Recipes & Tips

Beef Topside

Place in a preheated oven 190ºc / 375ºf / gas mark 5

Cooking Time

Rare 20 minutes per kg

Medium 30 minutes per kg

Well done 35 minutes per kg

Baste the joint with the juices at least three times during cooking. When the meat is done remove from the oven and allow to rest for 20 minutes. This enables the joint to re-absorb all the delicious juices that have been produced making carving the joint much easier.

 

Roasting

1. Prepare the joint – Before cooking, remove the meat from its packaging and pat dry with kitchen paper. Allow the meat to come to room temperature well in advance or for at least 30 minutes before cooking. This is essential to help the meat cook evenly.

2. Preheat the oven – Starting with a very hot oven helps to seal the joint to prevent juices escaping. Then the temperature is reduced to cook evenly all the way through. Season the joint generously with salt and pepper just before cooking.

3. Cook to your liking – A large joint will continue to rise in temperature by a further 3-5 degrees after it is removed from the oven. Be careful not to overcook, as this will make the meat dry and tough.

4. Resting your joint – Once your joint is cooked to your liking it is important to rest it. Place it on a board or platter, cover with foil, then leave in a warm place for at least 20 minutes. Resting is just as important as cooking, as it allows the meat to become warm, moist and tender all the way through.

 

Pan To Oven Roasting

1. Bring the meat to room temperature – About thirty minutes before you start cooking, remove the meat from its packaging and pat dry with kitchen paper. Spread out your meat on a board in a single layer. This will allow the meat to come to room temperature and it also keeps the meat tender and juicy.

2. Preheat your pan & oven – Preheat oven to 230c/445f/gas mark 8. Once the frying pan or griddle is very hot, add a little olive oil (I prefer a good Rapeseed Oil) to the pan, prebrush the oil directly onto the meat. Sear the meat in the pan. When you place the meat into the pan you should hear a sizzle.

3. Cook to your liking – After searing the meat on your pan, gently place your meat uncovered in a roasting tin, and put it into the preheated oven. Be careful not to overcook the meat as this can cause it to dry out and become tough.

4. Resting – Remove meat from oven. Cover with foil and leave to rest in a warm place for at least 10 minutes. Resting is as important as cooking, as it allows the meat to become warm, moist and tender. Use this time to warm plates and make sauces.

5. Serve your meat – Lay your table with razor-sharp, unserrated steak knives designed to cut cleanly through the meat. A blunt knife makes the meat seem less tender, and a serrated knife encourages your guests to saw, both of which can ruin even the most beautifully cooked meat.

 

Pan Frying

1. Prepare the meat – About 20 minutes before you start cooking, remove the meat from its packaging and pat dry with kitchen paper. Spread out your meat on a board in a dingle layer. This will allow the meat to come to room temperature.

2. Preheat your pan – Make sure your griddle or frying pan is preheated to the highest temperature before you start to cook your steaks. It should be hot enough that you hear a sizzle when you place the meat into the pan. Using a pan which is not hot enough can cause toughness. We would recommend adding a little olive oil to the pan.

3. Cook to your liking – Cook on one side first, and then the other. Turn your meat gently and only once to avoid letting out precious juices and drying the meat out. Be careful not to overcook as this can make the meat dry and tough. Tip: If possible, use a thermometer to check the internal temperature of your meat.

4. Rest your meat – During resting the juices move evenly through the whole steak and the full flavour and tenderness developes. Place the meat on a rack so it doesn’t lie in their own juice, cover with foil and leave in a warm place.

5. Use a good knife – Always use a razor-sharp knife to cut your steaks. A sharp blade slices cleanly through the steak.

 

Braising

1. Prepare the meat – At least 30 minutes before cooking, remove the meat from its packaging and pat dry with kitchen paper. Allow the meat to come to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 140-160ºc /275-325ºf / Gas mark 1-3.

2. Sear for flavour – Heat a large ovenproof pan on a high heat, add a little oil and sear the meat until nicely browned all over. For stews and casseroles, sear the small pieces of meat in batches, to make sure they are evenly browned all over. Then take out the meat and sear the vegetables until nicely caramelised.

3. Add Liquid – After searing the vegetables, place the meat back in the pan. Add wine, stock or a mixture, and herbs such as bayleaf, peppercorns or cloves. Make sure that the liquid covers at least a third to a half of the meat and bring gently to the boil on the hob. This is known as deglazing.

4. The Cooking process – Cover with a lid and transfer into the preheated oven, or continue to simmer gently on the hob at a very low temperature. For the perfect braise we recommend using the oven method as the process is more gentle and the meat does not stick to the bottom of the pot as it can with the hob method. Check from time to time and top up with liquid if needed.

5. Taste the meat – Cooking times vary depending on the cut and your oven. As a rule of thumb, you should check casseroles after 1 hour and at regular intervals thereafter. The easiest way to check joints is to use a metal fork, inserted into the thickest part of the meat. The fork should go in and out easily. With stews and casseroles, simply take a piece of meat out and taste it.

