Tuesday, 11 August 2009

English roast beef

This past Sunday was the first time I cooked a roast dinner for a while. I was away in Asia July and then there was that crazy heatwave when I returned I couldn't even bear to boil water in the house, not to mention use the oven. Thankfully the weather has cooled down a lot and I was able to do a roast dinner again for Sunday.

(I tend to line the roasting pan with foil to make for easier cleaning, and also because the non-stick coating of my roasting tin is kind of wrecked!)
Joint of beef ready for the oven

I cook roast chicken fairly often, but nothing says traditional English like a roast beef Sunday dinner. The quality of the meat is key to how good the roast is. Buy a joint from a reliable local butcher or a supermarket that specialises in good matured beef. A layer of fat around the joint will help prevent the meat from drying out in the oven. You can always slice the fat off when serving if you don't wish to eat it (although it does turn beautifully crisp, so bad but so good). For the joint, feel free to buy sirloin tip, inside/outside round or rib roast, depending on your budget and the recommendation of the butcher.

Roast beef out of the oven

Ingredients (serves 5-6, or plenty of leftovers for 2):

2.2 lbs (1kg) joint of beef
1 tbsp English mustard powder (optional)
1 tbsp plain flour
Freshly ground black pepper
Salt
1 small carrot
1 small onion

1. Preheat the oven to 450F/220C/gas 8. Place the beef in a roasting tin on top of the cut onion and carrot. The vegetables act as a trivet and is a good base for making gravy later. The onion will caramelise and give the gravy a dark and rich flavour and colour.

2. Dust the mustard powder and flour all over the surface of the fat (this helps make the fat crispy). Season all over the surface with freshly ground pepper and salt.

3. Place the joint in the middle of the hot. After 20 minutes turn the heat down to 375F/190C/gas 5 and continue to cook for 45 minutes (for rare). While cooking, baste the meat with the oil and juices two or three times. To check the doneness of the beef, insert a thin skewer towards the middle and press out some juices: the red, pink or clear colour will indicate to what stage the beef has cooked.

4. Remove the cooked beef to a board for carving. Cover loosely with a foil and leave it to rest for at least 30 minutes before serving (while the roast is resting you can turn up the heat in the oven to finish the roast potatoes or Yorkshire puddings, if serving them). This resting period is essential to allow the meat to relax and stay tender and juicy. After the resting time, cut and remove the string and fat and slice the beef thinly to serve.

Medium-rare roast beef


Note for cooking time:
After 20 minutes at 450F/220C/gas mark 8, turn the heat down to 375F/190C/gas 5, and d continue to cook for 15 minutes per lb (450 g). This will give you rare roast beef. To that time, add 15 minutes extra for medium-rare or 30 minutes extra for well-done.

Next up: how to make crispy roast potatoes and gravy.

9 comments:

poohatka.pl said...

I just stumbled upon the "foreign blogs"section at durszlak.pl and Yours was the first recipe on the list. I have to say - it looks great, I'll have to try it soon. But also - You have a really great blog and make beautiful pictures. I especially enjoy the posts about bento - quite encouraging to go back to packing more elaborate lunches than just sandwiches and fruit. :) I'm definitely going to keep reading!

with greetings from Poland :)

Anonymous said...

Hi! I'm a Sgrean girl living in the UK too. Have been savouring your lovely food photos, thanks!

this is a yummylicious looking joint of roast beef! nice and pink :-) my ang mo abang will be nagging me to do a roast dinner soon if he sees that! but but but... all the poor wasted meat juices on the foil! please don't say you prefer bisto gravy? :-)

arkonite_babe said...

I made roast beef last weekend for dinner, this is making me want tgo do it all again! I lover roast beef and it's so good in a bento the next day! yum!

Nilmandra said...

poohatka: Thanks for the encouraging comment! I hope you do try packing bento. It makes you think about food in new ways and a good way to have balanced nutrition in your lunches.

Anonymous: Hello and thanks for the comment. I hope you are enjoying the UK. Of course the meat juices were not wasted! I made gravy in the same tin, recipe and instructions to be posted next :)

Arkonite_babe: That's what I did too. The leftover roast beef went into bento, fried rice and roast beef sandwiches. Yum.

Ashley said...

This looks great - I have yet to try making something like this at home...

noobcook said...

This looks so delish, nicely pink in the center. I think such huge stabs of meat is quite expensive in Singapore? I also can't seem to find the string that's use for tying roasts here too :P

Nilmandra said...

Ashley: Perhaps for a special occasion? :)

Noobcook: I don't know leh, never tried it in Singapore yet! Maybe I will feel too hot to do much roasting and oven cooking, ha. As for the butcher's string, any undyed cotton twine will do. I bought it from a local household store here but have also seen it in my local Daiso. Perhaps the Daiso in Singapore will have it too?

Ginger said...

Am making this now....it smells divine! I am a Georgia girl who recently moved to the UK who was looking for a good "traditional" English roast dinner....rather than use a carrot with the onions, I put a few whole cloves of garlic. I will chop up the caramelized onion and garlic and add it to the gravy.....I look forward to browsing your blog for some other great recipes

Nilmandra said...

Ginger: I sometimes put in garlic with the onion and carrots too. Loooove garlic :) Hope you enjoy the blog.

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