Roast Beef Dinner (Sunday Roast) is a long time British tradition and the meal that every Brit looks forward to all week. Perfectly roasted beef served with crispy roast potatoes (roasties), carrots and Yorkshire pudding.
It’s actually Sunday lunch rather than Sunday dinner
Sunday is the day we eat our big Sunday dinner typically the middle of the day , lunchtime (dinner being lunch where I come from in the North of England, not confusing at all). But for the sake of the title, I called it roast beef dinner.
Sunday is also family day and that is when we would all gather around the table for a roast.
The side dishes for a Sunday Roast:
Yorkshire Pudding and roasted potatoes (roasties pictured below) are a must (< click links for recipes). The vegetable is entirely up to you. I like roasted carrots but broccoli, peas or any of your favorite vegetable can be served. Don’t forget the gravy! It’s made in the pan that the beef is roasted in.
Roast Beef FAQ’s
Why is it called a Sunday roast?
In the days of King Henry VII in 1485 it was considered a celebration. It is eaten on Sundays after church to end the religious fast.
What are the cooking times for roast beef?
Beef temperature roasting temperatures: Rare 120-125°F (48-50°C), bright red center Medium rare 130-135°F (55-58°C) very pink center Medium, 140-145°F (60-63°C) pink center Medium well, 150-155°F (66-68°C) light pink center Well done, 160°F + (71°C +), brown throughout
Growing up, my mum would make a roast that would vary week to week from roast lamb, or beef or pork. Sundays were my favorite. Mum would put on a Nat King Cole record (yes a vinyl record) and we would get busy in the kitchen.
I remember at a young age, my job was either stirring the gravy, or going to the garden for the fresh mint for the mint sauce when we had roast lamb.
Yorkshire Pudding for Sunday roast
Yorkshire Pudding, or ‘Yorkies’, are an important part of the Sunday dinner. They are basically made with a simple flour batter (similar to the American popover). The drippings from the beef would be added to a muffin pan and heated in a very high oven until smoking.
The batter is poured into the hot fat and they essentially ‘fry’ in the oven and rise up to light and crispy ‘puddings’. They have a crevice in the middle which is perfect for pouring in a little bit of delicious beef gravy.
If you like horseradish sauce with your roast beef, I have a delicious homemade recipe for Horseradish Sauce (see picturebelow).
Key tips for roasting beef
There are a few key tips when roasting beef. Letting the beef sit at room temperature before roasting ensures a more tender meat. I like to sear the beef on all sides before putting it in the oven to get a nice browning on the outside.
A meat thermometer is the one of the best kitchen tools when roasting any meat.
Perfectly roasted beef served with crispy roast potatoes, carrots and Yorkshire pudding.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time1 hour30 minutes
Total Time1 hour40 minutes
For the Yorkshire pudding:
½ cup (74 grams) all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
½ cup (118 ml) whole milk, slightly warmed
12 teaspoons vegetable oil/lard or fat from beef roast
For the beef:
3 pounds (1.4kg) beef rump or round roast , see note
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
For the potatoes:
6 tablespoons vegetable oil, lard or beef fat
6 to 8 yellow or gold potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
½ teaspoon salt
For the gravy:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 yellow onion, cut into thin slices
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups (709 ml) beef broth/stock
Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C.
For the Yorkshire pudding:
To a large bow add the flour and salt. Whisk and slowly drizzle in the milk until there are no lumps. Whisk in the egg. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
For the beef:
Coat the beef well with the oil. Sprinkle the salt, pepper and rosemary evenly all over.
Heat a cast iron skillet or oven-proof skillet on the stove top over medium high heat. Sear the beef on all sides. Transfer the beef in the pan or to a roasting dish and place in the oven. Roast the beef 15 minutes per pound for rare and 20 per pound for medium. ** see note
For the potatoes:
While the beef roasts. Add the 6 tablespoons oil/lard or beef fat to a high-sided roasting pan. Place in the oven to heat. Add the potatoes to a large pan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 3-4 minutes. You are only par-boiling them. Drain the potatoes into a colander and shake them around. This roughs up the edges and makes them crispy when roasted. Carefully remove the roasting pan with oil from the oven and add the potatoes. Sprinkle evenly with the 1/2 teaspoon salt and turn the potatoes to coat well with the oil and in an even layer. Place back into the oven for 40-45 minutes until golden brown. Turning as necessary to brown all over. They are done when a sharp knife inserts easily. Keep warm covered with foil.
