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Perfect Roast Beef Recipe

We show you exactly how to cook roast beef with lots of helpful pictures, hints and tips.

We used a sirloin joint, boned and rolled by our local butcher. We divided it into three portions (each for 2 people) and froze it for later use.

Butcher carving beef

The price of one portion was less than a pound above the Sainsbury's price. That little extra bought us a joint that was far, far, far better than a supermarket joint. That's the truth. We occasionally buy a supermarket beef joint for the sake of convenience. But it just doesn't compare to the quality meat from a local butcher.

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Medium roast beef


Joint of beef 450g / 1lb
1 medium onion
3 tablespoons of olive oil
Half a tablespoon of flour
Salt and pepper to taste


: 15 minutes




: Easy


? No


: 2 portions


1 roasting dish


Set the oven to 230°C / 450°F / Gas Mark 8 for normal ovens or 210°C / 410°F for fan assisted ovens.

Pour 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over the joint and rub it in with your hands. Sprinkle salt (rock salt is best) and pepper over the joint and rub that in.

Sprinkle the flour over the top beef fat and pat it with your hands. This will crisp up the fat when it's cooked.


Sirloin is probably the best quality joint but it's also the most expensive. Other joints which will make a very good roast beef include topside, rib beef, strip loin of beef. Below is the uncooked joint we used, click it to enlarge the picture. Just enough fat to make the joint moist.

Click here for our Yorkshire Pudding recipe to accompany the roast beef.

Recipe by .

Uncooked sirloin joint of beef



Put the baking tray on the hob, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and wait until it's sizzling.

Add the beef and fry on all sides to seal off the joint. This will only take a couple of minutes. Take the tray off the hob, peel and roughly chop the onion. Sprinkle them under and immediately around the joint.

While the beef is cooking as described below, baste it twice during cooking. Basting involves taking the meat out of the oven (careful, the tin will be very hot), tipping the juices to one end and spooning them all over the meat. This helps to keep the joint moist when cooking.


Put the beef in the top of the very hot pre-heated oven for 15 minutes. Turn down the heat to 190°C / 375°F / Gas Mark 5 for conventional ovens, 170°C / 325°F for fan-assisted.

Cook the beef for another 17 minutes per 450g (1lb). This will give you rare beef. For medium cooked beef add 15 minutes more, or for well done beef add 30 minutes more - the additional time is for the whole joint not per 450g / 1lb.

You can tell if the joint is cooked to your liking by sticking a skewer into the middle of the joint. If the juices are clear it's well done. Pink shows it's medium, and red shows it's rare.

When the beef is cooked, cover it with foil and let it stand. This will enhance its flavour and make carving easier. For a 450g (1 lb) joint, 20 minutes standing will be enough. For larger joints, let the meat stand for 40 minutes.

During the cooking process the onions will have toasted and they have delicious flavour when added to the gravy. If you don't want onions in your gravy just serve the roast to the table with the onions around the base of the beef. It looks great served that way.

