How to Roast Beef


One of the great things about having a food blog is that, no matter where I am, I can find a previously visited restaurant’s name and address or make a favourite recipe. One thing I have not yet done though is record the temperatures to which I like my meat cooked.

This means that every time we get a piece of beef to roast I have to spend about half an hour googling for internal temperatures and fretting over whether I’ve chosen the right temperature. It’s time to fix that.


So – there’s the raw data. But what’s the process?

Let’s assume you have a piece of fillet – which is what is featured in the photo above*. I use an oven safe stainless steel fry pan and melt some butter and light olive oil in it. I then take my piece of beef (preferably at room temperature), season it and sear it in the pan so that it is nicely browned all over. Whatever you do, don’t do too much searing – just enough to pick up some colour. You don’t want the meat to actually start cooking.

I’m very lucky in that I have a 20 year old oven with a built in meat probe. This is brilliant because you can set the oven at whatever temperature you wish (usually 180°C conv), plug the meat probe in (to both oven and meat), set the probe temperature (57°C) and walk away. When the meat hits the temperature the oven will beep and turn itself off. If you have a normal meat thermometer you’ll just need to keep on checking …

When the meat is done, remove it from the oven, put it on a plate and cover with tin foil, allowing it to rest for at least 15 minutes. This will give you time to finish off things like vegetables and gravy and get some plates warm. If you are making gravy, be sure to make it in the same pan the meat was cooked in AND to tip in any juices from the plate the meat has rested on.

As you can see from the photo, we like our meat rare. From what I’ve been able to find of Australian food safety guidelines, for a non rolled, non stuffed piece of meat like fillet, the only risk of contamination is the exterior of the meat, so as long as that’s well cooked (that’s the searing and sitting in a hot oven part) you are fine to cook the meat to any temperature you wish. American readers should note that the USDA recommends 145°F (about 63°C) as a minimum.

And obviously, you should always cook your meat to YOUR preference!

* Sorry for the poor quality of the photo but really, if you had a piece of meat like that in front of you would you be worrying about setting up a good shot?! Normal people want to crack on and EAT!

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