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Traditional British Recipes

Roast Beef

This is a classic British dish, usually served with roast potatoes, Yorkshire Puddings, boiled vegetables, plus lashings of rich brown gravy. Many British families still serve this for Sunday lunch today, although it is not as popular as it used to be. Roast beef is also a traditional meal served in many pubs and restaurants, up and down the country, at weekends.

roast beef on white platter

Ingredients for Roast Beef

  • Large joint of sirloin of beef
  • Black pepper

     For roast potatoes use:

  • 3 lb (1.3 kg) potatoes (DesirĂ©e, Romano or King Edward)
  • 3 oz (75 grams) of lard

How to Cook Roast Beef

  1. Calculate cooking time at 15 minutes to the pound (450 grams).
  2. Pre-heat oven to 220°C (425°F, gas mark 7).
  3. Put the beef into a roasting tin without any fat and sprinkle beef with pepper.
  4. Roast in a hot oven, 220°C (425°F, gas mark 7), for 15 minutes.
  5. If you are cooking roast potatoes they can be put in the oven now (see below for preparation).
  6. Lower heat to 190°C, (375°F, gas mark 5) for the rest of cooking time.
  7. Baste meat frequently with pan juices.
  8. Once cooked for the required length of time, transfer to a heated dish and leave to rest for about 15 minutes before carving.

Note: Many cooks like to cook fresh beef so that the centre of the joint is slightly rare or underdone. However, to kill bacteria, the centre of a roasted joint must reach a minimum internal temperature of 145°F as measured with a food thermometer. For details on the 'Safe Minimum Cooking Temperatures' for beef see the UK Food Safety website.

How to Cook Roast Potatoes

  1. Peel the potatoes.
  2. Place the lard in a roasting tin and pre-heat in the oven.
  3. Par boiled potatoes for 10 minutes and drain.
  4. Put a lid on the saucepan and shake the potatoes to fluff them up.
  5. Place in the roasting tin and baste with hot fat (they can also be basted using fat from the beef if required).
  6. Place at the top of the oven and cook for 40-50 minutes or until golden brown.
Serving Suggestions
roast beef and vegetables

Serve on a warm plate with roast potatoes, seasonal vegetables, Yorkshire Pudding and horseradish sauce. Can also be served with roasted parsnips, when in season, (as shown here).

Recipe by Susanne (East Anglia)

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