium rare end-to-end, you can simply fold the narrow end under itself and tie it with a few lengths of butcher’s twine. (Ask the meat counter for a length of it if you don’t have any on hand.) There are certainly fancy techniques for tying a roast with a single long length of twine, but there’s nothing wrong with cutting a few 8-inch lengths and tying them a few inches apart.

How Long Should I Cook Roast Beef?

I opted to cook this roast at a low temperature, then seared it on the stovetop for a browned crust. Because tri-tip roasts are so much thinner than the larger cuts like a rib roast, attempting to get a good crust in the oven ends up in overcooked meat. A tri-tip roast will cook in about an hour-and-a-half, but times can vary depending on size and thickness.

I like to check its progress after the first hour to get a benchmark on where it’s at. If it’s under 100ºF, you can likely wait another 20 minutes before checking it again. If it’s over 100ºF, keep a closer eye on it. After searing, let it rest five to 10 minutes before slicing the meat and serving.

Roast Beef Recipe

A classic recipe for your holiday roast.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 1 hour 20 minutes to 1 hour 40 minutes

Serves 8

Nutritional Info


  • 1

    (about 3 pound) tri-tip or top loin roast

  • 2 sprigs

    fresh rosemary

  • 2 cloves


  • 2 teaspoons

    kosher salt

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    ground coriander

  • 3 tablespoons

    olive oil, divided

  • Flaky salt, for serving (optional)


  1. At least 2 hours or up to 24 before cooking, pat dry 1 (about 3 pound) tri-tip or top loin roast dry with paper towels. Tie the roast if desired. Pick the leaves from 2 fresh rosemary sprigs (about 2 teaspoons), finely chop, and add to a small bowl. Finely grate 2 garlic cloves into the same bowl. Add 2 teaspoons kosher salt, 3/4 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander, and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and stir to combine. Rub the seasoning all over the roast with your hands. Let sit at room temperature for up to 2 hours or transfer to a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

  2. If needed, let the refrigerated roast sit at room temperature for 2 hours.

  3. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 250ºF. Place the roast on a wire rack fitted over a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until the thickest part registers 110ºF for rare or 125ºF for medium, 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours. (The roast will cook further after searing.)

  4. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the roast and cook until well browned on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer the roast to a clean cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Remove the strings if needed, and slice into 1/2-inch thick slices across the grain. Sprinkle with flaky salt if desired.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.