78 RATINGS GIVEN - AVERAGE 4.5 star rating
five star rating
27 July 2014
From: Jay Bee
Good, reliable recipe. Hope it encourages others to cook from scratch.
five star rating
23 February 2011
From: Graham
Fantastic, have always stayed well away from trying to cook a beef joint, but followed this and OMG the best roast beef dinner we have ever had :)
5 star rating
12 August 2011
From: Nyasha
Couldn't believe it was just so perfect, family loved it.
5 star rating
29 August 2011
From: Mike
Tried this with a supermarket bought sirloin joint as it was Sunday and the butchers were all closed. Have to say it's the best roast beef I've ever cooked and was far better than all the pub roasts I've had in the past. Can't wait to try it with a proper joint from the butchers. After setting the beef to rest I added stock to the roasting tray with the onions and boiled on the hob for a few minutes for a really rich delicious gravy.
Not Given
3 October 2011
From: Stephen
This method is excellent. One very small tip I have is to add a chopped onion when putting the beef into the foil to settle, the heat from the beef cooks the onions just nice and adds a lot of flavour to them
4 star rating
9 October 2011
From: Pip
I use this recipe time and time again.
5 star rating
12 October 2011
From: Iggy John
Absolutely divine.
five star rating
16 October 2011
From: Lisa J
I have been using this method for over a year now, lovely results every time :-)
5 star rating
12 November 2011
From: Not Given
Wow! was amazing, first time cooking roast beef and boyfriend loved it!!
Not Given
27 November 2011
From: Bryn
Just a small point, I would add (3/4 pint) water into the pan when going into oven as it helps to baste and make juice for the gravy. Apart from that a GREAT way to roast beef, many thanks.
5 star rating
30 November 2011
From: Caroline D - from Cranleigh
Used Rump joint and followed the recipe for rare beef - delicious!
Not Given
30 November 2011
From: Strozzapreti
Did you divide it into three portions before or after cooking?
Answer: We carved a couple of slices after cooking to show how it looked.
5 star rating
4 December 2011
From: Dave J
This works great on most beef joints but watch out for cheap beef from Vans etc. Try this method with 21 days hung beef ... Mmmm. DON'T feed dogs onions, not good for them but they will love the beef.
5 star rating
4 December 2011
From: Hazel
Love this recipe, so easy to follow and so far ...... perfect every time :)
5 star rating
4 December 2011
From: Nicola
Don't usually do roasts but decided to make a traditional Sunday roast today. My husband and I loved it. Made gravy with the juices and onions. Delicious too. Will definitely be doing this again.
4 star rating
8 December 2011
From: Not Given
I live in America. I've yet to see a roast with a fat cap on it or beef fat you can buy. I shall try this using just the oil. I don't think it will look nearly as presentable as this one. I would like to have had the a meat thermometer reading for medium well done beef.
5 star rating
23 December 2011
From: Barry P
Yum I loved this beef. I ate it for my dinner, tea and breakfast the next day. Yummy
5 star rating
24 December 2011
From: Ken
Thermometer temps are 140F/60c for rare beef, 160F/71c for medium rare and 170F/77c for well done beef. For medium rare I'd say somewhere between 140 and 160 would be ideal.
5 star rating
24 December 2011
From: Scott Tait
Excellent tips for a great taste thanks+++2B
5 star rating
13 January 2012
From: Jon
I first used this method a year ago, and every beef joint has been delicious.
5 star rating
22 January 2012
From: Tim Ward
5 star rating
22 January 2012
From: Maria
This was the first time I have made my own soup and cannot believe how easy and tasty it is. Will definitely be trying out your other recipes!
5 star rating
25 January 2012
From: Simon Howells
First time doing this and it was so good.
5 star rating
13 March 2012
From: Not Given
Used it, it was wonderful flabbergasting, simply flabbergasting.
5 star rating
19 March 2012
From: Eric Sean
Just like my mum would make. I was scared to buy a roll of sirloin until I discovered your recipe. Now we have a roast every fortnight. Thanks for your recipe. Go the extra mile and use your local butcher ,far better quality.
5 star rating
14 April 2012
From: Graham
Easy to follow best beef ever cooked.
5 star rating
20 May 2012
From: Claire Dean
What a great recipe!! Been cooking beef to this recipe for over a year now and works wonderfully every time.
5 star rating
13 May 2012
From: Andy
Ive always been good at roasts but following this method i cooked the best roast beef I've ever cooked and i cooked for eight today and everyone loved it, thank guys/girls.
5 star rating
28 October 2012
From: Shelagh
Tried this today, I've cooked topside loads of times but this was easily the nicest we have had! Don't let me get started on the gravy mmm
5 star rating
25 November 2012
From: Sand
5 star rating
1 January 2013
From: Noel
Cooked the beef this way today and it was fantastic the flavour was mmmmmmm out of this world the family love it.
Not Given
6 January 2013
From: Maggie
Oh yes!! I have been cooking beef joints for years and try out different timing/cooking methods from time to time. This method though was fantastic and produced an excellent result, tender meat, slightly pink in the middle. Have forwarded this site to my daughter, we are off to roast beef dinner there this evening!
5 star rating
13 January 2013
Amazing! First time to cook roast beef and got the thumbs up from all at dinner. Was very tasty.

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