There’s nothing more quintessentially English than a stunning joint of roast local beef, served alongside crispy, golden brown potatoes with plump Yorkshire puddings. But there’s so much more to beef, which explains why it’s so popular. It’s exceptionally rich in high-quality protein, vitamins and minerals, and as a versatile meat has inspired dishes from across the globe.
Beef can vary tremendously in taste and quality, depending on the age, breed, lifestyle, slaughter and processing, so it’s great to know that here at Colyford Butcher’s we always source locally, and hand select and prepare your meat here in store.
You’ll find details of the most popular cuts here on this page alongside cooking ideas and times. For more ideas and recipes, head over to the Recipes or Seasonal Inspiration pages. Remember to allow allow time for your beef to warm up to room temperature before cooking, and to give it adequate time to rest before serving.
“When mighty roast beef was the Englishman’s food It ennobled our hearts and enriched our blood – Our soldiers were brave and our courtiers were good. Oh! the roast beef of England. And Old England’s roast beef.”
– Henry Fielding
An exceptionally tender piece of meat, located underneath the backbone in the region of the sirloin, most often used as a superior roast or for steaks. Whole beef fillet is also used for Wellingtons or Chateaubriand, warm salads and stir fries, raw as carpaccio, and of course as one of the most popular cuts of steak. See our guide to cooking the perfect steak. In recipes you might see it referred to as filet mignon, tenderloin or tournedos.
Whole Fillet Roast
Brown the joint all over, then roast at 220C, 200C fan, gas mark 7, for the first quarter of cooking time, finishing at 180C for the remainder. Always allow to rest well before serving.
A cut taken from just below the shoulder, brisket is a tougher cut that requires long, slow and moist cooking to transform it into one of the tastiest beef cuts around. Often used to add flavour to burger mixes, it’s also one of the stars of modern BBQ, where it’s cooked low and slow to bring out the very best of its potential. At home, it can be used to great effect in slow cooker stews and casseroles, as well as in a traditional pot roast.
Perfect Pot Roast
Brown the joint making sure to render any external fat. Set to one side, then brown a selection of chopped, robust vegetables (carrots, onions etc), de-glaze with wine, cider or beer, add good quality beef stock, and then pot roast the lot at 180C for 40-45 minutes per 500g, 35-40 minutes per lb.
This tender, tasty joint is cut from above the brisket, and is often sold boned and rolled, french trimmed (carvery trim), or on the bone. It has good marbling throughout the flesh and fat cover on the outside, which as it renders down during cooking ensures a superb roast, as well as being very a very popular steak.
Carvery Rib Roast
Season the joint just prior to cooking, place in the centre of an oven at 230C, or 210C for fan assisted, gas mark 8, and roast for 20 minutes to brown well. Turn down the oven to 180C, 160C for fan, gas mark 4, and continue to roast using the times below. Remember that you’ll always have some well done meat on the outside of the joint for those that like it that way. Don’t forget to rest the joint for at least 20 minutes.
Topside and Silverside
These lean joints require a little extra care when roasting, but are full of flavour and worth the effort. Silverside is also sold salted, and ready for boiling as salt beef, fantastic warm with mustard between slices of Rachael’s wonderful crusty white bread. Both cuts are also suitable for cutting into frying steaks, or in stir fries.
Perfect Sunday Roast
Preheat the oven to 180C, 170C fan, gas mark 4, and adjust the shelves so that the joint will be centre of the oven. To keep it moist and tender, add a layer of beef dripping or oil before seasoning well. Roast over a trivet of root vegetables, garlic and onions, and turn halfway through. Baste the meat regularly during cooking, and top with some salted butter for the last 30 minutes for extra indulgence. As always, don’t forget to rest for at least 20 minutes.
|Rare + 20 minutes
|Medium + 25 minutes
|Well Done + 30 minutes
The Perfect Steak
The perfect steak starts, of course, with sourcing the absolute best quality meats. With our years of experience, fantastic suppliers, and passion for our craft, that’s something you don’t have to worry about when you buy from us. After that though it’s all up to you, but you can’t go far wrong if you follow our top tips!
- Take the steaks out of the fridge half an hour before you intend to cook them. This gives the meat time to relax and to come up to room temperature.
- Add the oil to the steak, not to the pan. Rub the steak all over with good quality olive oil, and then season well. Don’t be afraid to season, as much will be lost in the pan.
- Preheat the pan. Make sure that it’s nice and hot, and ready to sizzle. It’s very hard to overheat a steak pan at home. When you come to add the steak, make sure you lay it away so that nothing splashes back on you.
- Make sure you keep the pan nice and hot, and make sure the steak is properly seared and coloured before you turn it.
- Think about adding some additional flavours to the pan, such as crushed garlic, rosemary or thyme. These will complement the beef and help to bring out it’s full flavour.
- Just before you finish cooking the steak, add a couple of knobs of butter, and baste the steak well. Let the butter foam and caramelise for added flavour.
- Make sure you let the meat rest. Depending on the thickness, anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes.
- The best way to tell how your steak is cooked is to use the texture of your arm and hand as reference. If you touch your arm just above the wrist, as if you’re going to take your pulse, that’s how a medium rare steak should feel. It helps to close your eyes! The closer to the wrist you move, and the firmer it feels, the closer your steak would be to being well done.
- Don’t waste the juices in the pan. De-glaze with a little brandy, add a dash of double cream, a generous knob of butter, and some coarsely ground pepper for a quick and delicious pepper sauce.