Orange and Rosemary French Roast, Pittsburgh Style

Cooking meat is something that’s always intimidated me.

Perhaps this is due to the fact that, growing up, it was always my dad who was in charge of cooking steaks and roasts and he was always the one handling “DA GRILL”.

Then, once I was all grown up and “on my own”, it was my boyfriend who, very naturally it seems, inherited that oh so very important role.

So I guess in my mind, cooking meat has always been « a man’s job ».

I wonder why that is! It’s not like women are ill equipped when it comes to deciding whether a piece of meat is cooked or not!

And, as is the case with many other things, practice makes perfect when it comes to cooking different pieces of meat and placing a verdict on their doneness.

Sure, in the beginning, it’ll be sort of a trial and error thing, but the more meat you cook the better you will become at “feeling” your meat and knowing how far it’s gone into the cooking process.

I have to admit that I might have a bit of an advantage in this field, for I like my beef on the extremely rare side, so let’s just say that undercooking it is kinda hard for me to do. So long as the outside is nice and crusted, or even better yet, charred, I’m good to go!

My ultimate favorite way to eat steak is the one that is known as « Pittsburgh Style ». If you’re not familiar with it, it basically means charred on the outside while practically raw on the inside.

Orange and Rosemary French Roast - Pittsburgh Style | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

I find this cooking method allows you to get the best of both worlds. You get tender and juicy meat that’s all trapped inside a crispy, crunchy, smokey and crazy good meaty crust. Of course, there are many ways to achieve that, but only the grill will give you that nice, smokey flavor that the gentle kiss of a flame will provide.

This method is usually applied to cook steaks, but I decided to go ahead and try it with a French Roast, just to see what it said.

The verdict?

GENIUS! It doesn’t dirty up the kitchen nor smoke up the entire house. Hey, this translates into the fire alarm NOT going off. Now if that isn’t a win, I don’t know what is!

And of course, you could always use your BBQ to cook your roast even if you wanted it a little more on the “medium-rare” side. All you need to do is adjust temperature and cooking time.

Orange and Rosemary French Roast - Pittsburgh Style | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Now that I discovered how easy and practical it is to cook French Roast on the grill, I’ll be enjoying it a lot more often.

Did I mention that this meat is also excellent cold and makes the best roastbeef sandwiches? You better believe it. I’ll have to show you one day.

How about salads… Remember this one?

Roast Beef Salad with Shiitake Mushrooms and Goat Cheese | By Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

That’s precisely the type of leftover beef that I had used to make that one.

And leftovers that allow me to whip up such gorgeous dishes, I will take any day!

I don’t know why, but I sort of get the feeling that my trusty BBQ will NOT be stored away for winter.

It will have to be brave face and the cold winter months, because I, have meat to grill!

Orange and Rosemary French Roast, Pittsburgh Style

Orange and Rosemary French Roast, Pittsburgh Style


  • A 2-3 pound French roast (from the inside round)
  • One navel orange
  • 8-10 sprigs of rosemary
  • 1 tsp Himalayan or fine sea salt
  • 2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • About 1 tbsp olive oil


  1. Zest the orange and put the zest in a small mixing bowl.
  2. Add salt and pepper and mix until well incorporated.
  3. Rub mixture all over the roast, making sure to cover all surfaces.
  4. Place a few sprigs of rosemary on a large piece of plastic wrap.
  5. Slice the orange and place a few slices over the rosemary, on a single layer, to approximately match the length of your roast.
  6. Set the roast over the orange slices and rosemary.
  7. Place the rest of the rosemary and orange slices over the top and sides of the roast, folding the plastic wrap tightly around them to hold everything in place.
  8. Add a second layer of plastic wrap and place the roast in a plate. Transfer that to the fridge to rest for 18-24 hours.
  9. Preheat your outdoor grill to very high heat.
  10. When grill is hot enough, as in super hot, remove orange slices and rosemary from the roast, rub a tiny little bit of olive oil all over it and place it on the grill. Let it cook, uncovered, until a nice, dark, crispy crust forms, about 3-4 minutes. Avoid moving it around. Let the flames kiss it and do their job!
  11. Once the crust is to your liking, flip the roast one quarter turn and again, cook until a nice golden crust forms. Repeat the process for all sides, including the ends.
  12. Remove roast from the grill, cover it loosely in foil and let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
  13. Slice as thinly as possible and serve.


