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Roast Beef: Tips and Techniques for Perfect Sunday Roasts

If you’re looking for a hearty, satisfying meal, roast beef is hard to beat. As part of a traditional Sunday Roast, a quality cut of beef roasted properly is a huge favourite in millions of homes.

But cooking the best roast beef can be tricky, especially if you’re not sure where to start. Here are some tips to help you cook the perfect roast beef every time:



How To Cook Roast Beef

The first step in cooking the perfect roast beef is choosing the right cut. Some of the most popular cuts for roasting include:

  • Rump
  • Sirloin
  • Ribeye
  • Fillet/Tenderloin

Each of these cuts has its own unique flavor and texture, so it’s important to choose the one that best suits your taste. A rump is a lean cut that’s perfect for those who prefer a less fatty meat, while sirloin is a little more marbled and has a slightly richer flavor. Ribeye is one of the most flavorful cuts, with plenty of marbling and a rich, beefy taste, while a fillet of beef is the most tender cut, with a mild flavor and almost no fat.

Preparing the Beef

Once you’ve chosen your cut of beef, it’s time to prepare it for roasting. Here’s what to do:

  • Remove the beef from the fridge and let it come to room temperature. This will help it cook more evenly.
  • Preheat your oven to the desired temperature (usually between 220°C).
  • Season the beef with salt, pepper, and any other herbs or spices you like.
  • Place the beef in a roasting pan and insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the meat.

At this point, you can also add any vegetables or aromatics you like to the pan. Carrots, onions, and garlic are all great choices that will add flavor to the beef as it cooks.

Cooking the Roast Beef

Now it’s time to cook the roast beef. Here’s how:

  • Place the roasting pan in the oven and cook the beef until it reaches your desired level of doneness. This will depend on the size of the beef and your personal preference, but as a general rule, you can expect to cook a 3-4 pound roast for around 1.5-2 hours.
  • Check the temperature of the meat using the meat thermometer. For rare beef, the internal temperature should be 48°C; for medium, it should be around 58°C; and for well-done, it should be 65°C. However, these temperatures should be varied a little to suit the cut of roast.
  • Remove the beef from the oven and let it rest for 10-15 minutes before carving. This will allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, making it more tender and flavorful.

And there you have it – perfectly cooked roast beef that’s sure to impress your family and friends!

Popular Cuts of Roast Beef and How to Cook Them

There are several popular cuts of beef that are perfect for roasting. Each cut has its own unique flavor and texture, and requires different cooking methods. Here are some of the most popular cuts of roast beef and how to cook them:

Sirloin

This cut of beef is lean and flavorful, and is perfect for roasting. Preheat your oven to 220°C. Rub the meat with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and your favorite herbs. Place the roast in a roasting pan for 15-20 minutes for searing. Then turn the oven down to 170°C and cook for 25 minutes per pound for medium-rare, or until the internal temperature reaches 58°C. Let the meat rest for 10 minutes before carving.

Ribeye

The ribeye is a marbled cut of beef that is full of flavor and perfect for roasting. Preheat your oven to 220°C. Rub the meat with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the roast in a roasting pan and cook for 15-20 minutes for adequate searing and caramelisation of the meat. Then cook for 25 minutes per pound for medium-rare, or until the internal temperature reaches 58°C. Let the meat rest for 10-15 minutes before carving.

Fillet

The fillet is a lean cut of beef that is extremely tender and perfect for special occasions. Preheat your oven to 220°C. Rub the meat with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the roast in a roasting pan and cook for 15-20 minutes for adequate searing of the meat. Then cook for 25 minutes per pound for medium-rare, or until the internal temperature reaches 58°C. Let the meat rest for 10-15 minutes before carving.

Serving Temperature for Roast Beef

roast beef temperature chart

Use our roast beef temperature chart, or ‘beef temp chart’ for short, to get your cooking times just right.

Ideal serving temperatures for roast beef depend on personal preference, but most people prefer their roast beef to be served warm.

The internal temperature of the meat should be between 52°C and 57°C for medium-rare, and 60°C to 65°C for medium to medium-well done.

Let the meat rest for 10-15 minutes before carving to allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat.


Best Sauces and Seasonings for Roast Beef

Roast beef is delicious on its own, but a good sauce or seasoning can take it to the next level. Here are some of the best sauces and seasonings to go with your roast beef:

Horseradish Sauce

Horseradish sauce is a classic accompaniment to roast beef. It’s made with sour cream, prepared horseradish, and lemon juice. The tangy flavor of the sauce complements the richness of the beef.

