Delia Smith’s Traditional Roast Beef

At the moment I am up to my eyeballs and even over my head packing for our move.  I am about finished as we have taken a lot of our luggage out to the airport already to ensure it gets flown out before we leave as the planes are very small and can only take so much in a flight.

During our move, which we hope will take about five days, I will obviously not be cooking.  But being the sad sack that I am I had to have posts scheduled so that something would be posted every day.

I know.  But therapy isn’t an option right now, we are moving!

And eating sandwiches and burgers.  And pizza and ice cream.  And hopefully Chinese and Indian take outs too.  And we are enjoying it. 🙂

If all is true to form, Bob is nesting in between the seats in the truck, content to get out and sniff around every few hours and I am photographing every blade of grass we pass while Allan drives us back across to Ontario.

But back to food.

Being a vegetarian for most of my life things that most cooks take for granted, and just fling together willy nilly, cause me stress and then conflicted feelings of pride and unease when completed.

I have mentioned before that there is nothing that makes me feel more like a “real wife” than presenting Allan with a roast bird or joint of beef as I know that he loves them, but they do stress me out.  Admittedly not as much as they used to.  But I still worry about messing them up and believe me, my meat thermometer is my best friend at these times.

My mom, Jamie and Nigella saved me when it comes to roasting birds.  But it was Delia who saved me when it comes to beef.

This recipe is for beef on the bone, but it works perfectly with all joints that I come across.  Phew!  Thanks, Delia!

These photographs are of the first time I made a roast following Delia’s instructions, which was before we moved here.  It was in Alberta, and with the pride in their beef there I had to get it right!

Perfect Roast Beef

Traditional Roast Sirloin of Beef  – Delia Smith

  •  1 sirloin of beef on the bone, weighing 5-6 lb (2.25-2.75 kg) – this would be 3 ribs
  • ½ onion, peeled
  • 1 level dessertspoon mustard powder
  • 1 level dessertspoon plain flour
  • freshly milled black pepper

 Preheat the oven to 240C/475F/Gas 9.

Place the beef, just as it is, upright in a roasting tin, tucking in the half onion alongside it.

Combine the mustard powder and flour, then dust this all over the surface of the fat, and finally season with a few twists of freshly milled pepper. This floury surface will help to make the fat very crusty (for those like me who want to eat what I call the crispies), while the onion will caramelise to give the gravy a rich colour and flavour.

Place the joint in the oven – it will have plenty of fat so do not add extra. After 20 minutes turn the heat down to 190C/375F/Gas 5, and continue to cook for 15 minutes per lb (450 g) for rare, plus 15 minutes extra for medium-rare or 30 minutes extra for well-done.

While cooking, baste the meat with the juices at least three times. To see if the beef is cooked to your liking insert a thin skewer and press out some juices: the red, pink or clear colour will indicate to what stage the beef has cooked.

Remove the cooked beef to a board for carving and leave it to rest for at least 30 minutes before serving (while it is resting you can increase the heat in the oven to finish the roast potatoes if you are serving them).

This resting period allows most of the juices which have bubbled up to the surface of the meat to seep back into it, and the meat itself firms up to make it easier to carve. Some of the juices will escape, though, and these should be poured into the gravy.