How to Make a Roast

I had the opportunity last weekend to visit Ascot Prime Meats. They are a family-owned specialty meat market and deli in Prospect Heights, IL. Figuring it would be awhile before I made it there again, I walked out with an ear-to-ear grin and about 10 pounds of meat. I bought bacon, teriyaki beef jerky, chicken sausages, and a sirloin roast. While their beef is grain-fed, it is top quality and better than anything else I’ve found locally so far. All of these products have been wonderful, but what I want to rave about today is the roast! Bookmark this recipe for a lazy weekend day when you will enjoy some time in the kitchen–and a week of delightful leftovers.

A roast is kind of intimidating for a new cook. First, what kind of meat are you roasting? What cut? What type of rub will you use? Roasts seemed to exist solely in the realm of the Martha Stewarts and Alton Browns of the world. By giving it a try this weekend, I learned that a roast could be a time- and cost-effective way to make meals for an entire week. This post is my attempt to share that information with you. I will go step-by-step with the roasting process and post a streamlined recipe at the end.

The roasting process will vary depending on what type of roast (meat and cut) you make. These instructions are a general guideline for making a roast, but I used a top sirloin roast. Feel free to adapt them according to the best recipe you find for the type of roast you want to make.

First, choose and mix up your rub. I made a spice rub that included paprika, cayenne pepper, oregano, thyme, and other flavors for a rub with a nice kick. After mixing the spices, I poured in olive oil and let it sit for about 20 minutes.

In the meantime, I examined my top sirloin roast. This type of roast often has a “fat cap” on it. The cap should be facing up when you cook so that the fat will keep the meat moist as it roasts. My roast had already been tied by the butcher, but you will want to make sure your roast is tied to hold it together in a nice cylindrical shape while it cooks.

When you are roasting meat, you should allow it to come to room temperature. Allow about an hour for this part of the process. I covered my roast in the spice mix and allowed it to marinate for four hours in the fridge. I then let it sit at room temperature for 1.5 hours before cooking.

When I was ready to start roasting, I preheated my oven to 350°F. Toss your sliced carrots and onions into a foil-lined baking dish or roasting pan, then add the roast on top of the vegetables.

The time needed to cook your roast to the desired temperature will vary based on its weight. My roast weighed 3.6 lbs and took 70 minutes to cook. I was aiming for medium-rare, but ended up with medium (which was still quite tasty). You will need a meat thermometer or instant thermometer to test the temperature of the roast as it cooks. If you are aiming for a medium-rare roast, take your dish out of the oven when its internal temperature is 125-130°F. Let the roast rest on the counter for 15-20 minutes. Its internal temperature will continue to climb between 5-15°F during this time, and the juices will circulate and keep the roast nice and moist. If you would like to achieve a different level of doneness, I found this website with cooking times very helpful: O Chef.

When you are ready to serve, cut the butcher’s twine tying your roast and slice the meat thinly against the grain. Enjoy with plenty of vegetables on the side for a satisfying Sunday dinner, and save the leftovers for some fantastic lunches during the week. I made a 3.6 lb. roast, which served four hungry adults and left me with 4-5 meals worth of leftovers. Perfect for a traditional Sunday meal with friends!

Herb Rubbed Top Sirloin Roast

1 ¼ tablespoon paprika
1 ½ teaspoon sea salt, or 1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
heaping ½ teaspoon dried oregano
heaping ½ teaspoon dried thyme
3 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
One sirloin roast, appx. 3.5 lbs. (adjust cooking time for other weights)
One medium yellow onion, sliced
5 carrots, peeled and chopped into small segments

Mix all spices in a small bowl, then add two tablespoons of olive oil and allow to sit for at least 15 minutes. Line a baking dish with foil and fill with onions and carrots. Drizzle with remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Liberally cover the roast with the spice mix, making sure to coat all sides. Place roast fat-cap up in the baking pan. If marinating, cover pan with airtight plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

When ready to cook the roast, remove it from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for 1-2 hours. Preheat oven to 350°F. When the oven is ready, place the roast in the oven. Check temperature after 45 minutes. Adjust cooking time accordingly. To cook a 3.5 lb. roast to medium, remove it from the oven when its internal temperature has reached 135°F (appx. 60 minutes, depending on your oven). Allow roast to sit for 15-20 minutes before slicing. During this time, the internal temperature will increase. When ready to serve, slice thinly against the grain, and dig in!

Rub adapted from’s Herb Rubbed Sirloin Tip Roast

About Humble Foodie

While we both love to eat well, life as AmeriCorps volunteers doesn’t afford us the budget to try every new restaurant and type of cuisine. With many post-graduate expenses and limited financial resources, what’s a foodie to do? The answer is here, at The Humble Foodie. Instead of spending our hard-earned cash paying other people to cook for us, we’re spending as frugally as possible making delicious meals at home.
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4 Responses to How to Make a Roast

  1. Alicia @ The Humble Foodie says:

    Devin, was that you?!

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