Red Wine Sauce

Red wine sauce is a rich and savory sauce that pairs perfectly with roast beef. To make it, sauté shallots in butter until they’re soft. Add red wine and beef broth, and simmer until the sauce has thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Garlic and Herb Seasoning

A garlic and herb seasoning is a simple yet delicious way to add flavor to your roast beef. Mix together garlic powder, dried thyme, dried rosemary, salt, and pepper. Rub the seasoning all over the meat before cooking.

The Best Sauces to Go with Roast Beef

Roast beef is delicious on its own, but the right sauce can take it to the next level. Here are some of the best sauces to pair with roast beef:

  • Horseradish Sauce: This tangy sauce is made with grated horseradish root, sour cream, and a bit of lemon juice. It’s the classic accompaniment to roast beef in the UK.
  • Béarnaise Sauce: This rich and creamy sauce is made with egg yolks, butter, tarragon, shallots, and white wine vinegar. It’s a classic French sauce that pairs well with beef.
  • Red Wine Sauce: This sauce is made by deglazing the roasting pan with red wine, adding beef broth, and reducing the mixture until it’s thick and flavorful.
  • Mustard Sauce: This tangy sauce is made with Dijon mustard, heavy cream, and a bit of white wine. It’s perfect for those who like a bit of heat with their roast beef.

These sauces can be served hot or cold, depending on your preference. Try them out and see which one you like best with your beef!

Herbs and Oils for Roast Beef

If you want to add extra flavor to your roast beef, try seasoning it with herbs and oils. Here are some of the best herbs and oils to use:

  • Thyme: This herb has a slightly sweet and minty flavor that pairs well with beef. It can be used fresh or dried.
  • Rosemary: This herb has a strong, piney flavor that goes well with beef. It can be used fresh or dried.
  • Olive oil: This oil is a classic choice for roasting beef. It adds richness and depth to the flavor.
  • Garlic: This pungent bulb adds a ton of flavor to beef. Try rubbing the beef with minced garlic before roasting.

When using herbs and oils, be sure to coat the beef evenly for the best flavor. You can also mix and match different herbs and oils to create your own unique flavor combinations.

Cooking the Perfect Sunday Roast

The Sunday roast is a British tradition that dates back centuries. It’s a time to gather with family and friends and enjoy a delicious meal together. Here are some tips for cooking the best Sunday roast:

    • Choose the right cut: The most popular cuts for a Sunday roast are topside, rump, beef rib, sirloin, and fillet. Choose a cut that is well-marbled and has a good amount of fat to ensure it stays juicy during cooking.
    • Season it well: Season the beef generously with salt, pepper, and any herbs or spices you like. Be sure to rub the seasoning into the beef to ensure it’s evenly coated.
    • Get the temperature right: The ideal temperature for roast beef is 52°C for medium-rare, 58°C for medium, and 68°C for well done. It is recommended to use a meat thermometer to ensure the right internal temperature is reached. When taking the temperature, insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the beef, away from any bones or fat.

How to Cook the Different Popular Cuts of Beef

Here we will describe the best way to cook the various cuts of roast beef. The methods can vary a little due to tenderness, fat content and other reasons.

If you are in any doubt just refer to our beef temperature chart.

Ribeye Roast

Ribeye roast is one of the most popular cuts for roast beef. It is a tender, juicy and flavorful cut that comes from the rib area of the cow. Here is how to cook a ribeye roast:

  • Preheat the oven to 220°C.
  • Place the ribeye joint in a roasting pan, bone side down.
  • Season the roast generously with salt and pepper or your favorite seasoning rub.
  • Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the roast.
  • Roast the beef for 15 minutes at 220°C, then reduce the oven temperature to 170°C.
  • Continue cooking until the meat thermometer reaches your desired internal temperature.
  • Remove the roast from the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes before carving.

And don’t forget to check out our roast ribeye temperature chart to get your cooking time perfect!

Sirloin Roast

Sirloin roast is another popular cut for roast beef. It comes from the lower back of the cow and is a leaner cut than ribeye roast. Here is how to cook a sirloin roast:

  • Preheat the oven to 220°C.
  • Place the sirloin in a roasting pan.
  • Season the roast with salt and pepper or your favorite seasoning rub.
  • Roast the beef for 15 minutes at 220°C, then reduce the oven temperature to 170°C.
  • Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the roast.
  • Roast the beef until the meat thermometer reaches your desired internal temperature.
  • Remove the roast from the oven and let it rest for 10-15 minutes before carving.

