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#1 Thu 10 Jul 08 10:08pm

Steve Wright

Occupation IT Project Manager
From Nottingham
Member since Wed 31 Aug 05

Perfect Roast Beef

I love Roast beef but never seem to get it nice and tender, always is a bit chewy.

Any suggestions would be welcome

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#2 Thu 10 Jul 08 10:17pm


Forum champ
Member since Fri 31 Aug 07

Re: Perfect Roast Beef

Tell us your method and the cut of beef.

Cheaper cuts have a lot of collagen, or connective tissue, because they come from parts of the animal that move a lot, so obviously those muscles need to be strong and stable. More expensive cuts, obviously, have little collagen.

Collagen melts into geletin above 60C, as the coiled molecular strands unravel. However, the protein fibrils contained within the muscle fibres contract above 60C as well, like wringing out a wet towel, so without careful cooking, one can have either tough collagen or tough meat.

Place the beef in a cold oven (if it is a cheap cut) and bring the temperature of the meat slowly up to 55C. It's a rather simplistic method, but good enough for a domestic kitchen, and it should work.

N.B. One method I have been taught is to fry the meat to seal it (this is absolute bullshit), place it in a very hot oven for 10 minutes, then lower the temperature to hot. I don't understand the logic behind this, and I wouldn't recommend it.

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#3 Thu 10 Jul 08 10:32pm

Steve Wright

Occupation IT Project Manager
From Nottingham
Member since Wed 31 Aug 05

Re: Perfect Roast Beef

TheBeast, thanks, We have tried various cuts, and even tenderising in Gravy to no avail.

55C is that 130F ?

I guess at that temperature we are slow roasting so would be looking at approximately 2 to 2.5 hours ?

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#4 Thu 10 Jul 08 10:48pm


Forum champ
Member since Fri 31 Aug 07

Re: Perfect Roast Beef

That would be about right.

About 2.5 hours, starting in a cold oven.

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#5 Fri 11 Jul 08 4:46am


Forum champ
From Sydney, Australia
Member since Tue 22 Jun 04

Re: Perfect Roast Beef

Roast Beef
3 to 3 1/2 lbs of Boneless Rump Roast (pick a end cut with a lot of fat marbling)
Olive oil
8 slivers of garlic
Salt and pepper
You will need a meat thermometer

For the gravy:

Red wine, water, and or beef stock
corn starch
1 Start with the roast at room temperature (remove from refrigerator 1 hour before cooking - keep it wrapped). Preheat the oven to 375F.

2 With a sharp knife make 8 small incisions around the roast. Place a sliver of garlic into each incision. Take a tablespoon or so of olive oil and spread all around the roast. Sprinkle around the roast with salt and pepper. Place the roast directly on an oven rack, fatty side up, with a drip pan on a rack beneath the roasting rack. This arrangement creates convection in the oven so that you do not need to turn the roast. The roast is placed fat side up so that as the fat melts it will bathe the entire roast in its juices.

3 Brown the roast at 375F for half an hour. Lower the heat to 225F. The roast should take somewhere from 2 to 3 hours additionally to cook. When the roast just starts to drip its juices and it is brown on the outside, check the temperature with a meat thermometer. Pull the roast from the oven when the inside temperature of the roast is 135 to 140F. Let the roast rest for at least 15 minutes, tented in aluminum foil to keep warm, before carving to serve.

To make the gravy:
Remove the dripping pan from the oven and place on the stove top at medium heat. Note that if you are pulling the roast out early, for rare or a medium rare level of doneness, you may not have a lot of drippings. Hopefully you will have some. If not, you may want to leave the roast in a little longer at even lower heat, 175F, to ease some more drippings out of it. Add some water, red wine, or beef stock to the drippings to deglaze (loosen the drippings from the pan). Dissolve a tablespoon of cornstarch in a little water and add to the drip pan. Stir quickly while the gravy thickens to avoid lumping. You can add a little butter if there is not a lot of fat in the drippings. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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#6 Sat 02 Aug 08 3:55pm


Member since Sat 02 Aug 08

Re: Perfect Roast Beef

Do you actually put the roast on the oven rack without a pan?  I'm going to try this but how much clean-up is there afterward?

