The Perfect Roast Beef

The Perfect Roast Beef

For me, roast beef dinners bring back memories of family meals on special occasions from when I was was growing up. Despite the fact that roast beef is one of my favourite meals I find that I rarely make it since moving into my own place. A few weeks ago Canada Beef hosted an informational session about roast beef that I had the opportunity to attend and it reminded me of my passion for roast beef and got me craving it once again! During the session Canadian Beef shared with us all of the tricks and techniques that they have picked up about how to make the perfect roast beef at home every time and I used them to make this roast beef dinner.

First off, lets make the distinction between the two different kinds of roast beef, the oven roast and the pot roast. The oven roast is dry roasted with no liquids and it is best to use a nice and tender cut of meat such as the tenderloin, prime rib, strip loin, sirloin tip, etc. and it is typically roasted for a shorter period of time, just until the beef reaches the desired done-ness. The pot roast on the other hand is roasted in a liquid and since it is roasted long and slow until the meat becomes tender, you can start off with a tougher cut of beef such as the blade, shoulder or brisket. Today I plan on talking about the oven roast as I was craving some of that medium rare roast beefy goodness!

The Perfect Roast Beef

Once you have chosen the cut of beef that you want and you have brought it home, you are going to want to keep it in the fridge right until you want to roast it. If the meat came tied up, leave the string on it as it can help ensure even cooking. (ie. The tenderloin can be thinner at one end and the butcher will often fold the thinner side over and tie it up so that both ends of the meat are roughly the same thickness.) When you are ready to roast the beef you want to pull it out of the fridge, pat it dry and then season is with salt and pepper or your favourite beef seasoning blend.

Before we get too far ahead, lets take some time to talk about the equipment that is required to make your roast. First you are going to need a roasting pan and preferably one that works on the stove top in addition to in the oven. You are also going to want the pan to have a rack to keep the meat off of the bottom of the pan. The metal pan will transfer heat to the beef much faster than the air surrounding the rest of the roast so it will cook much faster and you certainly do not want it to burn. I have never been very good at telling when the roast is done by visual inspection or by touching it and since I want my roast to be perfectly medium-rare each and every time, I rely on an oven safe meat thermometer.

Place that meat thermometer into the thickest part of the roast, and put the roast into the roasting pan. If the meat has a cap of fat, place the roast in the pan with the fat cap on the top. All that is left at this point is to cook the roast and we are going to start by roasting it at a higher temperature for a little while after which we will reduce the temperature and let the roast to continue to cook low and slow until it is done.

One of the best parts of the roast beef is the slightly caramelized outside and to get that we want to keep moisture away and prevent steaming the meat. Roasting at the higher temperature at first will help with the channelization and starting with a dry piece of meat is important. You are also not going to want to add any other vegetables to the pan and you are not going to use a lid on the pan.

The Perfect Roast Beef

Once the roast is done cooking, pull it out of the oven, cover it in foil and let it rest for a few minutes before carving it. While you are waiting for the beef to rest you can take the opportunity to make a gravy! Depending on how long you cooked the roast for and how juicy it was there can be anything from lots of drippings left in the pan to almost nothing. If there is a lot of drippings leftover you can skim off most of the fat and if the pan was bone dry with a thin layer of brown bits on the bottom don't fret as you can still make an amazing gravy. Throw the roasting pan onto the stove over medium heat and once it is hot, add a cup of wine, broth or stock to the pan and let it simmer while you work all of those flavour full brown bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Once you have the pan deglazed you can add more broth or stock and continue simmering to reduce it and concentrate the flavour. To thicken the gravy you can mix some corn starch into cold water and then mix that into the gravy. Of course you are going to want to season the gravy with salt and pepper and at this point you can add any other ingredients that you want to build up flavour. If there was little or no fat in the drippings you can add a touch of butter and if you prefer you gravy to be smooth you can strain it before serving it.

Really, making an amazing roast beef dinner at home is super easy taking very little hands on time despite the fact that it will need to roast for a while. Once you get the roast into the oven you can move onto doing something else or you can concentrate on making some sides. I served this roast beef dinner with some roasted red pepper and feta mashed potatoes and brussels sprouts with smoked bacon, mustard cream and a parmesan crust and of course no roast beef dinner would be complete without Yorkshire pudding and creamy horseradish sauce.

The Perfect Roast Beef

The Perfect Roast Beef

Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 2 hours Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes Servings: 6

Roast beef is an amazing treat whether for special occasions or just for a nice family meal and with this easy recipe you can make the perfect roast beef every time.

  • 1 oven roast beef such as sirloin tip, top sirloin, strip loin, etc.
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 1 tablespoon butter (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Pat the beef dry, rub the salt and pepper all over it, place it in an oven safe roasting dish and stick a meat thermometer into the middle of the thickest part.
  2. Roast in a preheated 450F/230C oven for 10 minutes, reduce the temperature to 275F/140C and continue roasting until the temperature reaches the desired done-ness.

    Average Cook Times (in hours)
    Weight (lb)Weight (kg)Medium-Rare (145F)Medium-Well (160F)
    211 3/42
    31.522 1/2
    422 1/42 3/4
    52.52 3/43

  3. Remove the roast from the oven and set aside to rest, covered.
  4. Drain all but one or two tablespoons of any grease and heat the roasting pan over medium heat.
  5. Add the red wine and deglaze the pan.
  6. Add the broth and simmer to reduce by half.
  7. Mix the corn starch into the water, add to the gravy and simmer until it thickens.
  8. Remove from heat, mix in the butter and season with salt and pepper.


Jen said...

That looks like heaven! I find I always cook a roast in the crockpot (while at work) and while it tastes good it it impossible to get any other doneness than well done.