 

Low Temperature/ Slow Cooking

1. Prepare the meat and equipment – Before cooking, remove the meat from its packaging and pat dry with kitchen paper. Allow the meat to come to room temperature for up to 30 minutes before cooking. Preheat the oven (with fan turned off) to 80ºc and place a roasting tray in the oven to heat up. Heat a griddle or frying pan on high. Add a little oil to the pan, or brush the oil directly onto the meat to avoid using too much. Sear the meat on all sides to brown it all over. This will vastly improve both the flavour and appearance of your meat.

2. Using the meat thermometer – Season the meat with salt and pepper. (Do not season before searing as salt can suck the moisture out of the meat). Place the meat on the preheated roasting tray. Set the meat thermometer to the desired internal temperature and insert the probe horizontally into the centre of the meat. Place the meat in the preheated oven with the thermometer cord through the door ( the mail unit remains outside).

3. The cooking process – Keep the oven door closed during cooking. Opening the door lets heat escape and increased cooking time. When the thermometer beeps your meat is ready to serve straight away. There is no need to rest your meat as it has rested during the cooking process. The lower temperatures allow the meat juices to circulate continually during cooking so the meat stays incredibly soft and the joint is cooked more evenly.

 

Barbecuing

1. An electric or gas BBQ may take 10 to 20 minutes to preheat and a charcoal BBQ needs to be heated until the coals are covered with a layer of ash (approx. 45 minutes). Stock up on charcoal, rather than briquettes. It heats more evenly and has a better, more natural aroma.

2. For best results, treat the meat you barbecue outdoors with the same respect as when you cook in your kitchen. Allow the meat to come to room temperature for at least 20 minutes. Brush the meat with oil. This helps the searing process and prevents burning.

3. Careful seasoning is necessary. The meat could be marinated beforehand or sprinkled with herbs and pepper. Season with salt at the very last moment only, as salt will draw out juices and prevent the meat from browning properly.

4. Never hurry a steak on your barbecue. Cook slowly until browned, and turn gently just once. Use long handled tongs rather than a fork which may pierce the meat and allow valuable juices to escape. Wear an oven glove, covering your arm to prevent burning.

5. It’s all too easy to overcook on a barbecue, leading to charred, dry meat. To ensure even cooking use the 60/40 method. Cook the meat for 60% of the time on the first side, then turn and cook for the remaining 40%. Take care: as soon as the meat browns it must be moved further away from the heat source so that the inside can cook before the surface burns ( the exceptions are thin cuts such as mini-steaks and medallions ). Raise the rack so that it is about 30cm/12″ above the charcoal – at this height the temperature is just right.

6.  To test, take the meat from the heat source and place on a clean plate. Press the meat gently with the tip of your finger. Rare should be soft and supple, well done firm, and medium in between. A meat thermometer is invaluable for checking larger cuts. Insert the probe horizontally into the thickest part of the meat. Please note that the internal temperature will continue to rise by a few degrees  once the meat is removed from the heat source. Therefore remove the meat 3-5ºc before it reaches the desired internal temperature.

7. Once the meat is cooked to your liking it must be rested. During resting, the temperatures within the meats fuse, the juices in the middle move to the outside and it becomes warm, moist and tender all the way through. To rest your meat, place it on a rack so it doesn’t lie in its own juices. Cover with foil and leave in a warm place for up to 20 minutes. Remember, it is always better to over-rest than to under-rest it.

 

Thawing Your Frozen Meat

1. If you decide to freeze your meat after purchasing, you should allow plenty of time for it to defrost before cooking. Is is safer if it can defrost in the fridge, and the meat tends to taste better too (this is because there is less drip loss and the meat will be more succulent).

2. Never leave meat to thaw in a warm environment, for example next to a radiator or even a warm windowsill that catches sun. This could lead to a risk of food poisoning.

3. If you are short of time, place the meat (still in the vacuum pack) in a clean sink or bowl and leave it under a cold running tap. The more water that can circulate around the meat, the faster it will thaw. This method can reduce the defrosting time by a third to half but should only be used in an emergency.

4. Do not be tempted to cook the meat from frozen or defrost in the microwave as this can make the meat dry out and become very tough.

Steak Cooking Times

Fillet Steak 4.5cm – 5cm Thickness

Very Rare            5-6 minutes

Rare                      6-8 minutes

Medium Rare   8-10 minutes

Medium           10-12 minutes

Well Done        13-18 minutes

Rib Eye Steak 2.5cm Thickness (Mick’s favorite)

Very Rare            4-5 minutes

Rare                      5-6 minutes

Medium Rare     6-8 minutes

Medium             7-10 minutes

Well Done        11-16 minutes

Sirloin Steak & Rump Steak 2cm- 3cm Thickness

Very Rare             5-6 minutes

Rare                       7-8 minutes

Medium Rare     8-12 minutes

Medium             12-16 minutes

Well Done        17-22 minutes

T-Bone Steak 3cm Thickness

Very Rare             6-8 minutes

Rare                       8-9 minutes

Medium Rare    9-12 minutes

Medium             12-15 minutes

Well Done         17-22 minutes