Cooking with Ellie, Food

Cooking with Ellie: Roast Beef for Sunday Lunch

On my most recent grocery shop, I found myself craving a roast dinner. It is pretty safe to say that I love to cook but I have not made myself a roast in years. It was time. After next to no discussion about the topic, I picked up a small beef joint from the section of the store where the products are close to expiry. Wait, before judging – this joint was meant to be almost £14 and I picked it up for just over £3 because it was ‘best before’ two days later. Grabbing that and some Yorkshire puddings, carrots, potatoes and assorted greens, I was officially ready to make the dish that epitomises what it is to be British – Roast Beef on a Sunday afternoon!

A small beef joint to serve two people


  • 1 bargain beef joint (about 450g)
  • 1 red onion
  • Some cloves of garlic
  • Herbs and spices for seasoning
  • Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Greens
  • Yorkshire puddings
  • Gravy of choice
Emerging from the oven in its own savoury juices


There are honestly so many ways to cook a beef joint I did not know which to pick. In typical Ellie fashion, I ultimately decided to calculate my cooking time using Google and then effectively winged the rest of the recipe. 

My biggest fear with cooking beef is always that it will come out too dry and taste like rubber – whether I am cooking burgers, steaks or anything in between – beef equals scary. This is also why I picked up a bargain piece of meat so if it did ultimately turn out to be horrendous, I had not wasted a small fortune on a prime cut.

I took the beef out of the fridge about an hour before working with it. I read somewhere that it should be room temperature because putting cold beef into a hot oven apparently takes the beef into ‘shock’ and leads it to be dry and basically a disaster. I sprinkled a little flour over the joint before putting it in the oven and drizzled some olive oil over it, rubbing in some herbs and spices as I went. Flour (and the fat in the meat) makes the joint develop a jacket of juices when cooking so I was wiling to try pretty much anything to avoid a parched piece of meat emerging from the oven. 

I put it in the oven on 220’C for 20 minutes wrapped in foil and then reduced the temperature to 180′ for a further 25 minutes. I took the beef out of the oven once cooked to a medium rare state and left it to rest until the rest of the dinner was ready – which should be at least half an hour before slicing.

From bargain beef piece to a succulent slab – mission accomplished

With the peeled potatoes boiling, the sliced carrots cooking and Yorkshire puddings waiting, I steamed the greens in the microwave and added some extra herb butter for taste.

I know mint sauce is intended for lamb but I love the flavour of it with gravy

As it turned out, I was pretty impressed with my attempt on a beef roast dinner. Now I have a simple method established, I would like to try something a little larger to try and prove to myself that this was not a one off. In case you cannot tell, I had very high levels of self doubt around this meal and I was very happy with the final outcome of the dish.

I have heard many people struggle with beef. Have you ever cooked it before? Do you have any tips to keep it juicy?

20 thoughts on “Cooking with Ellie: Roast Beef for Sunday Lunch”

  1. Well done you are braver than me I’m in my 6th decade and gave yet to cook a roast…..
    Mind you I sampled your Christmas lunch so I had no doubts this one would turn out right….I could just eat it now🦌🦌🦌🦌🦌

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha yeah it can be so scary cooking a roast! There’s just something about beef that’s terrifying. I think I’m scared by pops Xmas fiasco from years ago! Thank you for the support ❤️ Xmas dinner last year was perfect!


  2. Regrettably, my efforts of cooking beef have resulted in producing meat that could line shoes with! Yours looks fabulous! I’m better of brining the Christmas turkey. Soaking the bird in liquid for a few days seem to make it juicy. I’m not sure you can do that in the summer. Would it go off? Ewwww!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, I have been lucky enough to have been subjected to trying it! 😐 I thought about doing it at Easter as we have the spices from Christmas but we got beef instead. I would love to try something else for Christmas soon 😊


    1. Thank you for reading ♥️ I thought it looked a bit dry in the pictures but it was definitely not so I was very happy with the outcome! I think I want to try a roast chicken next! X


    1. Thank you so much ♥ until this, I also threw it in the slow cooker to be safe the meat would be edible and not worthy of being used as tire treads! Thank you for reading x


  3. Well done! Although I’m veggie now (don’t ask me why I clicked on this post, although I do like watching other people cook meat) I was always a very nervous meat-cooker. My problem was overcooking, not due to lack of calculation, but to fear of undercooking and therefore giving myself food poisoning. Anyway, this looks fab, and I look forward to (maybe?) hearing tales of your future roast-dinner cooking exploits?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh no! That doesn’t sound great at all ☹️ Thank you for the support in advance on my future attempts 🥴 I’m not ready to try again yet with other meat but I hope it goes ok when I do. I know what you mean about the fear 100%, it sucks when something is overcooked …or even under cooked! X

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This looks delicious! Besides roast chicken, I haven’t cooked any other roast dinners before. I do love a roast beef dinner though. I’m a big fan of the reduced section for meat too, you can get some great deals.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is the BEST section, isn’t it? At least I think it is the best for when you want to experiment with a new recipe! I need to do a roast chicken sometime – something lighter for summer time!


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