How to cook beef

Updated July 19, 2017

Beef is easy to cook and easy to source. You can pick it up from the local supermarket and from the butchers--though the butchers is likely to have a greater range of cuts. Your butcher should also be able to tell you the breed of cattle and the geographical area your meat came from. It's worth buying the best cut you can afford, but bear in mind that organically-produced meat and breeds known for producing succulent cuts tend to be more expensive. There are several ways to cook beef; here are some of the more popular.

Roast your beef. The sirloin is the traditional joint for roasting. Leave the bone in for more flavour, but pick a boneless cut for easier carving. 1.6kg/3.5lbs of beef (boneless) will feed about six people. Preheat your oven in 190C/375F/Gas 5. Sit your beef in a roasting dish and cook for 11 minutes per pound (so 36 minutes for 3.5lbs or 1.6kgs) if you like your meat rare, and 16 minutes per pound if you like it well-done. Baste the meat with its own juices at least three times during cooking. When you take it out of the oven, leave it sit for twenty minutes before carving, so that it can reabsorb those juices for extra flavour.

Pot-roast your beef. Dust the joint with flour and fry it, lightly browning the surface, and then place it on a bed of vegetables in a deep pan, and pour meat or vegetable stock on top, covering the meat. Cover the pan and cook in the oven on a gentle heat. The juices from the beef and the vegetables will combine and give a strong flavour.

Grill your beef. This is a fast methods of cooking, great for a barbecue. Sirloin or fillet steak are suitable for grilling. Flip the meat regularly, trying not to burn the outside of the meat before the inside has time to cook.

Stir-fry your beef. Like grilling, this is a quick way to cook your beef. Cut the meat up into thin, even strips, and fry in oil in a wok or frying pan. Rump and fillet steak are good for stir-frying. Add vegetables and sauces--Chinese or other south-east Asian recipes work well with beef, like beef with oyster sauce.


Good accompaniments for beef include parsnip and broccoli, or herbs such as lemon thyme or ginger.

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About the Author

Based in Manchester, England, Valerie O'Riordan began writing professionally in 2009. Her writing has been short-listed for numerous fiction awards, including the 2010 Bristol Prize, and her non-fiction articles have appeared on Bookmunch and All About Audiences. She holds a master's degree in creative writing, and a Bachelor of Arts in English literature and philosophy from the University of Dublin.