As with braising, roasting beef is a terrific and economical use of your time to feed a group of people in one setting.
In a nutshell you put one large cut in the oven and when ready, carve it to feed your guests. Unlike braising, roasting is a dry heat cooking method – no liquid at all and no need to cover the meat while it is in the oven.
So, how can you get the most out of your roast beef?
First of all, know what cuts are suitable. Usually the tender cuts. However the tougher cuts are good but need to be put on a lower heat for a longer period of time (than tender cuts) in order to make them nice and tender. As a matter of a fact, my opinion is that the tougher cuts are better because they are naturally more flavoursome. The tougher cuts do more exercise (than the tender cuts) so that is why they have more flavour and, when cooked long and slow come out really tender.
Make sure that your meat is as close to room temperature as possible. This ensures more even cooking from the exterior to the interior.
Sear your roast all over. That is, place the tray (that you plan to roast the beef in) onto the stove or several stove tops and bring to a high heat. Add some oil and then place in the meat and brown all over. This must be done on a high heat in order to create a nice brown colour to the meat’s exterior. You are better off searing the meat to brown all over on a high heat on the stove rather than putting it in the oven on a high heat because the heat from the stove is much more fierce than the oven heat and therefore the browning will be so much better.
Once browned, place fat side up (there is usually a layer of fat on top of the roast). The reason why (it is fat side up) is because the fat juices then come down on the side of the meat keeping it moist. Never use water or stock to baste the meat because that will just wash off the protective fat layer that keeps the meat nice and moist.
Place the meat on a rack in the tray after you have seared it. Placing it in a rack and in the tray ensures that the heat will distribute all over the meat (including underneath).
When in the oven, you have a choice to put it on a high heat for a short cooking time (such as a 2kg piece of meat on 180 degrees C for about 1 ½ – 2 hours or on as little as 120 degrees C for a much longer time). Always choose to cook your meat on a lower heat for longer. The reason being is that, compared to cooking it on a high heat and shorter time, you retain more flavour, more moisture, more juice, it is more tender and it is easier to carve.
My opinion is to cook the meat up to med rare. Use a digital thermometer to test it to bring up to a temp range of 55 – 65 degrees C.
Once the meat is done, remove and let rest. You have 2 options with the resting: let it sit in the oven on about 55 -65 degrees c (without the fan on) or outside but in a warm place and lightly covered. If you have cooked the meat on a low heat and longer period of time then, my opinion is that it should rest in the oven because the interior will not be very hot and if that is the case it will cool very quickly if left to rest outside. You don’t want to serve a cold roast!
While the meat is resting, now is the time to make the gravy!
The above are just some tips to roasting your beef to perfection.