Always refer to our roast sirloin temperature chart so your roast beef is exactly how you want it!

Roast Fillet of Beef

Fillet of beef, also known as tenderloin or filet mignon, is a luxurious and tender cut that comes from the loin of the cow. Here is how to cook a fillet roast:

  • Preheat the oven to 220°C.
  • Place the beef fillet in a roasting pan.
  • Season the joint of beef with salt and pepper or your favorite seasoning rub.
  • Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the roast.
  • Roast the beef until the meat thermometer reaches your desired internal temperature.
  • Remove the roast from the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes before carving.

And let us remind you once more. Check our beef tenderloin temperature chart to get your cooking times spot on!


The Best Online Butchers for Roast Beef in the UK

If you’re looking to buy high-quality roast beef online, there are several reputable online butchers in the UK to choose from. Here are a few of the best:

1. Donald Russell

Donald Russell has been supplying some of the finest meats in the UK since 1974. Their beef is sourced from traditional, grass-fed cattle and dry-aged to perfection for up to 35 days. Their selection of roast beef includes everything from fillet and sirloin to ribeye and topside. You can order online and have your beef delivered straight to your door.

2. Farmison & Co

Farmison & Co is a multi-award-winning online butcher that prides itself on working with small, independent farmers to source the highest quality meats. Their beef is exclusively grass-fed and dry-aged for up to 45 days to enhance the flavor and tenderness. They offer a range of cuts for roasting, including rib of beef, sirloin joint, and topside.

3. Turner & George

Turner & George is a London-based online butcher that specializes in rare and native breeds of beef. Their beef is sourced from small, family-run farms that practice traditional and sustainable farming methods. They dry-age their beef for up to 35 days, which results in meat that is more flavorful and tender. They offer a range of roasting cuts, including rib of beef, sirloin joint, and beef topside.

When ordering roast beef online, it’s important to consider the reputation and track record of the supplier. Always check for reviews and ratings before making your purchase, and ensure that the beef is sourced from high-quality, reputable farms.

Best Sauces to Go with Roast Beef

Roast beef is delicious on its own, but adding a sauce can take it to the next level. Here are some of the best sauces to serve with roast beef:

Horseradish Sauce

Horseradish sauce is a classic pairing with roast beef. It is made with grated horseradish, sour cream, mayonnaise, dijon mustard, and seasonings. It has a spicy and tangy flavor that complements the richness of the beef.

Red Wine Sauce

A rich red wine sauce is the perfect accompaniment to roast beef, adding depth and complexity to the flavor. Here’s how to make it:

  • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add 1 finely chopped shallot and cook until softened, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Pour in 1 cup of red wine and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the wine has reduced by about half.
  • Add 1 cup of beef broth and continue to simmer for another 10-15 minutes.
  • Stir in 1 tablespoon of butter until melted and combined.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • For a thicker sauce, mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of cold water and add to the saucepan. Simmer for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until thickened to your liking.

Herbed Butter

Herbed butter is a simple but delicious way to add flavor to roast beef. Here’s how to make it:

  • Soften 1/2 cup of unsalted butter at room temperature.
  • Mince 2 cloves of garlic and 2 tablespoons of fresh herbs (such as thyme, rosemary, or parsley) and mix into the butter until evenly distributed.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Roll the butter into a log using plastic wrap and chill until firm.
  • Slice the butter into rounds and place on top of the roast beef just before serving.

Roasted Vegetables

Roasted vegetables are a classic side dish for roast beef. Here’s a simple recipe:

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  • Cut 2 pounds of vegetables (such as carrots, parsnips, and potatoes) into 1-inch pieces.
  • Toss the vegetables with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper.
  • Spread the vegetables in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 30-40 minutes, or until tender and lightly browned.
  • For added flavor, toss the roasted vegetables with a sprinkle of chopped fresh herbs before serving.

The Perfect Side Dishes for Roast Beef

Roast beef is a versatile dish that pairs well with a variety of sides. Here are some classic side dishes to consider:

  • Roasted Potatoes: A classic side dish for roast beef, roasted potatoes are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Toss them with olive oil, salt, pepper, and your favorite herbs before roasting them in the oven.
  • Yorkshire Pudding: A savory pudding made from a simple batter of eggs, flour, and milk, Yorkshire pudding is a traditional accompaniment to roast beef in England. Serve it hot and crispy, with a drizzle of gravy.
  • Green Beans: Light and fresh, green beans make a great side dish for roast beef. Toss them with garlic and lemon for a simple yet flavorful preparation.

