Christmas Traditions

Every family has their own unique traditions that make Christmas time special. But what about the Christmas traditions we all know and love? For most, preparations are now underway for the festive feast, from the scrumptious roast to the hearty sides – all lovingly prepared to wow during this celebratory season. And as we dust off the recipe books and seek inspiration from the supermarket food aisles – which joint will take pride of place in the centre of the dinner table this Christmas?


If you are looking for a joint with exceptional taste, why not offer a succulent beef mini roast – perfect for smaller households and no plate waste. On the other hand, if you are entertaining a larger crowd, why not indulge in a crème de la crème recipe using a boneless rib eye roast that serves eight to ten people. Whatever recipe you choose, read our handy hints and tips advice for shopping and cooking beef.


Shopping for Beef


As a guide, beef will keep for three to five days in the refrigerator at a temperature between 32°F-39°F, but ensure that you follow any `best if used by’ dates on pre-packed meat or take advice from your local butcher.


Always look for fresh beef that is red in colour with no unpleasant or unusual smells.


Look for joints with good, even marbling (streaks of fat that run through the leaner parts of the muscle).


During the roasting process, the marbling helps to baste the joint and adds additional flavour. Any visible surface fat should be white or creamy in colour, feel firm, and should have a soft waxy texture.


Top Tips for Roasting Beef


Mastering the art of roasting beef is easy and the following principles are key:


If time allows remove your joint from the refrigerator at least one hour before roasting, as this will ensure even cooking.


Before roasting always weigh the raw joint and calculate the total cooking time based on the doneness required (rare, medium or well done)


Always season well just before roasting.


Allow the following roasting times:

    • Rare: 20 minutes per 1lb plus 20 minutes
    • Medium: 25 minutes per 1lb plus 25 minutes
    • Well done: 30 minutes per 1lb plus 30 minutes


If in doubt, invest in a meat thermometer; they are available at all good department stores and larger supermarkets. There are two types available – one you insert just before roasting your joint and the other inserted into the joint after roasting and this gives an instant internal temperature reading, depending on how you prefer your beef cooked.


For beef, the following internal temperatures apply: Rare 140°F, Medium 158°F, Well done 176°F


Adjust your oven shelves before you cook your roast.


Place the joint uncovered on a wire rack in a roasting tin and make sure that any fat covering
is on top. This allows the juices to run down and baste the joint naturally. Alternatively,
lay a combination of roughly chopped root vegetables such as carrots and parsnips or peeled and
quartered onions in the bottom of a roasting tin. The end result are flavoursome vegetables.


Cook beef joints in a preheated moderate oven at 350-375°F. For fan assisted ovens reduce the
temperature by 20°F


We hope you enjoy the flavours of British beef.  Please be sure to visit our recipe page for some wonderful recipes including Beef Mini Roast with Caraway Seeds and Garlic Crust.