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Roast Beef - 5 Tips for Perfect Roast Beef


Rib of Beef

Rib of Organic British Beef

Photo © RFB Photography Carving roast beef
Rocketroom/Photolibrary/Getty Images

There is no better known British meal than Roast Beef and Yorkshire Puddings it is the national dish of Great Britain and loved by almost everyone.

I am often asked how to cook perfect roast beef, it is actually very easy as you can see with these handy tips or you can

Watch the How to Video on Tips for Making Roast Beef


1. Choosing the Beef

The best joints for roast beef are either a Rib of Beef, a Sirloin or a Fillet. Rib works well as usually it will be cooked on the bone as keeping the bone in makes for a tastier piece of beef when cooked but both Sirloin and Fillet are also very good.

The beef should be:
  • Dark in colour - meaning it has been hung well and is mature.
  • A thick covering of fat which adds flavor and prevents the joint from drying out during cooking. This layer can be removed before serving so no need to worry too much about excess fat.
  • Marbling: Marbling is small slivers of fat running through the flesh which again adds flavor and prevents drying out during cooking.

2. How Much to Buy

  • 5½ lb/2.5kg bone in will feed 6
  • 3 lb/1.5kg boned will feed 6

Don't worry about buying too much as cold roast beef makes great sandwiches or it can be added to a plate of cold cuts.

3. Cooking Temperature

There are varying opinions about what the perfect temperature to cook a roast beef but in my experience starting the beef in a very hot oven 425F/220C/Gas 7 for the first 30 mins then lower the temperature to 375F/190C/Gas5 for the remaining cooking time then .... how long to cook beef depends on your preference for how 'pink' or not you like to eat beef.
  • Rare - 11 mins per lb/450g
  • Medium - 14 mins per lb/450g
  • Well done - 16 mins per lb/450g
  • These times are based on a normal convection oven, you may want to adjust for a fan oven according to the manufacturers instructions.
Another way to work out the cooking time is to use a meat thermometer pushed into the thickest part of the beef.
  • 60°C/140° F - rare
  • 70°C/160F - medium
  • 80°C/175°F - well done

4. How to Cook

The beef should be at room temperature. Stand the beef joint in a roasting tin then cook to the temperature and time as above.

5. Rest, Rest, Rest

An important part of cooking any meat is once it is removed from the oven the meat must rest. Wrap the meat loosely in aluminum foil and put to one side. The fibers in meat tighten up during cooking and resting allows the fibers to relax, release some of the meat juices (great for the gravy) and results in a soft tender piece of meat. 20 minutes should be long enough but up to an hour won't do any harm. The joint is then ready to carve.


Watch the How to Video on Tips for Making Roast Beef

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