Homemade Roast Beef

Homemade Roast Beef with Brown Onion Gravy

Homemade roast beef like your grandmother used to make, doesn’t have to be a memory. Make your own Sunday roast beef with brown onion gravy and check out my flavorful roast beef rub for a little zing.

Homemade roast beef took two distinct paths in my family.  My French grandmother and grandfather, liked it rare —  to the point of bloody, with a simple au jus.  Grandad (my Dad’s Dad) liked his meat, well done with plenty of pan gravy — my grandmother, Myne cooked it to his liking. I always felt that there should be a happy medium (something I wish for in politics too).

Roast beef rub in a bowl with whisk.

Ingredients For Roast Beef Rub:

Before we get to cooking times for this homemade roast beef, let’s first check out the roast beef rub. Honestly, this is more of a paste than a rub, however, since you rub it all over the meat, we’ll stick to “rub” title.  You’ll need:

  • Kosher Salt
  • Onion Powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • Chili Powder
  • Black Pepper
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Maple Syrup
  • Liquid Smoke

You’ll want to give the roast beef rub a chance to marry with the meat, so coat your roast with this blend at least 8 hours ahead or overnight.

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rubbing Homemade Roast Beef roast beef rub.

Before you’re ready to roast, take the meat out of the refrigerator and let it rest on the counter for about half an hour to forty-five minutes to bring it closer to room temperature. You don’t want to stick an ice cold roast in a hot oven, because that can affect the cooking times.

baking Homemade Roast Beef on a bed of onions.

One of the things BOTH my grandmother’s did when cooking a roast — adding onions and shallots to the pan, tossed with a bit of olive oil, a zhuzh of salt and pepper. The onion mixture became the bed that the roast sat on.  They soften up while cooking and some will get charred and crispy, while others just melt and caramelize.  You want it both ways, trust me.

cooked Homemade Roast Beef

Use any cooking times as a gauge, but not as a hard and fast rule. I say that because your recipe may call for a 3-pound roast, when in fact yours might only weigh 2.63 pounds.  Or your oven may run hot or cold.  My oven is hotter in the back than the front. The best way to judge doneness is by temperature… on the inside of the meat. For that, you need a good quality meat thermometer.  I had two, (one that gave a range — but was far from accurate) the other, a very reliable digital read thermometer, until it died. In my experience, the cheap ones ALWAYS DIE.   So I made an investment in this  Thermapen One {affiliate link} and I haven’t looked back.

Thermapen Mk4
  • The Thermapen One takes an accurate temperature reading in 2-3 seconds.
  • It has a backlight for nighttime grilling.
  • Thermapen naturally goes into sleep mode when you set it down.
  • It also wakes up when you pick it up.
  • This digital thermometer folds for compact storage.
  • It takes a AAA battery, not those hard-to-find button-style batteries that my old thermometer that crapped out on me, had. In fact, I searched high and low to find a replacement battery and installed it, only to discover that the issue wasn’t the battery, it was that the thermometer was dead.

The Thermapen is not a cheap item, (running around $100 – but you can sometimes get it on sale through my affiliate link) but every grill-master, food blogger and professional cook I know swears by it, so THAT means something… 

making brown onion gravy.

Ok, the infomercial is over — back to our homemade roast beef and, yes, that brown onion gravy.  While the roast is resting on a cutting board (so the juices can redistribute), make the gravy in the roasting pan (just like grandma used to do). Start with a few shakes of vinegar over the onions. The vinegar is critical. it adds a tanginess and depth that transforms the gravy from a fatty one-note blah — to a symphony of beefy onion flavor.  It’s what makes the gravy so irresistible. To thicken the gravy, I recommend Wondra flour for lump-free perfection.

Homemade Roast Beef being sliced on a cutting board.

Stir the flour into the pan drippings and onions  (you can use a knob of butter if you don’t have enough fat in the pan) until you have a paste, then gradually add in the stock or broth, stirring constantly over a medium high heat until it starts to bubble and thicken.  Transfer the brown onion gravy to a gravy boat and carve the homemade roast beef into thin slices.

Sliced Homemade Roast Beef

Eye of round roast is a very lean cut, so it’s important not to over cook it.  This one was juicy and flavorful (but if I’m honest, it was probably 5 minutes past where I would normally cook it — damn that thermometer…)

Serving Homemade Roast Beef with Brown Onion Gravy

I served my homemade roast beef with onion gravy over a bed of cauliflower mash, but my browned butter sea salt mashed potatoes would be wonderful  with it as well or this fancy potato soufflé.

brown onion gravy in a gravy boat.

