Tender, juicy and a hint of pink in the middle. That is what many of us wish for while waiting for the roast beef to hit the table. But there are so many variables to cooking the perfect roast beef dinner: should it be rare, medium, well done? What cut of meat should you use? The cooking times, the gravy… the list goes on.
Here are a few tips on how to cook roast beef to everyone’s liking, every time.
Six Steps to Preparing the Perfect Roast Beef Dinner
1. Choose Your Meat Carefully
When choosing the best beef to use, look for a thin covering of fat and small slivers of marbling that run through the flesh. Fat prevents the beef from drying out while cooking.
Top Tip: Learn to distinguish between different cuts of beef and how they are best used for roasting.
- Rib of beef: This is usually cooked on the bone.
- Sirloin: This is usually boned, rolled, and carries less fat than the rib.
- Topside, silverside, and top rump: All three are quite lean with less marbling and are usually rolled with an outer layer of fat taken from the flank of the animal and tied together to form a cylinder shape. By the way, for the best rump steak sandwich you’ve ever tasted try this recipe: Steak Sandwich.
- Fillet: This is often used for Beef Wellington and contains small slivers of fat that run through the flesh.
2. It’s in the Preparation
Allow the meat to warm up to room temperature before cooking. Drizzle it with a little olive oil and season with Robertsons Black Pepper, rubbing it over the meat with your hands.
Alternatively, gently heat some oil, mix in a Knorr Beef Stock Pot and stir on a low heat until the stock melts. Once melted, set it aside to cool for five minutes, then rub the stock mixture into the beef with your fingers before cooking, for a fuller flavour profile.
Remember, for extra taste, sear the beef in a hot oven for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature. This creates a nice brown colour on the outside of the beef and helps seal in the juices. Another method is to brown the meat in a hot pan on the stove with a dash of oil. Make sure to brown all sides before placing it in the oven.
Top Tip: Baste the beef from time to time during cooking, as this will greatly enhance the flavour.
3. Pay Attention to Time and Temperature
When it comes to roast beef cooking time and temperature, the oven should be preheated to 240°C and the beef roasted at this temperature for 15 minutes, after which the temperature can be reduced to 190°C.
Top Tip: The most accurate way to judge the cooking time is to use a meat thermometer pushed into the thickest part of the beef.
- Rare: If you like rare beef, you need to take it out of the oven when the thermometer shows 60°C.
- Medium: For medium beef, cook until it reaches 70°C.
- Well done: For well done, 80°C.
Cooking times may vary depending on the oven you have and the weight of the meat but as a rough guide:
- For rare beef: Roast for 11-13 mins on the reduced heat for every 500g.
- For medium beef: Roast for 16-18 mins on the reduced heat for every 500g.
- For well-done beef: Roast for 22-24 mins on the reduced heat for every 500g.
4. Look at the Colour of the Meat
If you want to cook your beef rare but don’t have a food thermometer on hand, make a little cut with a knife; it should be bright pink in the middle. If you prefer medium beef, it just needs to have a pinkish centre. For well-done meat, it should be completely cooked inside and show no signs of pink at all.
5. Remember to Rest Your Roast Beef
After taking it out of the oven, wrap the meat loosely in aluminum foil and leave it to rest in a warm place. Resting for 20 minutes or more will release the juices, relax the muscles, and help make the meat tender. A standard recommendation is to let the beef rest for one-minute per every 100 grams.
6. Sides Are Important Too
Use your resting time to cook Yorkshire puddings, fluffy potatoes and delicious root veggies to serve alongside your roast. And remember to make some gravy! For an awesome taste try Knorr Brown Onion Gravy or Knorr Rich Savoury Gravy.
Top Tip: When your gravy is ready, unwrap the meat and add the meat juices to the gravy for extra flavour.
Ready to put these tips to the test? Try this delicious Beef Pot Roast recipe.