If you want your roast to be a little more on the "medium-rare" side, lower your grill temperature, close the lid and cook for a few minutes more per side.

Orange and Rosemary French Roast - Pittsburgh Style | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Check out the crust on that baby…

Orange and Rosemary French Roast - Pittsburgh Style | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

All nice and very rare on the inside! So juicy and tender…

Orange and Rosemary French Roast - Pittsburgh Style | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Dinner is served. And I say “Yes please!”

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    • says

      I think that so long as you stick to lean cuts, you can afford to have beef on a regular basis (as in a few times a week, maybe?) Inside round would be the leanest cut available, and also my favorite, especially cooked like this. Let me know if you ever try that salad. Beef and goat cheese do go superbly well together…

  1. Donna says

    Yet another INSTANTLY bookmarked gem from your creative mind and kitchen Sonia!!..Any POSSIBLE way of doing this on an indoor grill grate?…Would it be too smoke-alarm inducing??…Or a broil/oven technique?…Our grill outside is filthy!! (Last user…hubby who “forgot” to clean it..) and it is sooo cold!!

    I love my roast JUST as you do…nearly “moo-ing” in the center and seared so gorgeously on the exterior surfaces…and the salades..your marvelous, marvelous GO-TO salades..simply cannot get enough of ’em.

    • says

      Why thank you so much for your kind words, Donna! You are a real sweetheart, I am truly touched!

      Not sure I would attempt doing this on an indoor grill, unless you have a VERY good fan. And I do mean VERY. Unless you don’t mind the smoke alarm going off, that is, or you can afford to have a man standing underneath it with a towel, waving it frantically in the air to avoid any smoke getting near the device!

      But you know what? Nothing would ever stand in the way of me and a nicely charred piece of meat when I am craving one. So I say hey, give it a go and see what happens! 😉

  2. says

    That’s funny how cooking meat really is a man’s job! At home, I’m pretty much the only one cooking — not that I’m complaining…my boyfriend gets kicked out almost instantly when he sets foot in the kitchen ahaha — but when it comes to BBQ and this kind of meaty stuff, he is always in charge…! I guess it’s because they love meat so much they want to take care of it…who knows?!
    Anyway, your French Roast looks delicious. When we were kids, we had a roast beef almost every sunday. It was so good!!

  3. says

    Wow! Your pictures are incredible! Meat is difficult for me to shoot, but you made it look delicious! I love rare beef, so this beckoned to me when I saw it on Foodgawker. Great job! :-)

  4. Trish says

    Is this what could also be called an eye of round roast? Looks fantastic! Like, I’m cooking this for New years eve fantastic

    • says

      Gee, really? Wow! Thank you so much Trish! You so made my day! 😀 And yes, from what I understand, Inside Round and Eye of Round are pretty much the same. They both come from the hip and are very very lean, which is what we want! In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if they were the exact same. I’d have to ask a butcher. I think I’ll do that next time I hit the grocery store!

  5. says

    I’m kind of silly. I still think grilling and all that is for the guys. I’ll stick to the kitchen… 😉

    This is beautiful! And orange and rosemary. Yummy! This is my favorite savory post of yours. Other than the alfredo pasta. Such great flavors. And I like all the ingredients. 😀

      • Helene says

        AMAZING RECIPE!!! I had some real foodies over- true meat connoisseurs! They loved it but I had to make a few adaptions that I thought others might find useful:

        1) I used French Roast (I keep Kosher- that is what was available. It was over 5 lbs.). I marinated (see #2 & #3) as is, but for grilling we butter-flied – that is cut the thickness in half.
        2) I was in a hurry & hadn’t fully read the recipe so: I double the marinade (2 oranges, 1/2 TBLSPN Salt & 1/2 Ground Pepper. But Not that much Rosemary but out here in CA VERY fresh & strong.
        3) Couldn’t deal with wrapping in plastic. I think like many, I have a Pyrex dish that tightly seals with a lid. So I rubbed the marinade & followed the directions, sans (without) the wrap.

        4) Last size adjustment: we grilled as you said & got a nice crisp but because of the size of the meat, at the end we turned off the grill & let the meat cook through while we ate our salad. We still have a few pieces too raw to eat that I froze for re- heating another day. THANKS!

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