Sunday Dinner – Roast Beef

Posted on November 20, 2011


You can’t beat the flavour of a rib of beef. This was about the best we’ve had. It’s from the cows that live at the end of our garden, farmed by the farmer at the end of our road and cooked by me.

There are only 2 and a half people in this house, so a 4 rib joint is a tad on the greedy side but there was no way this was going to go to  waste. A larger joint cooks better than a smaller one and cooking the meat on the bone really helps too; it improves the moistness and the flavour.

It starts off like this. Nothing fancy, just good honest quality meat.

After a decent coating of sea salt and black pepper I put it in a very hot oven and sit it on a base of sliced onions and a cup of water to make good gravy. First it has 20-30 minutes at full whack to get the heat through it, then, in my opinion, it needs another 15 minutes a pound at about 190 degrees.

Don’t take any notice of the ‘stabbing it with a skewer and looking for red juices.’ There will be red juices…or blood as we call it. Sorry vegetarians.

You need to then let it rest under a tent of foil for a good half an hour which gives you time to heat up the oven to full temperature again for your Yorkshire puddings.

You must have Yorkshire puddings.

It also gives you time to cook your vegetables and finish the gravy. I pour everything from the meat pan through a sieve and give it good squash with a ladle. If there is too much fat throw in a handful of ice cubes, the fat will soon stick to them and you can scoop it out.

Our concerns about quantity were not realised.

Next day we had rare roast beef sandwiches with horseradish sauce, all on fresh bread.


The day after that it was a roast beef and gravy pie with rough puff pastry and my best effort at a pastry cow. Then there was still plenty left to freeze for two more pies for another day.


If you live in Derbyshire and fancy the look of this, drop me a line and I will let you know next time there is some beef ready at the farm.

If you live further afield, go knock on the door of your local beef farmer and ask them if they can sell directly to you.

Provenance matters….and a British Roast Beef Sunday dinner is the best.