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Cooking roast beef

Photo-for-cooking-roast-beef-roasting-beefCooking roast beef is simple as long as you follow these top tips:

  1. Buy a good quality roasting beef cut/joint from a quality butchers.
  2. Take your roasting beef joint out of the fridge and allow it to warm up for at least 30 minutes before cooking.
  3. Pre- heat the oven and make sure it has reached the desired temperature before you start cooking roast beef.
  4. Season with salt and pepper and, if you want an extra crisp surface to the beef, rub the fat with a dusting of flour and dry mustard.
  5. Plan your cooking times for roast beef by using our beef roasting times table provided below. Write them down, time them, don’t forget the meat.
  6. Baste the cooking roast beef two or three times. You can use a long handled spoon. Take the pan out, tip it slightly so you can ladle the juices and pour them back over the beef.
  7. The cooking times for roast beef given on the beef roasting times table, should be accurate. However, the only way to really know if the beef is cooked to the amount you want is to test it. To test the roast beef temperature (it should be between 55 C and 70 C depending on how well done you want it) you can use a temperature probe. If you haven’t got one of those, insert a flat knife or skewer into the thickest part of the meat, then take it out and press the surface hard with the side of the knife or skewer and watch what colour the juices are that run out.
    • Rare beef the juices will still be faintly red
    • Medium beef the juices will be fairly pink
    • Well done the juices should be clear
  8. Take the beef out of the oven, baste again then wrap in foil to keep the roast beef temperature warm. Place in a warm spot and allow the meat to rest or relax for 20 to 30 minutes. The meat will keep cooking during this time.

There you have it, roasting beef - simple

Beef roasting times chart


Cooking roast beef – Troubleshooting

The meat is not browned on the surface

  • The initial oven temperature was too low for the meat to brown.
  • The meat was not cooked long enough at the higher temperature

There are a few things to do for next time. Make sure you heat the oven first, check its temperature before cooking and plan your cooking times for roast beef more carefully.

The meat is dry

  • The meat was not basted enough or regularly during roasting
  • The meat was left in the oven too long and so was over cooked

Next time when planning your beef roasting times ensure your basting times are more frequent and at more regular intervals, especially if the meat is lean.

The meat is tough not tender

  • The meat is probably over cooked
  • You have roasted the wrong type of beef cut/joint

Check your oven temperature, and ensure you buy meat from a quality butchers like Meat No Veg and take their advice on what is a good beef roasting joint.

The meat cooked quicker than you had planned

  • The oven temperature is too hot
  • The cut of meat is long and thin
  • The meat is on the bone

The bone left in the meat acts as an excellent conductor of heat – this means the meat will not lose juices as fast and it will be cooked faster and more evenly. So watch your ‘on the bone’ joint more closely.