Roast beef (back to basics)

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My sister, Clare, was exasperated this past New Year’s Eve when she failed to find a roast beef recipe for dinner at GreatGrub. She found one at another website that called for a maple syrup and mustard glaze. Good grief!

For me, cooking a decent roast should be part of everybody’s culinary repertoire. There are countless variations on a theme, but the basics should be left alone, specifically sear, cook, rest. And leave the maple syrup for the pancakes.


  • A good quality joint of beef
  • Salt and pepper (and other seasoning of your choice)
  • Olive oil


  • Roasting pan (heavy duty)


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Rub the meat with a generous amount of salt and freshly ground pepper.
  3. Heat your roasting pan on your hob and add a tablespoon or two of oil.
  4. Sear the joint on all sides until it is a delicious brown.
  5. Place in the oven and cook for around 15 to 20 minutes a pound for medium rare, basting with its juices every so often. Turn it half way through cooking.
  6. Remove the meat from the pan to a warmed plate, cover with foil and leave for at least 20 minutes before carving.

What you should know

For those with a meat thermometer remove the beef at 125°F for a perfect medium rare.

Add some shallots and a sprinkle of fresh herbs (thyme works well) to the pan with the meat, de glaze with red wine, reduce and add a little stock then pass through a fine sieve for a perfect gravy.

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