When it comes to roasting joints for that perfect Sunday Roast, I tend to use Topside or Silverside joints of beef when roasting.  From an area of the cow known as the ‘Round’ area, just below the rump.  The cuts are of the inner muscle of the thigh.  My choice because 1) they are flavoursome cuts and 2) they are relatively lean cuts that don’t require too much roasting or slow cooking.  Your butcher will often leave a layer of fat attached to the top of the joint, which effectively ‘bastes’ the joint while cooking, but you can remove this after cooking if you wish.

I always cook at 160C fan, which is 180C, 350F or Gas 4.  Nutrition per 100g; 116cal, 2.7g fat, 1.1g saturates and 23g protein.

One trick if you’re not used to cooking joints of meat, is allowing it to rest.  That is the most important tip I think.  Failing to give it time for the fibres in the meat to relax can mean the meat is tough and secondly the juices/blood will run all over the dinner plate, which is not the greatest of looks, when it comes to serving.  Simply wrap the joint in tin foil, while you prepare the gravy and vegetables for 20 minutes, before carving.

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As a guide for cooking times:

Rare: 20 minutes per 450g/lb +20 minutes

Medium: 25 minutes per 450g/lb +25 minutes

Well done: 30 minutes per 450g/1lb +30 minutes

So how do you know that the meat is cooked the way you like it?  There is a guide as every joint will cook differently and it’s not that scientific…

meat test simulated with fingers

Take your thumb and index finger and when you press, the muscular base of the thumb, it simulates what the meat will feel like for rare – it will have lots of give under pressure.  Your thumb and index finger will show more resistance and finally your thumb and ting finger will be taut.  I tend to use this near the end of the cooking time for around rare, as I like it medium-rare and can time it from that.  You can use the same techniques for testing steak and lamb.  No one likes over cooked meat do they?  Especially if you have guests that like to specify how they like their meat.

Click here for my roast beef recipe with onion gravy and garlic/rosemary roast potatoes.

Click here for my recipe for an idea of using up the left over roast beef to creating a cottage pie.


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