Simple “French” Roast Beef

When Frank and I decide to cook roast beef two things happen. 1. We immediately forget how to cook roast beef. It’s as if we have never cooked it before, and 2. We become French.

I love cooking roasts on the weekend, and Saturday was a great day for trying another roast beef. The first time I made it the oven turned off on its own (??) and it was still moo-ing when it came out. The second time I made it the roast was tasty, but resembled boot-leather.  So when we put the beef in the trolley this time I hoped it would be third time lucky!

When it came time to make the roast, Frank gallantly volunteered to take charge of it. Frank isn’t a big fan of cooking, and despite making one of the best omlettes I have ever eaten, he doesn’t like forcing people to eat the food he’s cooked. But when he does get into the kitchen you’re guaranteed to have the giggles!
This is when the French started. The beef was only referred to as le boef, and as he was frying it he was yelling “wee wee” and making weird noises in a french accent. Le boef was treated very well, and got sweet nothings whispered to it while in the pan, which must have worked as the beef turned out really well! We used the time parameters below, which worked for us. Frank tried to use his new meat thermometer, but it was registering as still cold on this inside when in fact it was perfectly cooked, so perhaps we won’t go with the thermometer next time.

This recipe makes a delicious roast beef that isn’t dry at all, so it wouldn’t need to be marinated beforehand. But if you like different flavours, soaking it in a little red wine and garlic wouldn’t go amiss. And don’t forget to speak to it in a French accent…

Simple roast beef – Frank’s way
Serves 4

1.25 kg topside beef
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp mixed herbs
2 tsp barbeque spice mix
Salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 220C. Heat a pan on the stove and sear meat on all sides to seal in juices.

Place on a roasting rack, and fill base with 1 cup water/stock.

Place beef in the oven for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 180C and cook for 40 minutes (for medium rare)
Allow to rest for 15 minutes, carve and serve with mustard or gravy!

If you like your beef cooked more, or less, here are the recommended times for topside:
Cook for 220C for 15 minutes and then turn down to 180C for:
- rare: 10-15 minutes per 500g beef
- medium: 15-20 minutes per 500g beef
- well done: 20-25 minutes per 500g beef

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1 Response to “Simple “French” Roast Beef”


  1. 1 Anna Johnston 21/04/2011 at 7:08 am

    Franks onto something Loll :) I’ve always thought a little slab of beef gets obnoxious if not treated well when roasting, but who would’ve thought they do their best if you speak sweet nothings to them in French eh :)
    It does look good doesn’t it, nothing like a weekend roast :)


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