How to Roast Beef
Traditionally, roasting implies cooking at a high temperature for a short time, often in a dry roasting tin. The upside of this is that you get a cooked roast and some fantastic gravy from the residue in the tin. The downside being that this technique can often result in a loss of moisture from the joint. To offset this effect, roasting at a high temperature initially to brown the joint and then cooking more slowly at a lower temperature, will give a nicely browned result with a tender and moist interior.
The best cuts for roasting tend to come from the upper middle part of the animal, including the wing rib, fore rib, sirloin and fillet.These cuts tend to be more naturally more tender as they carry less weight on the animal and do less work. Other cuts such as topside and silverside can still be roasted with care, but lend themselves more to slow cooking as they are often leaner and from a more heavily worked set of muscles.
The meat from our rare breed cattle has a natural fat content, both within the meat as marbling and as a covering on the outside. As our beef is grass fed, this fat has a healthy omega 3 and 6 content and more depth of flavour than a grain fed equivalent. The fat will help retain moisture during cooking and is also a large contributor to the flavour, so if you don’t like fat, we would suggest that you remove after cooking, rather than before.
Our beef is also dry aged for a minimum of 28 days and we are able to supply whole loins and ribs that have been aged for up to 4 months. Our aging process, using Himalayan rock salt, helps to tenderise the meat by breaking down the fibres and also intensifies the flavour. A dry aged beef joint will be far less prone to shrinkage during cooking and so the final size of your joint when cooked will be closer to the one you put in the oven. How often have you seen a cheap supermarket joint come out of the oven as a shadow of it’s former self – a false economy!
Allowing the meat to rise slightly in temperature by removing it from the fridge prior to cooking is often advised and this is good practice, however there seems to be little scientific proof behind this.
If your joint is on the bone it will cook a little quicker than a boned joint. This is because the bone conducts the heat to the centre of the meat. So if you’re estimating cooking times, it’s often better to check the temperature earlier than you normally would.
As a guide to cooking times, allowing 20 minutes per 450g for medium, 15 minutes for medium rare and 10-15 minutes for rare is a reasonable guide. The use of a good meat thermometer is advised as this will be more accurate. Keep in mind that you will need to rest your joint when it comes out of the oven and it will continue to cook during this time.
After you’ve seasoned your joint, put in a pre-heated oven at 220℃ for 20 – 30 minutes depending on size and then lower the temperature to 170 ℃ for the remaining time. Test with a meat thermometer if you’re unsure whether your beef is cooked.
Medium-rare 63°C (145°F)
Medium 71°C (160°F)
Well done 77°C (170°F)
When you’re happy, take your joint from the oven and allow to rest, loosely covered with foil, for at least 20 minutes.
During the resting time you can take the opportunity to make your gravy from the remaining pan juices. Skim of any unwanted fat from the cooled juices that you have retrieved from the pan. The fat will have risen to the top in a layer. Remove all the brown caramelised gunk from the bottom of the pan by adding stock or alcohol and giving it a good rub with a wooden spoon or spatula. If you’re using wine make sure you cook off the alcohol before continuing. Strain the liquid from the pan into a saucepan and add a knob of butter mixed with flour to make a roux. Cook for a few minutes and then season if required.
When carving the meat put it on a firm surface or chopping board and as a rule of thumb cut down toward the board or toward the bone. It is important to cut across the grain of the meat to avoid tougher slices of meat.