Getting a complete meal ready on time with all the elements involved can be a challenge for the novice cook. Roast dinners can be particularly problematic, so to help you get your roast, gravy, vegetables and potatoes ready with ease, we’ve devised a time plan that you can follow for perfect results.
Roast Beef with All the Trimmings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: Over 2 hours
900g lean boneless beef rump roast or topside joint
3 teaspoons English mustard powder
Salt and freshly milled black pepper
For the Roast Potatoes:
1.8kg potatoes, suitable for roasting, peeled and cut in half
100ml sunflower or olive oil or 100g beef dripping, goose or duck fat
For the Yorkshire Puddings:
1 x 220g bag prepared Yorkshire puddings
For the Gravy:
300ml gravy of your choice
Seasonal ready prepared vegetables of your choice
2 large non-stick roasting tins
1 large metal rack (for the roasting tin)
1 non-stick roasting tray (for Yorkshire puddings)
1 sieve or colander
1 measuring jug
1 sharp knife
1 chopping board
1 large saucepan
1 vegetable peeler
4 dinner plates
Method and Time plan:
* You can start your roast at the beginning of any hour you choose
Turn on the oven to Gas mark 4-5, 180-190°C, 350-375°F and heat for 5 minutes.
Put the beef joint on a chopping board and using a sharp knife make a few slashes over the surface of the top of the joint (take care not to cut any elasticated meat bands or butcher’s string). Dry the beef joint with absorbent kitchen paper and rub the mustard over the surface of the joint then season with salt and pepper.
Get a large roasting tin and place a metal rack on top. Position the beef on the rack, put in the oven on the top oven shelf and set the timer to roast the joint for 1 hour 15 minutes (for medium doneness). If you have a larger joint refer to the roasting chart below.
From time to time using a dessertspoon, remove the joint from the oven and spoon any meat juices over the joint (this is known as `basting’).
Remove the joint at 1.40pm
To prepare the potatoes for toasting, using a sharp knife or a vegetable peeler, peel and cut the potatoes in half. Put in a large saucepan filled with cold water. Turn on the cooker flame and bring the water in the saucepan with the potatoes up to the boil. Cook the potatoes for 10 minutes (from when the water starts to boil) or until the potatoes begin to slightly soften.
Meanwhile, pour the oil or dripping in a large roasting tin and heat in the oven on the middle shelf for 5-10 minutes.
When the potatoes are done, drain over a sieve or colander or in the pan and gently shake well until the potatoes are dry and fluffy. Using oven gloves carefully remove the roasting tin with the oil from the oven, add the potatoes, toss gently in the oil and return to the oven and cook for 45-50 minutes until golden brown. Remove the potatoes between 2.00-2.10pm.
Using oven gloves, carefully remove the beef joint from the oven. Put on a large plate, cover well with foil and leave to rest in a warm place for at least 20-30 minutes.
Prepare and cook any prepared seasonal vegetables of your choice, according to the packet instructions.
Cook the prepared Yorkshire puddings according to the packet instructions. Put 4 dinner plates on the lower oven shelf to warm.
To prepare the gravy using instant gravy granules or a packet gravy mix, follow the instructions on the packet, stirring well. If using chilled ready prepared gravy, heat in a microwave or in a saucepan according to the packet instructions. Pour any meat juices from the rested beef into the prepared gravy and stir well.
Remove the potatoes from the oven.
Place the beef on a chopping board and using a sharp knife slice according to the thickness desired. Divide the beef evenly between each of the plates with the roast potatoes, seasonal vegetables, Yorkshire puddings and gravy. Serve.
This time plan is based on a timing guide for novice cooks who would like to cook a roast dinner from scratch for the first time. The time plan will lead cooks though the cooking process ending with the delivery of the complete meal to the table in a timely fashion.
Once confidence is established with cooking a complete roast dinner making home-made Yorkshire puddings and gravy from scratch can be the next step. These recipes can be found on 5by25.com
The above time plan incorporates cooking a 900g/2lb boneless beef joint to medium. For a 900g rare or well-done joint, follow the roasting times below:
If you prefer to cook a larger joint, refer to the roasting chart below for specific times.
Weight of joint
900g (serves 4-6)
1 hour 15 mins
1.3kg (serves 6-8)
1 hour 20mins
1 hour 40 mins
1.8kg (serves 8-10)
1 hour 40mins
2 hours 5 mins
2 hours 30 mins
The way you can calculate how long to cook any size of joint is as follows: Weigh your joint then divide the total weight in grams by 450g then multiply by the number of minutes per 450g required below depending on how you like your meat cooked. Finally add on the additional minutes to get the total time your meat should be in the oven.
Rare: 20 minutes per 450g plus 20 minutes
Medium: 25 minutes per 450g plus 25 minutes
Well done: 30 minutes per 450g plus 30 minutes