Roast Beef

from Leith’s Meat Bible by Max Clark & Susan Spaull (Bloomsbury)

Serve with roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, gravy & horseradish sauce.

Serves 10

Prep time: 5 mins (& at least 30 mins out of the fridge before roasting)

Cooking time: 1hr 30 mins for rare & 1hr 50 mins for medium (see table)


2.3kg sirloin or rib of beef

A little dry English mustard

Salt & freshly ground black pepper


Weigh the beef & calculate the cooking time according to the timetable below.
Heat the oven to 220°C/ 425°F / gas Mark 7.
Season the beef with a little mustard, salt & plenty of pepper, then place in a roasting pan. Do not season the meat in the pan as this could result in over-seasoned gravy.
Roast for 20 mins to brown the surface of the meat.
Turn the oven temperature down to 170°C / 325°F / gas Mark 3 & roast for the calculated cooking time.
Allow the roast to stand at room temperature for 20 mins, then carve.

The beef may be served simply with ‘God’s gravy’, the juices that run from the meat before & during carving.


Oven Temp 220°C 425°F Gas Mark 7
Cooking time 20 mins plus…
Internal Temp – -


Oven Temp 190°C 375°F Gas Mark 5
Cooking time 30 mins per kg
Internal Temp 52°C 125°F


Oven Temp 190°C 375°F Gas mark 5
Cooking time 40 mins per kg
Internal temp 60°C 140°F

Well done

Oven temp 190°C 375°F Gas mark 5
Cooking time 50 mins per kg
Internal temp 70° 160°F

Roast Potatoes

Serves 4

Prep time: 15 mins

Cooking time: 1 hr in a hot oven, or 1½ hrsin a moderate one.


900g floury potatoes (King Edwards)

Salt & freshly ground black pepper

4 tbspsbeef dripping, oil or goose fat


Heat the oven to 200°C / 400°F / gas mark 6.
Wash & peel the potatoes &, if they are large, cut them into 5cm pieces.
Bring them to the boil in salted water. Simmer for 5 mins. Drain well, return to the pan & shake the potatoes to roughen their surfaces.
Melt the dripping, oil or goose fat in a roasting pan & when hot add the potatoes, turning them so that they are coated all over. Season with salt & pepper.
Roast, basting occasionally & turning the potatoes over halfway through cooking.

Yorkshire Pudding

Serves 4

Prep time: 15mins (+30 mins resting)

Cooking time:40 mins for large & 15 mins for individual


110g plain flour

good pinch of salt

2 eggs, beaten

300ml milk, or 200ml milk plus 90ml water

4 tbsps good beef dripping or 2 tbsps oil


Sift the flour & salt into a bowl. Make a well in the centre & pour the eggs into it.
Beat the eggs with a wooden spoon, gradually drawing in more flour to the centre.
Beat in the milk little by little until the batter is smooth. Leave for 30 mins before use.
Heat the oven to 200°C / 400°F / gas mark 6.
Put the dripping or oil in a roasting pan, flameproof dish or Yorkshire pudding tin & heat until very hot.
Pour in the batter. Bake a large pudding in the oven for 40 mins, or until it is risen & golden. Individual Yorkshire puddings take about 15 mins.