To cook the perfect roast beef joint

Oven heat: Gas mark 5/190c/375f. Ensure the oven is hot.

Cooking time

We all like our roasts cooked in different ways so here’s a guide to get yours perfect:
Rare: 20 minutes per lb/500kg
Medium: 30 minutes per lb/500kg
Well done: 35 minutes per lb/500kg

The way we like to cook our roast is:

  • Pre-heat the oven and ensure it is hot
  • Allow the meat to come to room temperature before putting it in the oven
  • Add a small amount of water to the baking dish (just 1cm deep)
  • Cover the dish in silver foil to keep the meat moist
  • We like to give it a 15 minute blast on a higher temperature
  • Take this 15 minutes off the total cooking time and make sure you turn the temperature down to gas mark 5/190c/375f for the remainder of the time
  • Ensure you allow the joint to rest for approx 20 minutes to re-absorb all the delicious juices

Serve with: your favourite vegetables, roast potatoes, Yorkshire puddings and gravy.

Optional sauce: Horseradish sauce

Thawing your meat

If you need to defrost meat from the freezer make sure you allow plenty of time. It’s also safer to defrost it in the fridge than on a windowsill or somewhere warm (as that could lead to food poisoning). Simply put the meat on a plate or in a bowl in the fridge at least 24 hours before you require it and check that it is defrosted before cooking.

Please don’t cook the meat from frozen or defrost in the microwave (the meat may not cook evenly and this can dry the meat out and become tough).

If your product has been vacuum packed you can speed up the defrosting process by putting it in a bowl of cold water. You can also run the tap into the bowl to speed it up. We only recommend this in emergencies.

Braising meat – casseroles, stews or joints

If you don’t have your own recipe for braising meat, here’s one that we like to use.

Oven heat: Gas mark 1-3/140c -160c/275f – 325f. Ensure the oven is hot.

Cooking time: This will vary with the type of cut and the oven. We recommend you check it after an hour to see if the meat is tender and then check at regular intervals after this time if it needs a little longer.

  • Pre-heat oven and ensure it is hot
  • Allow the meat to come to room temperature before you start and ensure it is dry (pat with kitchen paper)
  • Using an oven-proofed large pan, heat on the hob and add a little oil. Sear the meat (for casseroles and stews – sear in small batches) and ensure the meat is browned all over. Take the meat out and put to one side
  • Sear your vegetables until lightly caramelised
  • Keep the pan on the hob, on a gentle heat and add the meat back into the pan. Add your stock or wine and your herbs – your liquid should cover at least a third to half of the meat. Bring to the boil gently
  • Transfer the pan to the oven – ensuring the lid is added at this stage
  • Check your casserole after an hour and ensure there is liquid still in the pot. For joints, use a meat fork to check that the fork goes in and out of the meat easily. If you feel it needs longer then check at regular intervals. For casseroles and stews simply taste for tenderness