When I lived in London, one of my favourite things to do on a Sunday was to take myself off to one of the capital’s many old fashioned pubs and order myself a Sunday roast with all the trimmings. Living in a tiny studio flat in Soho, it was such a pleasure to be able sit at a cosy corner table, next to a roaring fire, eating the sort of thing I would have never cooked in my little kitchen. While there were plenty of different roasts on the menu, I could never go past that most British of dishes, roast beef.
If there is one national dish of England, it has to be roast beef. Served perfectly pink, with a big pot of gravy, vegetables and light and puffy Yorkshire puddings, it is a meal fit for a king. Of course, it can go horribly wrong, as there is nothing worse than tough overcooked grey meat, or a roast that is seared on the outside and still raw in the middle, so it’s good to have a fool-proof technique at the ready.
The secret? Searing the beef in a pan, then roasting at a very, very low temperature for a longer time. This results in perfectly cooked, tender beef, evenly pink the whole way through. The perfect, slow roast beef. The long cooking time is ideal, as in the meantime you can get on with making your sides, setting the table and maybe even having a cheeky glass of wine while the oven does all the work.
It’s important when using this method to use a meat thermometer so you can keep an eye on the temperature, this is because the oven is so low, only 80°C / 175°F, that it will almost look like nothing is happening to the roast, so you have no visual clues to go on. That’s why it’s also vital that you take the beef out of the refrigerator at least an hour before you start to cook, and properly sear it in a hot frying pan before it goes in the oven.
While the meat is resting, I like to make Yorkshire puddings, so I’ve included an easy recipe in the main recipe card, as well as a simple gravy. You can always serve the roast with potatoes instead – whatever suits you. Do you cook a Sunday roast in your house? Or only for special occasions? Let me know in the comments below! xJ
Let me know if you try this recipe in the comments below, or using the hashtag #daysofjay on Instagram. Happy cooking!
- 1.2 kg beef roast
- 2 Tbsp neutral oil
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
- 2 tsp ground paprika
- sea salt and black pepper
for the gravy:
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 stick celery, roughly chopped
- 1 clove garlic, halved
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 Tbsp flour
- 100ml red wine
- 500ml beef stock
for the Yorkshire puddings:
- 4 Tbsp plain flour
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 4 Tbsp milk
- 4 Tbsp water
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp oil or fat
- IMPORTANT NOTE: Take the beef out of the refrigerator at least one hour before you want to start cooking.
- Heat the oven to 80°C / 175°F and place a roasting dish large enough to hold the beef on the middle rack. Rinse the beef and dry well with paper towel.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil and the butter in a frying pan over a high heat. When the butter is hot and sizzling, brown the beef well on all sides. It’s important to get plenty of colour on the beef at this point as the slow cooking later will not colour the beef at all. It should take around 10 minutes in total.
- Meanwhile, whisk together the remaining oil, mustard and paprika.
- When the beef is well browned on all sides, remove from the heat. Season generously with salt and pepper, then brush all over with the mustard mixture. Place in the preheated roasting dish, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the meat and roast in the oven for 2.5-3 hours until the thermometer reads or 60-62°C (140-144°F).
- To make the gravy, heat the butter in the pan that you browned the beef in. Cook the onion, celery and garlic over a medium heat, stirring until softened, around 10 minutes. Stir through the tomato paste and flour, cook for a further two minutes, then pour in the wine.
- Use a wooden spatula or spoon to scrape up all the browned on flavour on the bottom of the pan, then stir in the beef stock. Simmer until thickened, season to taste with salt and pepper, then strain into a clean saucepan and keep warm.
- When the meat is cooked, remove from the oven, cover with tinfoil and a tea towel and rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving.
- To make the Yorkshire puddings, whisk together the flour and sea salt in a small bowl or jug. In a separate bowl whisk together the milk, water and egg, then stir the egg mixture into the flour until completely combined. Set aside for at least half an hour.
- After the meat is out of the oven, turn the heat right up to 230°C / 450°F. Divide the oil or fat between 4 muffin tins and heat in the oven until smoking. When the fat is hot, quickly divide the batter between the tins. Return to the oven and cook without opening the oven door for 15 minutes until puffed and golden brown.
- Serve the roast with gravy and Yorkshire puddings, I like to serve mine with honey glazed carrots and green beans.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 774Total Fat: 50gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 25gCholesterol: 282mgSodium: 538mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 65g
Nutrition information is calculated automatically and isn’t always accurate.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Can I make Slow Roast Beef in advance?
Slow Roast Beef can be cooked and served cold, or reheated – you’ll lose that lovely pink if it is reheated however.
What sides should I serve with roast beef?
Glazed vegetables are great as they can be cooked on the stovetop while the beef is in the oven. I always serve my roast with Yorkshire puddings too!
How can I tell the roast is cooked?
It’s important to use a meat thermometer for this roast, when the temperature is 60-62°C then the roast is done. I’d suggest using a digital ‘Instant Read’ thermometer, like this one, for the best results.