Serves 8, plus leftovers
1 (4- to 6-pound) whole beef top loin, fat trimmed to ¼ inch
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme, fennel, marjoram, sage or savory or 2 teaspoons dried
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
About 2 hours before cooking, remove the meat from the refrigerator. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Lay the roast beef flat side up on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Coat the top ends and sides of the roast with herb paste.
Place the meat in the middle of the oven and roast for 15 minutes. Turn the heat down to 350 degrees F and continue to roast for 35 to 45 minutes. After about 25 minutes, begin to check the internal temperature in the thickest part with an instant-read thermometer. Remove the roast from the oven when it reaches 115-140 degrees F for medium. Cover the meat loosely with foil and let rest for 15 to 20 minutes so the meat juices and internal temperatures can equilibrate. Final temperature should be about 10 degrees higher than when it was removed from the oven.
Carve the meat into slices 3/8 to ½ inch thick and serve with your favorite vegetables.
— Adapted from Deborah Madison’s “Local Flavors”