Becki's Whole Life said...

That roast looks amazing and perfectly cooked with lots of nice pink. The gravy sounds absolutely wonderful, too with the red wine..this is making me hungry!

Quirky Jessi said...

Mmm, that is most definitely cooked to perfection. Yum.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That roast beef is cooked to perfection! Perfect, especially with gravy and Yorkshire puddings... ;-P



Kevin said...

Yorkshire pudding definitely goes well with roast beef and gravy!

Dmarie said...

beautifully done!

The Culinary Chase said...

Nice post Kevin but I am curious about leaving the meat in the fridge just before placing it in the oven. I was always taught to let the meat come to room temperature before roasting it (for even cooking). However for smaller cuts of meat, like a steak, it should be cold and some like Steven Raichlen suggests salt and pepper the steak and then place it in the freezer for 15 minutes (not long enough to freeze). The result, a crusty seared exterior, and a medium-rare interior. I have yet to try this but will next time.

Thanks for the tips. Cheers!

bellini said...

Canadian Beef sponsored me to attend the Eat, Write, Reteat in Washington in the Spring. They have excellent recipes and tips on their site.

Kathleen Richardson said...

Beautifully done, Kevin. Thanks for all the details on how to get the best out of a roast. I'm going to share this post with my Facebook friends, especially for those who prefer red meat over white and brown for our upcoming Thanksgiving here in the US!

Dining Alone said...

looks great, and I do like my meat more on the rare side. I will have to give this a try.

angela@spinachtiger said...

Something that looks this good at 5 minutes prep time is a winner all the way around!

Debs @ DKC said...

Lovely, but where are the yorkshire puds, roast pots and horseradish sauce? it's the law LOL

Kevin said...

The Culinary Chase: I am going for something similar here as I like the outside of the roast to caramelize a bit and get crusty without the inside overcooking. I will have to try the freezer trick with steaks!

Taylor said...

This looks so yummy. I am definitely making this on the weekend.

Chris said...

Looks flawless, Kevin. Nicely done, just right for me.

Matt H said...

One thing I like to do for gravy or sauces is to keep on hand a supply of pre-made flour/butter roux. It can be divided up into a muffin tin and frozen, and thawed when I know I'm making gravy. Then just add the room temp roux to the hot stock, milk or cream, bring to a simmer and let it thicken. This also adds some fat to the sauce and avoids a problem I tend to have with finicky cornstarch not wanting to thicken properly.

Anonymous said...

This looks delicious! Do you remember what cut of beef you used? Making your Brusssel sprout gratin today. Great blog.

Kevin said...

Anonymous: I used a sirloin tip for the one in the photo but any tender oven roast will work. Enjoy!

Kaylee said...

This looks amazing! Looking forward to trying it this week. I have a question about the cooking time chart--is the weight in Kg or Lbs?

Kevin said...

Kaylee: That is in pounds. I have added kg's to the chart. Thanks for mentioning that!

Tatianna said...

shoot i wish i had read this post before i mistakenly roasted my top sirloin with liquid in the oven....well done it is. but still tasty. will have to try this recipe next time!

Beth Petersen said...

So excited to do this tomorrow. Thanks for another great recipe!

Anonymous said...

We are using this recipe tonight with a sirloin tip roast

Anonymous said...

Has anyone actually cooked this???

sandwzoo said...

I baked this and used a top round tip roast and it was absolutely delicious. It came out a perfect medium rare and my daughter and granddaughter in- law loved it. I made it about three days ago and we had leftovers tonight and it tasted just as good as when I first made it.

What are doing here? said...

Who are you? This is the best roast beef recipe I've ever tried and I've been making roasts for over 30 years! Cooked to perfection! I will always use this recipe. You are a gentleman and a scholar. Thank you! Luv luv luv your website!

Rachelita said...

thanks so much for this recipe - I hve bene making roast beefs for about a year now when I found the high temperature method and adapted it to my needs - I use a 2-3 pound tenderloin roast or eye of round roast or french roasted- I like them with the string, without the fat around it - I use a digital thermometer and set it to 160 degrees farenheit - it will ring and been when it gets to 150 degrees - I pat it dry with scott towels, then add worcestershire sauce all over it, and then roll it in montreal steak spice - then I cook in my toaster oven, on a rack, uncovered, with no liquid, at 450 which is the highest my oven goes to - when it reaches 150 degrees, I turn the oven off and wait until it goes up internally to about 155/156 and then take it out and cover with foil for about 15 minutes - and then slice it very thinly - it comes out medium or medium rare in the thickest parts - really delicious no miss roast beef - people are amazed I can do this repeatedly in my toaster oven

Kevin Lynch said...

Rachelita: Nice! Thanks for sharing! I normally use the Montreal steak spice and I really like the sound of the worcestershire sauce! I will have to try that next time!

Anonymous said...

I think I'm going to try this for our Christmas Eve dinner! It looks amazing!!

Anonymous said...

This roast beef does look perfect. I usually cook mine in a crock pot like other commenters here. I haven't been successful with ovens yet, but I'll be sure to give this one a try. If it fails, I will work on cooking it sous vide style. This recipe looks pretty good for it:

Anonymous said...

I made this last night with a top sirloin roast and it came out perfect! I had passed up this method of cooking so many times ended up with dry roasts. The high temp, then lower temp. Thank you!

Tracy said...

I'm sooooo anxious to try your recipe. My Mum is British and I remember a roast beef dinner spread on those special Sunday dinners. BUT, somewhere along the way, using the wrong cut of beef has left me wondering if I could ever taste that tender juicy beef again.

Kevin Lynch said...

Tracy: You are probably looking for a strip loin or sirloin tip, tenderloin, prime rib, etc.

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