Bottom Round Roast With Onion Gravy Recipe: Step-by-Step Guide and Tips

Bottom Round Roast With Onion Gravy Recipe: Step-by-Step Guide and Tips

The bottom round roast comes from the rear leg of the cow, specifically the round primal cut. This part of the cow experiences more muscle use, making the meat leaner and less tender compared to other cuts. However, when cooked slowly and properly, the bottom round roast transforms into a flavorful and tender dish. Its moderate fat content and connective tissue make it ideal for slow cooking methods such as braising or roasting.

How It Differs From Other Roasts

Bottom round roast differs from top round, chuck, and rib roasts in several ways. Top round roast, which also comes from the round primal, is slightly more tender than the bottom round but still requires slow cooking for best results. Chuck roast, taken from the shoulder area, has a higher fat content and is more marbled, making it naturally more tender and flavorful without extensive cooking. Rib roast, which includes prime rib and ribeye cuts, is the most tender and rich in flavor due to its higher fat content and marbling. In contrast, bottom round roast needs low and slow cooking to achieve similar tenderness and depth of flavor.

Key Ingredients for Bottom Round Roast With Onion Gravy

The Role of Onions

Onions serve as the base for the gravy, providing sweetness that complements the rich beef. Yellow onions are preferred as they caramelize well and release a depth of flavor. When slow-cooked with the roast, they break down, thickening the gravy and infusing it with a balanced taste. Chopped onions are recommended for even cooking and distribution in the gravy.

Spices and Additional Flavorings

Spices and herbs enhance the subtle flavors of the bottom round roast. Essential spices include:

  • Salt and Black Pepper: Basic seasonings that enhance other flavors.
  • Garlic: Adds a robust, aromatic profile.
  • Thyme: Offers an earthy, slightly minty note that works well with beef.
  • Bay Leaves: Provides a subtle bitterness and herbal nuance.
  • Paprika: Brings a mild, sweet heat and vibrant color to the gravy.

Incorporate beef broth and Worcestershire sauce to enrich the gravy’s savory profile. Using red wine introduces a hint of acidity and complements the beef’s flavors.

How to Prepare Bottom Round Roast With Onion Gravy

Step-by-Step Cooking Instructions

  1. Preheat Oven: Set your oven to 325°F (163°C) to start heating while you prep your ingredients.
  2. Sear the Roast: Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Sear the 3-4 lb bottom round roast on all sides until browned. This seals in the juices.
  3. Prepare Vegetables: Slice 2 large onions and mince 4 garlic cloves. Set aside.
  4. Combine Ingredients: In a roasting pan, place the seared roast and surround it with the sliced onions and minced garlic. Add fresh herbs, including 2 bay leaves and a few sprigs of thyme.
  5. Mix Liquid Components: Combine 2 cups of beef broth, 1/2 cup of red wine, and 2 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce. Pour this mixture over the roast and vegetables in the pan.
  6. Season Roast: Sprinkle salt, pepper, and 1 tsp of paprika over the roast and vegetables.
  7. Cover and Cook: Cover the roasting pan tightly with a lid or aluminum foil. Place in the oven and cook for approximately 2.5 to 3 hours, or until the internal temperature of the roast reaches 135°F (57°C) for medium-rare.
  8. Prepare Gravy: After cooking, remove the roast from the pan. Strain the onions and garlic from the liquid and place the liquid in a saucepan. Simmer and reduce until it reaches a gravy consistency.
  9. Serve: Slice the roast thinly against the grain. Serve with the onion gravy drizzled over the top.
  1. Pat Dry: Ensure the roast is dry before searing. Patting the meat with paper towels removes excess moisture, aiding in a better sear.
  2. Room Temperature: Let the roast sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking. This promotes even cooking.
  3. Use Rack: Place the roast on a rack in the roasting pan. This helps circulate heat around the meat.
  4. Monitor Temperature: Use a meat thermometer to avoid overcooking. Check the internal temperature regularly during the last 30 minutes of cooking.
  5. Rest Meat: Allow the roast to rest for at least 15 minutes after cooking. Resting helps redistribute juices, resulting in a moist, tender roast.
  6. Deglaze Pan: Use red wine or beef broth to deglaze the roasting pan. Scrape browned bits from the bottom to add depth to your gravy.
  7. Consistent Slices: When ready to serve, cut uniformly thin slices against the grain of the meat for maximum tenderness.

Side Dishes to Complement Bottom Round Roast

Vegetable Pairings

Roasted vegetables complement bottom round roast and bring out its flavors. Carrots, parsnips, and Brussels sprouts roast well, providing a sweet, earthy taste. Drizzle them with olive oil and season with salt and pepper before roasting at 400°F for 30-45 minutes.

Starch Options

Choosing the right starch heightens your meal’s appeal. Mashed potatoes, with their creamy texture, absorb the flavorful onion gravy, offering a delightful contrast to the roast. Serve buttery mashed potatoes made with russet potatoes, milk, and butter.

Roasted or boiled potatoes enhance the meal without overpowering the roast. Season them with rosemary, thyme, and a pinch of salt before baking them at 375°F for 45 minutes.

Rice pilaf or wild rice gives a nutty flavor that pairs well with the savory gravy. Cook rice with chicken broth, onions, and toasted almonds for an aromatic side dish.

Pasta side dishes like buttered noodles or garlic linguine offer pleasing simplicity. Toss cooked pasta with garlic, butter, and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese for a gratifying complement.

Nutritional Information

Health Benefits of Beef

Beef, including bottom round roast, offers valuable nutrients essential for maintaining good health. A 3-ounce serving of cooked bottom round roast provides approximately 170 calories, 26 grams of protein, and 7 grams of fat. The protein supports muscle growth and repair. Key nutrients found in beef include B vitamins (like B12 and niacin) essential for energy production, zinc aiding in immune function, and iron critical for oxygen transport in red blood cells. Additionally, beef contains selenium vital for metabolic function and antioxidant defense.

Considerations for Dietary Restrictions

While bottom round roast is nutritious, certain dietary restrictions require attention. Those monitoring fat intake can benefit from its comparatively lower fat content, but individuals on low-sodium diets should be cautious of added salt in recipes. For those with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, ensure the gravy uses gluten-free thickeners like cornstarch or arrowroot instead of wheat flour. If you follow a low-carb diet, pairing the roast with non-starchy vegetables like broccoli avoids excess carbohydrates from traditional sides like potatoes.

This section seamlessly connects to the previous discussion by focusing on the nutritional aspects of bottom round roast with onion gravy, complementing earlier notes about ingredients and cooking methods.


Cooking a bottom round roast with onion gravy not only brings a hearty and flavorful meal to your table but also offers a nutritious option packed with essential nutrients. By following the detailed steps and tips, you can achieve a perfectly tender roast complemented by a rich, savory gravy. Pair it with your favorite side dishes to create a well-rounded meal that caters to various dietary preferences. Whether you’re looking to impress guests or simply enjoy a comforting dinner, this recipe is sure to become a staple in your kitchen.

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