Here is a guest post by Kitchen Designer John Kirby.

I love rare roast beef!

Give me some thinly sliced rare roast beef on a plate with some horse radish sauce and I am in heaven.

I thought you may like to know the method as I have learned to get it right every time. It’s fool proof if you follow some simple rules.

First get online and buy a thermometer probe alarm thingummy (assuming you don’t already have one), the kind where you can set the temperature and it beeps at you when its ready. You will find plenty for less than £10 including postage.

Next, you need to make sure your joint (and in this case I used topside) is at room temperature. This is important.

Get your oven up to 180C.

Rub in some freshly gound Black Pepper, set the temperature of the thermometer to 42C and insert the probe so that it is in the middle of the thickest part of the joint. Set the joint on a trivet in a roasting tin.

Rare beef needs to reach an internal temperature of between 45C – 50C. I set the temperature of the thermometer to 42C because the internal temperature continues to rise for a while after it is taken out of the oven. I have discovered the 42C works just right.

Now slap the joint in the oven and pour in about 12mm of boiling water. This keeps the meat moist.

Close the door and wait for the alarm to go off.

When the alarm sounds, whip the joint out and set it aside wrapped in foil to rest for about an hour.

This is the time you use to roast you potatoes and Yorkshire puddings but that is a subject for another post. Save what is left in the roasting tin for the gravy.

I cheat here. I use ‘Bisto Best’ gravy granules and mix it with any of the juice that exudes from the meat whilst it is resting along with the water and yummy stuff that dripped off the meat whilst it was cooking.

Carve the meat as thin as you can and eat it with horse raddish sauce or mustard or gravy.

Yum Yum Yum!

A few things to note.

  • Always get your meat up to room temperature before you cook it
  • Never rub salt into the beef. This will dry it out. Season it on the plate!
  • Make sure you rest it for 30 minutes before carving it
  • If you overcook it, you deserve to be shot!


For 25 years John Kirby has been the owner manager of a bespoke kitchen company “Dovetail ~ Workers in Wood”. John has a passion for food and is a keen cook.

You can see Dovetails work at



Posted in Things we like By Stuart Elsom On 5th October 2011

Comments are closed.