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Prune, Peppercorn and Fresh Herb-Rubbed Roast Beef

10 Servings

2¾ hours 48 hours to marinate

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A prune-based marinade helped us transform an economical eye round into a tender and juicy roast. The sugars in the prunes and ketchup create a nicely caramelized crust, while the salt and soy sauce provide seasoning that flavors the meat throughout. The anchovies may be an unexpected ingredient here, but they add rich umami notes without any trace of fishiness. To boost the marinade’s effect, we trim the silver skin and also poked the meat repeatedly with a fork. The roast beef tasted best after marinating for 48 hours, but 24 will work, too. Serve thinly sliced with fresh horseradish sauce for a clean, contrasting bite.




Don’t check the roast too frequently. A succulent roast relied on even cooking at a low temperature; opening the oven door interrupted that process. Instead, use an oven-safe thermometer (the type that can be left in the roast as it cooks) to monitor the meat’s temperature during cooking.

2¾ hours

48 hours to marinate


  • 8

    ounces pitted prunes (about 1½ cups)

  • ½


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Graham B.
February 26, 2023
I've made this about half a dozen times since 2019. It is very flavorful and makes great leftovers. Slicing it thinly is the key. We had a tenderloin roast recently and this is better flavor.
November 18, 2022
Sous vide
Hi, I’ve made this as written and it was wonderful. Any thoughts on how to translate water bath temp and cooking time in a sous vide? Thank you
Russell B.
January 7, 2023
Xmas Roast Beast
Although true this is an easy way to make a nice holiday roast from an economical (non-tenderloin) piece of beef, I subsequently discovered that simply drying the roast for a few days in the refrigerator & salting it for 24 hrs (recipe from Another Website) produced equally tender, flavorful beef w/o having to puree prunes & ketchup first. Still I made this several times & it turned out really well. The horseradish sauce is a keeper though!
Peter R.
January 11, 2024
Beef Wellington it is!
This was a perfect replacement for Tenderloin. I followed the recipe exactly and when the marinade part was complete I proceeded with my Beef Wellington recipe, the whole chabang, duxelle, foie gras, etc. The beef was perfectly medium rare and the entire meal was perfect. I'm sure it will be excellent the next time as well!
Andrew V.

Didn't this recipe originally call for beef tenderloin? If so, why the switch?

April D.

Andrew - we don't have an earlier version of this recipe that called for beef tenderloin, no. We do have this recipe for a beef tenderloin that is prepared in a very similar way: a long marinade, followed by time in a low-heat oven (275°F) until nicely rare:

Andrew V.

Thank you. I have made the porcini crusted tenderloin and it's great.

Debbie O.

How bad do you think the result would be if you used dry herbs?

Lynn C.

Hi Debbie -

Although dried rosemary and thyme can be used in certain applications, since the herbs are only being used in the marinade in this recipe, we strongly recommend the more vibrant flavor of fresh rosemary and thyme here.

The Milk Street Team