Italian Christmas Recipes/ Mains

Italian Roast Beef with Marsala & Onions

November 9, 2020 by Emily

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Juicy and delicious Italian Roast beef served with a super simple marsala and onion gravy. This family roast is super simple to prepare made with just four ingredients and ready in under 2 hours! Serve with roasted potatoes and your favourite sides.

Italian roast beef on a platter with slices cut, marsala sauce and onions

A roast dinner is always so comforting, hearty and delicious whether it’s a roast chicken, pork tenderloin or roast beef! There’s just something about the juicy, tender meat, fluffy mash or roast potatoes and of course the flavour packed gravy to pour over it all!

This Italian roast beef has been our family favourite for a while now and you just won’t believe just how simple and effortless it is to make.

The blushing pink roast beef cooks in it’s own gravy made from marsala, onions and herbs so there’s no need to make that separately it’s that easy!

Ingredients – what you need

The ingredients you need are super simple all you need is a bottom round or rump roast beef (silverside in the UK), Marsala fortified wine, onion, fresh rosemary and sage, olive oil and salt and pepper.

See the photo below that shows all the ingredients you need!

An overhead shot of all the ingredients you need to make Italian roast beef

How to make Italian Roast Beef – step by step

Make sure the fat is trimmed off of the beef and season it well with salt and pepper (photo 1).

Heat the oil in a Dutch Oven (or ovenproof pot with a lid), once hot add the beef and brown it on all sides, remove to a plate and set aside (photos 2 & 3).

Step by step photos showing how to brown Italian roast beef

Add the sliced onion and chopped herbs to the pot (add a little extra olive oil if needed) and saute on a medium heat for 5 minutes until softened (photo 4).

Add the beef back to the pot and pour over the marsala. Cover with a lid and cook in the oven for 25 minutes turn the beef round, cover again and cook for a further 25 minutes (photos 5 – 7).

Step by step photos showing how to cook Italian roast beef

Once cooked, remove from the oven and set the beef on a plate or cutting board covered with aluminum foil to rest for at least 15-20 minutes. It’s important to let the beef rest so it doesn’t dry out.

Five minutes before serving heat the marsala sauce and onions on a medium heat to reduce slightly.

Cut the beef into slices and serve on plates topped with onions and the marsala sauce (photo 8).

Serving suggestions

I love to serve this roast beef with roasted potatoes and a side salad or arugula, shaved parmesan and olive oil. Here are more delicious side dish ideas that would also go great!

A close up of Itlaian roast beef with onions

Top tips and recipe FAQs

  • Marsala – Marsala is a sweet fortified wine and is the key ingredient that creates such a delicious and flavourful sauce!
  • For a thicker gravy – if you’d like a thicker gravy mix 1 tbsp of cornstarch with 2 tbsp of water until dissolved, add it to the gravy and onions, and simmer until thickened.
  • Let it rest – it’s so important to let the beef rest after cooking. The worst thing you can do is cut it straight away and let all those delicious juices run right out of it drying it out. Rest it for at least 15-20 minutes before slicing.
  • Internal temperature – if you’re unsure whether your beef is cooked to your liking you can use a meat thermometer to check. Here are the internal temperatures to look for; Medium-Rare 135°F/72°C, for Medium 145°F/63°C, and for Well done 150°F/66°C. Remember that the beef will continue to cook as it rests so I recommend taking the beef out of the oven around 4-5 degrees earlier than the above-stated temperatures to avoid it overcooking.
What’s the best cut of beef to use?

I recommend using bottom round or rump roast also known as Silverside in the UK.

How long do leftovers last?

Leftovers will keep really well in the fridge for up to 1 week. Use leftover beef to make sandwiches, add to salads or stews!

Can I freeze this?

Absolutely, leftovers can be frozen in suitable containers or bags and then thawed completely before re-heating or serving.

If you’ve tried this Italian Roast Beef or any other recipe on the blog then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more delicious food and what I’m getting up to.

Step By Step Photos AboveMost of our recipes come with step by step photos, helpful tips and tricks to make it perfectly first time and even video!

Italian Roast Beef with Marsala & Onions

Juicy and delicious Italian Roast beef served with a super simple marsala and onion sauce. This family roast is super simple to prepare made with just four ingredients and ready in under 2 hours! Serve with roasted potatoes and your favourite sides!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
meat resting time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 252kcal
Author Emily Kemp

Ingredients

  • 2 lb bottom round or rump roast beef fat trimmed off (1kg, silverside UK)
  • 1.5 cups Marsala fortified wine (350ml)
  • 1 onion cut in half and sliced
  • 2 sprigs rosemary chopped
  • 3-4 fresh sage leaves chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C.
  • Make sure the fat is trimmed off of the beef and season it well with salt and pepper.
  • Heat the oil in a Dutch Oven on a medium heat (or ovenproof pot with a lid), once hot add the beef and brown it on all sides, remove to a plate and set aside.
  • Add the sliced onion and chopped herbs to the pot (add a little extra olive oil if needed) and saute on a medium heat for 5 minutes until softened.
  • Add the beef back to the pot and pour over the marsala. Cover with a lid and cook in the oven for 25 minutes turn the beef round, cover again and cook for a further 25 minutes.
  • Once cooked, remove from the oven and set the beef on a plate or cutting board covered with aluminium foil to rest for at least 15-20 minutes. It’s important to let the beef rest so it doesn’t dry out.
  • Five minutes before serving heat the marsala sauce and onions on a medium heat to reduce slightly.
  • Cut the beef into slices and serve on plates topped with onions and the marsala sauce.

Notes

  • Marsala – Marsala is a sweet fortified wine and is the key ingredient that creates such a delicious and flavourful sauce!
  • For a thicker gravy – if you’d like a thicker gravy mix 1 tbsp of cornstarch with 2 tbsp of water until dissolved, add it to the gravy and onions, and simmer until thickened.
  • Let it rest – it’s so important to let the beef rest after cooking. The worst thing you can do is cut it straight away and let all those delicious juices run right out of it drying it out. Rest it for at least 15-20 minutes before slicing.
  • Internal temperature – if you’re unsure whether your beef is cooked to your liking you can use a meat thermometer to check. Here are the internal temperatures to look for; Medium-Rare 135°F/72°C, for Medium 145°F/63°C, and for Well done 150°F/66°C. Remember that the beef will continue to cook as it rests so I recommend taking the beef out of the oven around 4-5 degrees earlier than the above-stated temperatures to avoid it overcooking.

Nutrition

Calories: 252kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 68mg | Potassium: 448mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 2mg
Helpful Info for All Recipes
  • I always use extra virgin olive oil in all of my recipes unless stated otherwise
  • When I use canned or jarred tomatoes of any kind I always use this brand for the best results and flavour
  • All vegetables are medium sized unless stated otherwise
  • All recipes are tested and developed using a fan (convection) oven
  • Find out more about how nutrition is calculated here
  • Check out our must have Italian Pantry Staples here
  • You can also find all our Essential Kitchen Tools for Italian Cooking here
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