The Easiest Roast Beef Recipe Ever…


I recently read this 2011 article about a roast beef recipe credited to Anne Serrane, that dates back to 1966, published in the New York Times, that sounded too simple to be good. But it is brilliant. Just brilliant.

IMG_3380 (1)

First start off with the best roast beef you can afford. We used a 5.5-6.0 kilo, 4-5 rib bone-in roast beef. Weigh the hunk of beef precisely (or simply read the price tag from the butcher). Ours turned out at 11.78 pounds. Pre-heat your oven to 500F. It’s not in the original recipe, but I salted (generously) the roast beef 12 hours before I cooked it and let in sit in the fridge, uncovered. Two hours before cooking, I took the roast out of the fridge to bring it closer to room temperature. Just before cooking, I salted the meat again, rubbed it with lots of cracked black pepper, and sprinkled it lightly all over with all-purpose flour. Rub the flour into the fat and meat. Place your roast on a rack in a roasting pan (so air circulates under the roast). For each pound of the roast, count 5 minutes in the hot oven. So for a 12 pound roast, cook the roast for 60 minutes at 500F, then turn off the oven and leave it there for 2 hours. Do not open the oven. That’s it. I kid you not. This yielded a perfect medium rare and it was absolutely delicious. The method leaves you lots of time to do other things, and I used this two days in a row and it worked like a charm. The first day I was worried and let it cook for 10 minutes longer than the recipe states, and I had a more medium roast (photo up top), perfect for some guests who otherwise like their meat medium to well done. But if I do this again, I will stick strictly to the 5 minutes per pound of cooking time. We did this a second night and followed only the 5 minute per pound rule and it turned out nice and rare.

So I have posted this, just in case any of you were thinking of doing a roast beef this holiday season. This is going to definitely be the go-to recipe in our home from now on. This was served with a port wine gravy with bacon and roasted shallots, which I have in another post in the archives.


21 Responses

  1. Would injecting the meat with brine/marinade affect the whole process Marketman? Its how we usually flavor our roast beef. The photo up top looked perfect!

  2. That photo up top looks beautiful, though I personally prefer my meat more rare. :)

    Some roasted potatoes/onions/carrots in the roast drippings would be perfect with this, and a glass (or ten) of wine!

  3. Try your hand at Yorkshire pudding for a bit of Downton Abbey vibe. Jamie Oliver has a great clip on Youtube.

  4. I heard Anthony Bourdain is in the Philippines nowadays. Would you be meeting up with him? Would be nice to have some updates :-)

  5. That would make my Christmas merry… I’m glad you’re posting again. Are you back in the tropics?? I am.

  6. just in time! i’ve been looking for a roast recipe that doesn’t require half a day in the oven, and if you hadn’t vouched for it, i wouldn’t have believed this recipe. many thanks, and merry christmas to you and your family and crew, MM!

  7. Thanks so much for spreading the good news Mr. Marketman! Have long been intrigued by the idea of roast beef but as a kitchen newb, been very intimidated by how tricky it seems (also will have to buy a roasting rack…). This almost seems like something even I could do, hohoho–merry Christmas in advance!

  8. MM, congrats on your new 2 resto branches (Pigafetta & Zubuchon) at Mactan Pueblo Verde’s FORK IN THE ROAD

  9. Cuba Girl, yes, this roast came from Santis delicatessen. It’s a once a year splurge, but so worth it. Ron, thanks! We are still working out kinks and barely made the official mandated opening date, but we should be 100% good for the public in a few days or so… shiko-chan, if you don’t have a roasting rack, even a cookie rack on the bottom of a pan will do the trick… the idea is to just keep some air space all around the roast. millet, I wouldn’t have believed this either unless Amanda Hesser vouched for it, she’s a previous food writer for the New York Times, and I too would have been skeptical about this recipe…Natie, yes, had to get back to Cebu for the outrageous office Christmas parties, of course! Jovita, no not this time, he has other experiences on his agenda… Footloose, I love yorkshire pudding, have done it on a couple of holiday occasions in the archives…

  10. MM, been following your blog for quite some time now. Thanks for the paella recipe! Never failed to impress my folks with your fabulous recipe! Anyway, regarding the roast beef, did you sear the meat before roasting it? Or did you cook it right away after seasoning? Also, what’s the purpose of sprinkling flour on the meat?

  11. Fredfunk, no no need to sear the beef. Just season it, flour it, smush it into the fat and meat (massage lightly) and stick it in a pre-heated oven. The flour helps to capture some of the moisture and fat and helps forms a crisp crust that presumably holds the moisture in the roast. Just follow instructions as described above and you will be thrilled with the results. Of course, you must start with a high quality piece of beef to begin with…

  12. Hi MM, I tried that with a cheaper cut of beef (girello) sometime ago. Cranked up the oven, popped the meat, cooked it for short time then turned off oven. After 3 hrs, tender, juicy and more importantly med rare! Just salt and pepper.

  13. Hi MM. This sounds great. Thank you. Now would the cook time be different if the meat is not bone-in?

  14. Pecorino, the original recipe specific a bone-in roast, so I am not sure if that changes cooking times for a boneless roast. But I suspect it’s a tad longer for a bone in roast. And I added the part of being on a rack, as I like the air to circulate all around. You might want to try 4.5 minutes per pound for a boneless roast and see how that does… And you need to start with a fairly hefty roast, like 6 pounds or more I think for the best results…

  15. This cooking method is so right on. Glad you shared it with everyone MM.

    We season our roast with black truffle salt (and fresh ground black pepper) – it’s amazing.

    Don’t forget to have a really clean oven when you roast at 500 degrees otherwise the smoke alarm might get set off.

    Happy Holidays to you and your family!

  16. Will go to the grocery straight from church, and will purchase meat.
    Will follow your recipe to a tee, and I will then be a haopy camper.

  17. This year for New Year’s eve, I followed Serious Eats’ reverse sear method for my prime rib. Basically, I started with a cool oven, 200 degrees F, and baked the well-seasoned beef until my preferred internal temperature, about 135 degrees. I then seared the meat on the stove top until golden brown all over, but you can also sear in a 500 degree oven at this point. No need to let sit, it can be sliced and served right away. Admittedly, this is not a quick method. It can take hours. But the advantage is that it is beautifully, uniformly pink with almost no greyness, just a thin brown crust. Worth a try.



Subscribe To Updates

No spam, only notifications about new blog posts.