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#7 Sat 02 Aug 08 4:08pm


Forum super champ
Occupation Just being me
Member since Fri 28 Mar 08

Re: Perfect Roast Beef

I always make pot roast for fear of ruining an expensive rib roast or whole beef tenderloin.  For pot roast, I use a chuck blade roast, bone in if possible, brown it, remove it from the pan, drain off the fat, add some olive oil, sautee onions, carrots, garlic, add some tomato product, wine and water,  then braise covered in a low temperature oven for 3 hours.

Can someone give me a tried and true method for cooking a rib roast and one for cooking a whole tenderloin?

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#8 Sat 02 Aug 08 4:08pm

Captain C

Forum champ
Occupation Sales
From Essex
Member since Tue 05 Feb 08

Re: Perfect Roast Beef

How about this :

Jamie's recipe for Superb Roast Beef, Best Spuds and Huge Yorkies from his book "Happy Days with the Naked Chef".  -  serves 8.

1 x 2.5kilo / 5 1/2 fore-rib, wing-rib or sirloin of beef - French trimmed
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
olive oil
3 red onions. halved
3kg / 7lb roasting potatoes, peeled
4 large parsnips, peeled and quartered
3 rosemary twigs
4 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 thumb-sized pieces of fresh ginger, peeled and diced
1/2 a bottle of robust red wine

Roasting is easy, but timing is important.  Before you start, get all your veg prepped and have your Yorkshire pudding batter made (recipe below).  With this done, you can get your Yorkshires and greens on while the beef is resting out of the oven.

Pre-heat the oven to 230C/450F/gas 6, and heat a large thick-bottomed roasting tray on the hob.  Rub your beef generously with salt then add a little olive oil to the tray and lightly colour the meat for a couple of minutes on all sides.  Lay your onions in the tray with the beef on top of them, then cook in the preheated oven for a total of 1 1/2 hours.  While the beef is starting parboil your potatoes in salted boiling water for around 10 minutes and drain in a colander.  Toss about to chuff them up - this will make them really crispy.

After 30 minutes, take the tray out and toss in your potatoes, parsnips and rosemary.  With a garlic press or grater, squeeze or grate the garlic and ginger over everything in the tray, which will taste famtastic.  Shake the tray and whack it back in the oven for the final hour.  Remove the potatoes and parsnips to a dish to keep warm, place the beef on a plate, covered with foil, to rest, and get your greens and Yorkshire puddings on.  Preheat a Yorkshire pudding tray with 1cm / 1/2 inch of oil in each section.  After 10 minutes divide the batter into the tray.  Cook for around 20 minutes until crisp - DO NOT open the oven door before then or they won't rise.

Remove most of the fat from your roasting tray and you should be left with caramelised onions and sticky beef goodness.  Add a teaspoon of flour to the tray and mash everything together.  Heat the tray on the hob and when hot, add your red wine.  Simmer for 5 - 10 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes, until your gravy is really tasty and coats the back of a spoon.  Add any juice from the beef and feel free to add some water or stock to thin the gravy if you like.  Pour through a coarse sieve, pushing it through with a spoon and serve in a warmed gravy jug.

Serve up your Yorkies and veg with some horseradish sauce and carve the beef at the table.  Just so you know, beef needs 30 minutes per kilo to cook, plus an extra 20 minutes at the end, no matter how big it is.  This will cook it medium, so give it a bit more or less depending on your preference.

Yorkshire Pudding Batter -

285mls / 1/2 pint milk
115gr / 4oz plain flour
a pinch of salt
3 eggs

Mix the batter ingredients together and put to one side.

In the Rock and Roast episode of "The Naked Chef" Jamie cooked this meal for Jay Kay (Jamiroquai).  He also served these onions.

The World's Best Baked Onions from Jamie's Book "Happy Days with the Naked Chef. - serves 4.

