I love roast beef. I’m a bit slapdash when cooking it, but I always use the same timings and it always turns out okay for me. This step-by-step works whether you’re intending to cook a full-on roast dinner, or make the warm salad with Thai flavours that I’ve made here.
So first, for the beef:
Make sure that you take the beef joint out of the oven and allow it to come up to room temperature before you cook it. A rub of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and ground pepper or a smear of mustard will all help with the flavour. Pop it in a smallish roasting tin so it’s nice and snug, and it’s ready to go.
I know there are lots of different, scientific ways of doing it, but for joints like topside and silverside, I find if you whack the oven up high, then when you put the meat in reduce the temperature to 180 degrees/gas mark 4 and cook it for roughly 30 minutes per half a kilo, it generally turns out about right – medium/well with a bit of pink in the middle. If you want well done, cook it for an extra 30 mins at the end, and if you want it a bit pinker, take a bit off.
This lovely topside from our local farm shop was just under 1kg, and after an hour, and then a good 20-30 minute rest, it turned out pretty perfectly:
If you’re aiming for a full on roast, now is the time to whack the oven up to high and get your roasties on (I boil them first until they’re nearly falling apart, then drizzle them with rapeseed oil).
For this lighter, summery version, rest the beef well, covered, for at least 20-30 minutes (don’t worry, it will still be warm) while you make the lovely thai-inspired dressing:
1 red chilli (or a teaspoon of smoked chilli from a jar – we’re a bit addicted to this stuff)
Juice of one lime
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp fish sauce
2 tsp runny honey
Fresh ginger, grated – about 1heaped tsp
Handful of coriander
Handful of mint
So deseed and chop the chilli and pop it in a bowl along with the lime juice, soy sauce, fish sauce, honey and grated ginger. Chop up the herbs and add those in too. Mix it all round and then coat the still-warm beef generously. Serve with a nice big salad – lots of leaves, cucumber, crunchy radish, whatever you’ve got. Plus we added some little baby rosemary potatoes because we’re greedy.
This dressing is also delicious on chicken and fish, and also just as a salad dressing on its own (add some cashews or peanuts for a bit of crunch).