When the beef is done, remove from the roasting pan onto a platter and cover with foil and allow to rest on a cutting board (reserving any fat ) while you make the gravy and Yorkshire pudding.
For the gravy:
To a pan over medium heat and melt the butter. Add the onions and cook until they are softened. Whisk in the flour and cook until it starts to turn a golden color. Whisk in the beef broth/stock until the flour is incorporated and there are no lumps. Simmer until thickened, season with salt and pepper to taste. You can strain the gravy if you wish to remove the onions or any lumps of flour that you can't remove. Keep warm.
For the Yorkshire pudding:
Turn up the oven to 425°F/220 °C. If you have any fat from roasting the beef add that to the lard or vegetable oil to make up 12 teaspoons fat and add 1 teaspoon to each cup of a clean 12-cup muffin pan. Place on the center rack of the oven to heat for 10 minutes. The oil should start to smoke. When ready, slide the oven rack out and carefully pour the Yorkshire pudding batter in each of the cups about 1/3 full. Slide the pan back into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until browned and puffed. Do not open the oven door before they are finished baking, they will deflate. Remove immediately from the oven when they are risen and golden.
Slice the beef and serve with the potatoes, your vegeables of choice and Yorkshire pudding. Drizzle with gravy and serve.
*Take the meat out of the refrigerator 1 hour before roasting.
** Internal cooking temperatures:
Rare 120-125 degrees, bright red center Medium rare 130-135 degrees, very pink center Medium, 140-145 degrees, light pink center Medium well, 150-155 degrees, no pink Well done, 160 + degrees, brown throughout
55 Comments on “Roast Beef Dinner (Sunday Roast)”
My English mother always made this with the potatoes cooked in with the roast. Since your update cooks them separately, I’d like to know what is the benefit of cooking them separately?
I like to make British roasties separately so they get nice and crispy. You can roast them in the pan with beef the way your mum made them, but they will roast faster than the beef.
You only roast the beef in the oven for 20mins?
You must have misread the instructions, it’s 20 minutes per pound. I also suggest in the recipe to look at the notes for other preferred cooking times whether someone wants the meat, pink or well cooked.
I might have missed this and if so, I am sorry, but do you cover the roast?
How many people does this serve? Can’t wait to try!
The recipes serves 6 people.
This is a great recipe only thing is you need to check your calories
it says 700 cals per portion i have worked it out at 1200 cal per portion
bit of a difference there and no that does not include any other veg like carrots or greens .
Besides that very nice :0)
The nutrition information is auto-calculated by the software reading from the ingredient list. I’ll look into this, thank you.
I found your recipes after searching for what to do with an “English Roast” (this was a cut in my freezer from a 1/4 cow mix of meat) I made the whole menu and it was a perfect Sunday dinner. I’d never had yorkshire puddings before, but they turned out great & looked just like the picture! Great step-by-step instructions to a lovely meal. Thank you!!
I’m so happy you found my recipes. Yorkshire pudding are addictive, I’m glad you enjoyed them.
My first roast using my first Dutch oven for Christmas dinner yesterday. I was happy to find recipes for the whole meal, i put herbs de Provence on the roast, cooked even the Yorkshire pudding (in a pie pan) at 400 degrees, added an Ina Garten baked carrots recipe that cooked at the same temp, and everything came out wonderfully. I will definitely use these recipes again.
This sounds like a wonderful meal you made. Thank you for sharing.
