About: I am a 82-year-old self-proclaimed Chef who has spent most of his life in the hotel/resort tourism industry. I have traveled up and down the east coast of the United States from New York to Key West, and fro...

Since I usually cook for one (me), and because beef is so expensive these days, I seldom enjoy one of my favorite entrees - lean, rare, roast beef. Especially roast beef cooked my way; rubbed with cracked black pepper, stuffed with fresh roasted garlic, and glazed with wild cherry brandy, shallots, and a hint of sage.

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Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Trim any excess fat from meat
  • While the oven is heating, Prepare your dry rub and roast the garlic in the microwave (or pre-roast it in.the oven)


  1. 1 TBS Unsalted Butter at room temperature
  2. 2 TBS Black Pepper Corns
  3. 1/2 teaspoon Dried Oregano
  4. 1/2 teaspoon Dried Thyme

  • To make coarse cracked black pepper, I place the 2 TBS of Peppercorns into a small plastic zip lock bag and smash them with the flat side of a heavy mallet.
  • Mix the cracked black pepper with the herbs, and set aside.


  • Remove (cut off) the top 1/8 to 1/4" from a head of garlic. Place the garlic head in a microwaveable glass or ceramic bowl, add about 1-1/2 TBS of water (or a good fortified wine - I used a fine dry Marsala wine) to the bowl; cover it with the glass top and microwave on high for 3 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick into 2 or 3 of the individual cloves of garlic. Repeat process until garlic cloves are cooked to your liking. Be careful when removing the lid from the glass dish as it will be quite hot. (NOTE: Although I had several microwaveable bowls, I did not have one with a lid so I made my own by placing the garlic head in a microwveable ceramic bowl and covering it with a microwave-safe saucer).


  • Using a sharp, thin bladed, knife make a deep cut into any area of the raw beef. Withdraw the knife and *"squeeze" a clove of roasted garlic into the cut, pushing it in as far as you can with your thumb or finger. Depending on how long you roasted the garlic, it may be sort of "soft and squishy." That's OK, just a little messy. Continue to cut slits into various angles around all sides, including the top and bottom, of the meat, squeezing a clove of garlic into each new "slot."

*"Squeezing" a clove of garlic enables you to remove and retain (discard) the skin while inserting the "meat" of the garlic into the beef.

After you are done inserting the cloves of garlic into the beef, rub it all over with dry mixture:

  • Rub softened butter all over and around all sides, including the top and bottom. of the meat. Then sprinkle all sides of the beef with the dry rub mixture, pressing it into the meat with your hand as you do so. If you have a few cloves of roasted garlic left over (as I did), you can also squeeze them and spread the softened flesh over the meat

Place a wire rack into a heavy roasting pan or cast iron skillet. Spray with cooking spray and allow the roast to rest in the pan on the counter or stove top while you prepare the glaze (see next step).



  1. 2 TBS Unsalted Butter
  2. 1 Large Shallot
  3. 1/4 teaspoon dried Sage
  4. 1/2 Cup Cherry Brandy (could use pear or apple brandy)
  5. 1 Cup Beef Stock (Low-sodium preferred)

  • Make or heat 1 cup beef bullion over medium heat
  • Peel and finely dice the shallot..
  • Melt butter in a separate sauce pan over medium heat, add the diced shallot and saute until onion becomes translucent (about 4 or 5 minutes).
  • Add beef bullion, then stir in brandy and simmer until mixture is reduced by about 50%. Remove from heat and let stand a few minutes to cool slightly.
  • Pour some of the glaze over the beef and place it into the preheated oven.


  • Roast the beef in the 450 degree F oven for 10 minutes to sear the meat.
  • Lower the heat to 350 degrees; quickly remove roast from oven, baste again, and return to oven.
  • Continue to roast at 350 degrees until internal temperature of thickest part of meat reaches 145 - 150 degrees F (about 25 or 35 minutes depending on the weight of the meat - this bottom round roast weighed 3 1/2 lbs, and it took a full 35 minutes to reach the ;pictured state of doneness - probably because I opened the oven door several times to check the internal temperature of the meat).
  • (Baste again after roast has cooked at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, and one more time when you remove it from the oven).

Step 5: TIME TO EAT . . .

Let the roast rest on a platter for 20 minutes before slicing; this helps to prevent the juices from running out of the meat.

I placed a nice sweet potato in the oven 15 minutes before I started to cook the roast, and by the time the roast was done, the sweet potato was cooked to perfection.

Help yourself to a serving of delicious roast beef, half a large baked sweet potato, and a glass of your favorite beverage. (As you can see, I am drinking a glass of red wine - actually a glass of Riunite Lambrusco Emilia from Italy. And yes, I know that it "is against the law" to place ice in wine. However, I don't like Riunite served at room temperature and the bottle will not fit into my little refrigerator and - as I have said before, I like what I like!.

Three and one-half pounds of roast beef is a lot of meat for one person, but I could not help but buy that beautiful cut of meat because it was fresh cut and on sale for $3.49@pound. It looks like I can get at least 6 dinners, and maybe a lunch or two, out of that platter of meat, so I will keep a couple of servings in the refrigerator and wrap the rest of it into individual servings a freeze them.


Nutrition for this recipe has been calculated to the best of my ability for 7 servings using the MyFitnessPal Recipe Analyzer. Click to enlarge photo.

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    4 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Beautiful! Great instructions and pictures. I can't wait to try this. Thank you for sharing.


    3 years ago

    Love the rub etc, but to me the meat is raw so the chances of not killing anything such as BSE is zero. But it`s a personal choice .

    2 replies

    I'm glad that you like the rub. As you noted, the degree of doneness is a personal choice. Although size and shape also have a lot to do with the time you cook a roast, generally speaking you can obtain a cut of "medium" roast beef by roasting it to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F. (I would probably cook a 3 1/2 lb. bottom round roast to an internal temperature of 155 degrees, then remove it from the oven, cover it, and let it rest for 15 or 20 minutes if I really wanted my roast "medium." I would rather have mine rare or medium rare, then it will not dry out so much when cooking leftovers.

    agree with your comment on "doneness" being a personal choice,but a tip I was given years ago from a friend to keep the meat moisture content is this.
    Place the meat on a rack/trivet in a dish containing water about 1/2 inch deep.Your container would benifit from having a dimpled lid to baste the meat during cooking and turn the meat occasionally, Towards the end of cooking time remove the lid to finish the cooking process.
    This gives 2 benifits, first the meat is moist and fully cooked, second the residue juices left when you remove the meat from the dish makes a very tasty gravy or sauce.
    I personally never remove the fat from the meat as according to my old mum thats where the taste comes from ,but it can be skimmed off if the residue is left to cool down for a few minutes if you so wish.