Roast beef is a staple of British cuisine to the extent that the French often call British people Roast Beefs. Usually enjoyed with the family on Sundays, the beef is usually served with Yorkshire puddings, gravy, mustard or horseradish sauce, and vegetables.
Roast potatoes are essential. Roasted carrots and/or parsnips are optional (and can be boiled too, if you’re short of oven space). Peas are also a common addition. But the real hero, of course, is the meat.
So if you’re looking to prepare the perfect Sunday Roast (be it actually a Sunday or not), you need look no further than this recipe from one of Britain’s most famous chefs, Jamie Oliver.
Of course, other roast beef recipes are available. So once you’re finished with this one, why not try your hand at roast beef in a spicy pastry crust or use your leftovers in a low-calorie roast beef salad?
Or if your dedication to mastering home cooking truly knows no bounds, then click here to learn all about the science behind roasting meat. Whether beef, pork or poultry, you don’t need to be a Michelin-starred chef to cook the perfect roast every time.
But without further ado, let’s move onto Jamie Oliver’s exemplary roast beef recipe.
Jamie Oliver's roast beef: the recipe
This recipe is adapted from Jamie’s Ministry of Food by Jamie Oliver and includes directions for when to prepare roast vegetables, gravy, and other additions to the perfect roast dinner while your beef is cooking. You can also find it on his website, along with other top chef recipes and tips from chefs, or watch a video of him preparing the roast beef by clicking here.
The roast fillet of beef from Jamie Oliver serves approximately 6 people and should take you just over an hour to cook, plus some additional time for cooling.
1.5 kg topside of beef
2 medium onions
2 sticks celery
1 bulb of garlic
1 bunch of mixed fresh herbs (such as thyme, rosemary, bay, sage)
Ensure the beef is at room temperature. You can do this by removing it from the fridge 30 minutes before you want to cook it.
Preheat the oven to 240°C/475°F/gas mark 9.
Wash and chop the vegetables. You don’t need to do this too neatly and there’s no need to peel them. Break the garlic bulb into cloves and leave them unpeeled.
In the middle of a large roasting tray, pile up all the veg, garlic and herbs and drizzle over with oil.
Drizzle the beef with oil and season well with sea salt and black pepper, then rub all over the meat. Place the beef on top of the vegetables.
Place the tray in the oven and immediately turn the heat down to 200°C/400°F/gas 6. Cook for 1 hour for medium beef. If you prefer it medium-rare, take it out 5 to 10 minutes earlier. For well done, leave it in for another 10 to 15 minutes.
If you’re doing roast potatoes and veggies, this is the time to crack on with them – get them into the oven for the last 45 minutes of cooking.
Baste the beef halfway through cooking and if the vegetables look dry, add a splash of water to the tray to stop them from burning.
When the beef is cooked to your liking, take the tray out of the oven and transfer the beef to a board to rest for 15 minutes or so. Cover it with a layer of tin foil and a tea towel. Leave it aside to cool slightly while you make your gravy, horseradish sauce and Yorkshire puddings.
More famous recipes by Jamie Oliver
If you love Jamie Oliver’s recipes then here are a few more of our favourites for you to try.
Jamie Oliver’s Beef and Guinness stew
Taken from the book Jamie’s Super Food Family Classics, this hearty stew is served up with nutritious seasonal greens and protein-rich pearl barley. And if you don’t eat all the roast beef from the recipe above, you can just substitute the beef skirt steak for your leftovers.
English Onion Soup
You’ve probably heard of French onion soup, but what makes this onion soup English? Jamie Oliver’s recipe, taken from the book Jamie at Home, adds Cheddar cheese, Worcestershire sauce, and fresh sage to the classic dish.
Pumpkin Mac ‘n’ Cheese
Who doesn’t love mac ‘n’ cheese. This extra indulgent twist on a comforting classic is perfect for the autumn. It’s also easy to adapt the cheeses to titillate the taste buds of each and every fromage lover.