More Sunday suppers you’ll love:

Homemade Roast Beef with Brown Onion Gravy on a plate.

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5 from 8 votes

Eye of Round Roast with Onion Gravy

Tender, meaty eye of round roast is leaner and more economical than other cuts of beef. This one is flavored with an umami rich paste that marinates overnight.
Author: Lisa Lotts
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword eye of round, roast beef, sunday dinner
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6



  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
  • ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • teaspoon liquid smoke


  • 3 pound eye of round roast
  • 2 medium yellow onions sliced
  • 2 medium shallots sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • sprinkle kosher salt
  • sprinkle pepper


  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons Wondra flour , if available, otherwise use all purpose
  • 2 cups low-sodium beef stock
  • salt and pepper to taste



  • In a small bowl, combine the salt, onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, black pepper, worcestershire sauce, maple syrup and liquid smoke and whisk until well combined.


  • Pour the marinade over the roast and spread it over the entire cut of beef.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.
  • Remove the roast from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for half an hour before roasting.
  •  Preheat the oven to 400°.  
  • Place the onions and shallots in a roasting pan and add the olive oil, salt and pepper and toss until the vegetables are evenly coated. Spread the onions and shallots into a single layer in the roasting pan. Place the roast on top of the onions and shallots. 
  • Roast for 25 minutes. With a wooden spoon, stir the onions and shallots and rearrange them into a single layer.  Reduce the oven temperature to 325°. Roast for an additional 25-35 minutes or until you achieve your desired doneness. Use an instant read thermometer to take the guesswork out of it.  (My instant read just broke and my manual thermometer isn’t accurate enough – so my roast was just past the point I like it.  Learn from my mistake. I’m ordering my instant read today!
  • Rare: 120-125° bright pink in the center.
    Medium Rare: 130° center is light pink.
    Well: 150° not pink.
  • When the roast is finished, transfer it to a cutting board to rest for 15 minutes. 


  • Set the roasting pan over a burner on the stove.  Turn the burner up to medium high heat.  Add the vinegar to the caramelized onion and shallot mixture in the bottom of the pan. Stir with a wooden spoon until the vinegar has infused the onions and starts to bubble.
  • Add the butter, stirring until its melted, then sprinkle in the Wondra flour and stir it into the butter and onions so that the flour gets pasty and bubbly. (I like Wondra for gravies because it assures no lumps.  All purpose flour works too, just be certain to not add any liquid until all of the flour is incorporated into the butter. 
  • Slowly add the beef stock, stirring constantly until the mixture comes to a boil.  Stir for one minute while the gravy thickens. Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper. 


  • Slice the roast to your desired thickness and transfer to a serving platter. Pour any juices from the roast into the gravy mixture and stir to combine.
  • Serve the roast beef with onion gravy on the side.


Calories: 527kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 64g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 186mg | Sodium: 1058mg | Potassium: 712mg | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 165IU | Vitamin C: 2.7mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 5.9mg

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Homemade Roast Beef with Brown Onion Gravy is a savory Sunday supper. Try this roast beef rub for the best roast beef and gravy you've had. #roastbeef #homemaderoastbeef #eyeofroundroast #leanroastbeef #oniongravy #beefgravy #homemadegravy #brownoniongravy #browngravy #easygravy #easyroastbeef #sundaysupper #familydinner #beefroast #companydinner #beefandonions #beefandgravy #howtocookroastbeef #howtomakegravy #pangravy

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  1. 5 stars
    We just made this tonight and spent the next couple of hours saying how amazing and delicious this meal is. I would not hesitate to serve this to guests. Thanks for a great meal1

  2. 5 stars
    Just like Madou used to make!

  3. 5 stars
    Oh my goodness I could eat a whole bowl just of the gravy alone. My grandmother always made the best gravy and I try every time to live up to her example! Your recipe will help, thanks!

  4. Cindy Gordon says:

    5 stars
    My moms favorite dish is roast beef with gravy! I am making this for her asap! Thanks for creating such a delicious looking and comforting dish!

  5. 5 stars
    The brown onion gravy sounds so nice. Perfect for a Sunday roast. Need to try this!

  6. 5 stars
    There is nothing more comforting than a tender roast beef , gravy and this would be my favorite meal with mashed potatoes as a side!

  7. 5 stars
    This would be the perfect meal for a special occasion or date night. And the browned butter mashed potatoes sound perfect as a side.

  8. 5 stars
    I just ordered my thermopen and am so excited to get it!!! Your roast beef looks amazing Lisa, it’s beautiful! I love a simple roast beef 🙂