Leftovers: What to Do with Roast Beef

Roast beef makes for great leftovers, so don’t be afraid to cook a larger roast than you need. Here are some ideas for what to do with leftover roast beef:

  • Sandwiches: Thinly sliced beef makes a great addition to sandwiches. Layer it with cheese, lettuce, and your favorite condiments for a tasty lunch.
  • Salads: Add sliced beef to a salad for a protein boost. Try it in a classic Caesar salad or in a hearty Cobb salad.
  • Stir-Fry: Thinly sliced beef works well in stir-fry dishes. Sauté it with vegetables and your favorite sauce for a quick and easy meal.

Tips for Cooking the Perfect Roast Beef

Here are some final tips for cooking the perfect roast beef:

  • Use a meat thermometer: The best way to ensure that your beef is cooked to the right temperature is to use a meat thermometer. Insert it into the thickest part of the meat to get an accurate reading.
  • Let it rest: After you take your beef out of the oven, let it rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing it. This allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in a more tender and flavorful roast.
  • Invest in a good quality cut: When it comes to roast beef, the quality of the meat matters. Look for a cut that is well-marbled and has a good amount of fat, such as a rib roast or a sirloin roast.

Cooking a Perfect Sunday Roast Beef

A Sunday roast is a traditional British meal that is typically served on Sundays. Roast beef is a classic centerpiece for any Sunday roast, and cooking it perfectly is essential to making the meal a success.

When cooking a Sunday roast, it is essential to plan ahead. Make sure you have all the ingredients and equipment you need, and allow plenty of time for preparation and cooking.

Here are the steps to cooking a perfect Sunday roast beef:

  • Preheat the oven to 220°C.
  • Season the beef generously with salt and pepper, and any other herbs or spices you like.
  • Place the beef in a roasting pan, and cook for 15 minutes at 220°C to sear the outside of the beef.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 170°C and continue cooking for the desired amount of time, depending on the weight of the beef and how well-done you like it.
  • Allow the beef to rest for at least 10 minutes before carving to allow the juices to redistribute.

Herbs and Oils for Roast Beef

Adding herbs and oils to beef can enhance its flavor and make it more delicious. Here are some popular herbs and oils that work well with roast beef:

  • Thyme: Thyme has a strong, earthy flavor that pairs well with beef. Add a few sprigs of fresh thyme to the pan when cooking roast beef.
  • Rosemary: Rosemary has a woody, piney flavor that also works well with beef. Add a few sprigs of fresh rosemary to the pan when cooking roast beef.
  • Olive oil: Olive oil can be brushed over the beef before cooking to help keep it moist and add flavor.
  • Garlic: Garlic has a strong, savory flavor that can be minced and added to the pan when cooking roast beef, or used to make a garlic butter to spread over the beef after cooking.

Leftover Roast Beef Ideas

Roast beef is a versatile ingredient that can be used in many different ways, making it a great choice for leftovers. Here are some ideas for using leftover roast beef:

  • Beef sandwiches: Slice the leftover beef thinly and use it to make sandwiches. Add some cheese, lettuce, and tomato for a delicious lunch.
  • Beef salad: Slice the leftover beef thinly and serve it over a bed of mixed greens. Top with your favorite salad dressing for a quick and easy meal.
  • Beef stir-fry: Slice the leftover beef thinly and use it in a stir-fry with your favorite vegetables and sauce.
  • Beef hash: Chop the leftover beef into small pieces and sauté it with diced potatoes and onions for a hearty breakfast.

Rest the Roast Beef

It is essential to rest the meat for at least 20 minutes after cooking. Resting allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a tender and flavorful roast beef. During this time, the internal temperature of the beef will continue to rise by a few degrees, so take this into account when cooking to your desired level of doneness.

Carving and Serving

When it’s time to carve the beef, use a sharp knife to slice it thinly against the grain. This will ensure that the meat is tender and easy to eat. Serve the meat hot, with your choice of sides and sauces.

Leftovers

If you have leftover roast beef, it can be refrigerated and eaten for up to four days. It’s great for sandwiches, salads, and stir-fries. Just make sure to reheat the beef thoroughly before eating it hot.

For an easy and delicious beef sandwich, try layering with horseradish sauce, caramelized onions, and arugula on crusty bread. Or, add slices of cold roast beef to a salad with mixed greens, roasted vegetables, and a tangy vinaigrette.