4 tennis ball sized white onions, peeled
olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, peeled & finely chopped
4 twigs of fresh rosemary, lower leaves picked & chopped
8 tablespoons double cream
a couple of handfuls of grated Parmesan
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
4 slices of pancetta or smoked streaky bacon rashers

Boil the onions in plenty of water for 15 minutes until slightly tender. Remove from the pan and allow to cool.
Then, with a sharp knife, remove the top 2.5cm/1 inch of each onion, finely chop and place to one side. If need be, slightly trim the stalk end of the onions so that they will sit flat on a roasting tray.
Cut about a heaped tablespoon out from the inside of each onion, keeping the outside intact. Finely chop and add to the rest of the chopped onion.
Pre-heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Heat a frying pan and add a little olive oil, your garlic, the chopped onions and just a little chopped rosemary.
Fry for a couple of minutes until softened, then turn the heat down, add the cream and remove from the heat. Stir in the Parmesan and season.
I like to wrap a nice slice of pancetta around the middle of each onion and just spike it in place with a sharpened twig of rosemary or half a cocktail stick.  The rosemary and pancetta will make the onion taste lovely as it cooks.
Place the onions on a roasting tray and spoon some of the chopped onion mixture inside each one. Bake in the preheated oven for around 25 minutes until soft and tender, depending on the size of the onions.  It's cool to experiment with different cheese, so give it a bash.

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#9 Sun 03 Aug 08 12:11am


Forum champ
From The Office
Member since Tue 18 May 04

Re: Perfect Roast Beef

First off Steve you need a decent piece of beef.. rib-eye is nice but quite expensive, sirloin is a little less tender, but has a great flavour, but its still expensive.. Topside is more economical and perfectly tasty, but not as easy to get right.. what you definately don't want to be cooking is silverside.. it is tough as old boots and only really fit for salting or mincing.

This'll work for a roasting joint of say 2 to 4 kg..
Get your meat to room temperature, rub it all over with a little oil, and plenty of salt and pepper. Place it in a very hot oven, shut the door, and turn it down to 200 C.

After ten or fifteen minutes, some of the fat will start rendering out of the meat and collecting in the roasting tray. Open the oven door, pull the tray half way out and spoon the juices over the meat, basting it like this helps keep your roast moist and encourage a good dark caramel crust on the outside. Keep doing this every 15 minutes or so as it cooks, make sure you're quick though, so the oven doesnt lose all its heat while you have the door open.

When you think your meat is done, this will depend on how big a piece it is and how you like it cooked, push a clean skewer right into the middle and count to 5. Pull it out and hold it against your top lip. If it's too hot to hold there, your roast is well done, (that may or may not be a good thing!) if it's warm but not hot, it should be nice and pink, if it's still cold, put the meat back in for a little longer.

Take the meat out if it's at the stage you want it to be.. place it on a plate to rest covered loosely with foil. This gives the meat fibres a chance to relax, and then they're easier to carve. Your roast will be fine like this for about half an hour or so, while you get the rest of your bits and pieces together..

That method of roasting beef Beast2 describes is a new style of cooking pioneered by chefs like Heston Blumethal of the Fat Duck. HB does things like show scientifically that bass is perfectly cooked or beef is perfectly medium rare at X degrees centigrade, so then he cooks pieces of fish in a hospital water bath used for sterilising instruments, because it has a very accurate temperature control. He can then set it to x degrees and then be sure it is perfectly cooked.

Fortunately fillets of fish don't take long to reach that temperature, joints of beef do, however, so he does this mad 12 hour roast dish, where it takes that long to come up uniformley to the desired low temperature. Then he quickly blow torches it or grills it on a hot griddle to caramelise the outside. When you cut it you get a very perfect thin crust and a perfectly uniform pink meat inside.

Heston B knows what he's doing, and he is an interesting guy, some of his methods are very very clever, but I think the food at the end lacks heart and soul. I LIKE the way roast beef has crispy nuggets on the outside, and a melting centre of dark pink.. I LIKE the way you can baste it with the juices as it roasts so they caramelise on the surface of the meat and taste amazing! I LIKE the way you make gravy with the veg in the bottom of the roasting dish! These things mean much more to me than a uniformly pink slice with a neat poncey brown colour round the edge..I just dont think it's real cooking, its playing with food. You might as well poach it, then paint it with Marmite like food stylists did in the 80's!..

I've eaten in excess of 60 courses at the fat duck, and out of both visits, the thing that really wowed me, the thing i thought was amazing... was the bread and butter! Sorry Heston.. wink

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#10 Sun 03 Aug 08 12:42am


Forum champ
Member since Fri 31 Aug 07

Re: Perfect Roast Beef

Was it quenelled butter that provided a neon light show and was flavoured with cockerels combs or something extravagent?

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