Mimi's Tomato-Marinated Roast Beef 6.000
Top Tomato 2014 Aug 20, 2014

This roast, fragrant and imbued with tomato and clove, is simple to make. But the preparation takes 3 days: Apply the rub and refrigerate overnight on the first day; make a tomato sauce and use it to marinate the meat overnight on the second day; and slow-roast it on the third day.

Top Tomato finalist Michelle Foster was one of seven grandchildren who clamored for the dish, made by their grandmother Mimi Breton, who served the meat with homemade, thin-cut french fries.

Foster says when tomatoes are out of season, she substitutes ketchup for the cup of tomato sauce.

You'll need an instant-read thermometer for checking the meat.

Make Ahead: You’ll have tomato sauce left over, which can be frozen for up to 1 year.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 6 servings

  • For the roast
  • 2 teaspoons powdered mustard
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons celery seed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • One 2 1/2-to-3-pound boneless beef roast, such as a top round or eye round
  • For the sauce and marinade
  • 2 to 2 1/2 pounds heirloom tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped (see NOTE)
  • 3/4 cup (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 2 cups plus 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered mustard
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup avocado oil or canola oil


For the roast: Combine the powdered mustard, garlic powder, celery seed, ground thyme, ground cloves, salt and pepper in a small bowl.

Place the roast in a mixing bowl. Rub the spice mixture all over the meat. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

For the sauce: Combine the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 teaspoons of the red wine vinegar, powdered mustard and garlic powder in a medium saucepan over medium heat; cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Use an immersion (stick) blender to puree into a sauce. Let cool; there will be at least 1 cup.

To form the marinade, pour half the tomato sauce (1 cup) into a mixing bowl, along with the avocado or canola oil and the remaining 2 cups of red wine vinegar. Whisk to incorporate, then add the rubbed meat and turn to coat. Cover the bowl and marinate in the refrigerator for at least overnight and up to 2 days. Turn it periodically for even marinating.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Have a roasting pan at hand.

Transfer the roast from the marinade to the roasting pan; discard the marinade. Place the roast in the oven, then immediately reduce the temperature to 250 degrees. Slow-roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the roast registers 135 degrees. Remove from the oven; let the roast rest for about 30 minutes (medium-rare).

Slice very thin; serve at room temperature.

NOTE: To peel the tomatoes, bring a pot of water to a boil. Score the base of each tomato lightly with an "x." Dunk the tomatoes in the boiling water until the skin begins to peel back. Once cooled, peel the skin off, cut in half and remove the seeds.

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Recipe Source

From Paeonian Springs, Va., resident Michelle Foster

Tested by Jane Touzalin.

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