Mano de Piedra (Eye of Round) is a popular cut of beef in Costa Rica, but is typically cooked or stewed until it falls to pieces (think Carne en Salsa). That’s a shame because this is an extremely flavorful and easy-to-cook roast that makes a delicious dinner, with an added bonus of Roast Beef Sandwiches the following day(s).

A few days ago, a couple purchased a Mano de Piedra and asked for cooking suggestions. I gave them my simple recipe, and they replied later with “Killer MDP! It was delicious!”


1 – 1.5 kilos Mano de Piedra

Dry Rub:

  • 4-5 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoons of dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or seeds from one fresh Panamanian Chili)


Let the Mano de Piedra rise to room temperature while mixing the dry rub together. Coat coat with one tablespoon extra virgin olive oil and massage the dry rub over the roast. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a heavy pan over heat and brown all sides of the Mano de Piedra.

Insert a meat thermometer in the center of the roast and place on an oven rack with a pan underneath to catch the drippings. Cook in the over that’s pre-heated to 275 degrees fahrenheit (135 C) until the meat thermometer reads 115 – 117 F.

Let the roast rest for 15 minutes. The internal temperature will continue to rise to about another 10 degrees F. Slice thinly for serving.

You can also make a quick gravy with the drippingsĀ fromĀ the pan. Place the pan over medium heat and stir in a bit of beef broth to loosen the drippings. Add a tablespoon of dry sherry or red wine and sprinkle with a bit of flour until the consistency is correct. Add black pepper and serve.

Alternatively, you can serve the roast with a Horseradish Creme Sauce, or a Dijon Mustard-Caper sauce. Be sure to save some meat for roast beef sandwiches!

Dry-aged Mano de Piedra