All great tips for an amazing meal. This was my first time roasting beef (yes, it’s true) and I could not have made it better without a meat thermometer. Get one people, they are cheap. I also aced the Yorkshire puddings, just sayin’ 🙂
Ha ha, I couldn’t do it right without mine either. Thank you for sharing 🙂
I was feeling homesick for England so I made this beef and Yorkies on Sunday. It took me right back to Sunday’s at the pub. It’s on the menu for this Sunday.
Oh I love this. Thank you for sharing.
took e some some time to find
Can you explain what took time to find, so I can help further?
What temperature are you roasting the beef at?
The temperature is in Step 1, 400°F/200°C.
All lovers of Yorkshire pudding should try the chinese method.
I had no idea there was a Chinese method. Thank you for sharing.
I’ll try this soon. What sequence do you follow in terms of timing? Do you make the Yorkshire puddings after the potatoes?
I’ve edited the recipe to help with the stages and timing. Enjoy.
I made this and Yorkshire puddings for dinner tonight. It turned out perfectly!!! Well worth the effort. Definitely took me back to my childhood. Thank you for sharing your recipes 🙂
This is wonderful to hear, thank you Lindsey
Seriously thank you so much! I made it this past weekend for my boyfriend and myself and it was absolutely amazing!!!!!!!!
I so glad you liked it, thank you for the feedback.
The last two steps confuse me :/ I really want to try this is sounds and looks amazing
I can see where this may have seemed confusing so I edited the last 2 steps to make it easier to ready and follow. Enjoy!
I’m confused by Step 7. Would this be the same roasting pan from the beef? Does the beef go back in the oven with the potatoes?
I have edited the recipe to separate the roasting of the potatoes from the beef. I hope this helps.
I don’t think this is still clear as your suggesting to add the oil: lard to a high sided tin??
You replied to an old comment from last June that was not supposed to be there but the recipe has been updated since then.
What’s the big deal of eating well no matter what the day ?
As my text says, the ‘big deal’ is that, a Sunday meal is a tradition in England (and in many homes around the world). Most people don’t have to make elaborate meals during the busy week and therefore make them on the weekends. I hope this answers your question sufficiently.
Where is the recipe for the Yorkshire Pudding??
If you click on the words ‘Yorkshire Pudding’ under the heading ‘side dishes’, it will take you right to it.
Was looking for a nice Sunday meal! Sick of the same dinners! Tried this and it came out great! Meat was perfect and delicious with the gravy! Wonderful with roasted potatoes and I added roasted carrots! Even my picky sons enjoyed it! Thank you!
I’m so glad you found a new recipe and it was mine. This is one of my favorite dinners, thank you for the feedback.
thanks for the recepie, i made it today and it turned out really good!!
Thank you so much Maria for taking the time to post this. The feedback really means a lot and I’m glad you enjoyed it.
Aghhhh this looks incredible… yum… such comfort food!
Your beef came out just perfectly pink in the middle. Looks wonderful, Janette. Pinned as always.
I could really go for this whole plate of food right now! Or maybe two! I think every day should be Sunday Roast Day because this looks so amazing. I want to eat everything and not share. 🙂
This looks like a very hearty meal for Sunday. Your pics are amazing.
I’ve just arrived back in England after lots of time away, and quite honestly this is one of the things I’m enjoying the most about being back!! I have to admit though that we don’t cook it ourselves … we go to the local carvery!Your beef looks just perfect – are you free to come over and cook your Sunday roast for us this Sunday? 😉
Sure Helen 🙂 I do agree, there is something nice about someone else doing the cooking on a Sunday 🙂
If making roasted carrots, do you recommend putting them on the same pan as the potatoes, and cooking for the same time?
This is a great question. Since carrots take a long time to roast, I would put them in the pan with the beef and potatoes, you will get great flavor. I hope this helps and enjoy.
I am very envious of that lovely prime rib roast! Looks delicious Janette and like you I like to add onion, celery and carrots in to flavor the sauce/gravy. I put mine in at the beginning is the only difference. Lovely photograph. Will spread some love on this. Thanks for including the roasting temperatures.
I haven’t had beef in a month now, but this looks juicy and delicious, so I’ll have to make it soon! Thanks for the cooking tips, beef can be tricky to cook at times.