Roasting Up Ol’ Bessy

Roasting Up Ol’ Bessy

As a British citizen I can graciously admit that there’s not much that we do right. We’ve got issues. These shortcomings can all be forgiven with a few facts; 1) we gave you Ribena (and kept the Marmite to ourselves), 2) we gave you Queen (I guess we share that with Zanzibar) and 3) Sunday roasts.

I am the leader of the ‘make Sunday roasts a thing everywhere’ campaign because not only does it get you in the kitchen, but it gives you leftovers and if you don’t go out of your fucking mind knowing that you’ve got leftovers for the next couple of days, then you probably don’t belong here.

Roast beef was intimidating to start with (because I’d rather not eat at all than have to eat overcooked roast beef) but with a little know how, we’ll make a killer meal. There’s about 50,000 cuts of beef to choose from but I typically roast a sirloin or outside round; no real reason, it’s just what’s available at the butchers and NOT bloody expensive. When it doubt, ask the bloke behind the counter because guess what? This is kind of his thing.

Let’s get cracking.

What you need:

1.2-1.4kg cut of sirloin or outside round (it’ll feed 2 people plus a crap tonne of leftovers)


1/2 an onion

4 cloves of garlic

What to do:

You do actually need to think about timing here. You want dinner at 7? The roast needs to rest for 20 minutes- half an hour before you carve it. The roast itself needs about 1 3/4 hours to cook. I’m shit at maths so I’ll leave that to you.

An hour before you want to have the roast in the oven, get it out of the fridge. Room temperature meat is what you want here. With about 15 minutes left to go, get your oven preheating to 475f and cut your half an onion into chunks to lay in your roasting tray; this will be what your beef rests on as it cooks. Bash the crap out of your garlic cloves but leave them in their skins as you chuck them in between your beautiful onion trivet.

Now prep the meat by tying it up with butchers string (if it’s not already tied up for you; this is just to allow it to keep it’s shape while it cooks). If you need to tie it up, literally just wrap the string around the joint and tie it along the roast in a few different places.

There will most likely be a fat cap along the top of the joint; make sure it’s facing up and score it with a paring knife in a few places. Drizzle with meat with olive oil, and rub a generous mixture of salt and pepper all over the fat cap, and then all over the rest of the beef (give it some love, old Bessy here died for you so perhaps be nice to it and give it a good rub down).

Place the roast, fat cap up, on top of your onions and garlic. give one last drizzle of olive oizzle and pop it in the centre of the oven. Set your timer for 10 minutes, and once the timer has gone off, drop the oven to 275f (you won’t need to get the roast out, leave it in). Set your timer for 1 1/2 hours.

Why the hell did I make you do that? By starting this off h-o-t, we brown the beef a bit and help seal in juices. Yes, you can sear the beef in a hot pan instead before putting it in the oven but I can’t be bothered to faff around like that. This works too, sue me.

Once the timer has gone off, get the beef out and take the internal temperature; I look for 130-135c (for medium rare). If I’ve hit that, I scream, dance, death drop, then get the roast out of the oven and cover with foil. Let it rest for at least 20 minutes, but half an hour is best; if you’ve not hit that temperature, put it back in for another 15 minutes and check again.

I’m not going to tell you what to serve this with; I typically roast some potatoes and carrots, but do what you want. To be frank, even topping this on some good bread with tonnes of horseradish would be fucking epic. And don’t worry; we’ll be pimping up some leftovers in good time.

Carve, munch, enjoy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s