Roasts hold a special place at the dinner table…they’re quick and easy to prepare, full of flavour and make a delicious meal that’s sure to please even the toughest kitchen critics.
Simple steps that are the basis for all roasts
Step 1 – Preheat the oven in line with the type of cut you are roasting (see our chart below), depending on the weight of the roast.
Step 2 – Place the roast on a rack in a roasting dish. Raising the roast allows the heat to circulate, browning it evenly. Brush it lightly with oil. Season with salt, pepper and any flavourings.
Step 3 – Different cuts require different cooking times per fixed weight (see our chart below). For ease and accuracy use a meat thermometer.
Step 4 – Remove roast when cooked to desired degree. Transfer to a plate, cover loosely with foil and rest for 10-20 minutes before carving. Carve the roast across the grain to ensure tenderness.
Best cuts for roasting
Beef Rib eye/scotch fillet, rump, sirloin, fillet/tenderloin, eye round, blade, topside, round,
oyster blade, standing rib roast, silverside (uncorned), rolled rib beef roast
Lamb Leg (bone-in), shoulder (bone-in), easy carve (leg or shoulder), round or topside roasts, boned and rolled loin, mini roast, eye of shortloin/backstrap, rack, shortloin/mid loin, roast, rump roast Veal Leg, shoulder, boned and rolled loin, rack, fillet, rump, breast
Suggested roasting times
Use these recommendations as a guide at the start of the cooking time.
Cooked to your liking… judge your roasts degree of doneness
The internal temperature for:
Do I really need a meat thermometer?
There are lots of variables involved when roasting meats and judging to see it it’s ready or not. Variables like the size, shape and thickness of the meat. To take out all of the guesswork use a meat thermometer. It’s the easiest and most accurate way to tell if it’s ready.
Inexpensive leave-in style thermometers are available from kitchenware shops, supermarkets and selected butcher stores. Place the thermometer in the roast before cooking. Insert it into the thickest part of the roast away from any bone.
You can also use tongs to test the roast’s doneness.
Gently prod or squeeze the roast – rare is very soft, medium rare is soft, medium is springy but soft, medium well is firm and well done is very firm.
Enhance the flavour of your beef, veal or lamb roast with rubs and bastes
Rosemary, thyme and lemon Rub the roast with a mix of salt, pepper and chopped fresh rosemary and thyme leaves before cooking. As the roast cooks baste it with this easy mix – combine a splash of olive oil, the grated rind and juice from one lemon and a little more chopped rosemary and thyme leaves.
TMustard, orange and honey Rub the roast with a mix of salt, pepper and a little seeded mustard before cooking. As the roast cooks baste it with this mix - combine a splash of olive oil, the grated rind and juice from one orange, small dollop seeded mustard and a good drizzle of honey.
Peppercorn and garlic Make a peppercorn rub; drain a small can of green peppercorns, crush the peppercorns lightly. Combine with 2 cloves crushed garlic and about 60g slightly crushed dried black peppercorns. Rub the roast with oil and spread the peppercorn mix over the meat. Baste with the pan juices.
- Take the roast from the fridge about 20 minutes before cooking. If you like rare or medium rare meat, and the roast is without a bone it’s a good idea to do this. Never stand meat in direct sunlight, standing the meat in a cool kitchen (covered) for a short period of time (no longer than 20 mins) before cooking is fine.
- Use a roasting dish that is close to the size of the roast you are cooking. Place the roast on a rack in a roasting dish. Raising the roast allows it to brown evenly. Placing the roast on a bed of vegies (cut into sticks) or trimmed meat bones is another way to raise the roast. The exception is bone-in roasts like a standing rib roast; the natural arc of the bones raises the meat from the base of the roasting dish.
- Cook for the calculated time, baste the roast occasionally. Use the juices in the roasting dish to baste the roast as it cooks. Add a little stock to the dish if there’s only a small amount of pan juices. Or make a baste to give your roast extra flavour (see below).
- Check for degree of doneness just before the estimated cooking time is up. Take larger roasts out of the oven just short of the goal, as larger roasts and bone-in roasts tend to cook further and increase a little in temperature as they rest.
- Always allow the roast to rest before serving. This gives the juices in the meat a chance to redistribute, giving a moister and more tender result. Transfer to a plate, cover loosely with foil and rest for 10-20 minutes before carving.
- Rare 55-60ºC
- Medium rare 60-65ºC
- Medium 65-70ºC
- Well done 75ºC