Guaranteed tender roast beef/lamb that doesn’t shrink –


Here’s how to cook a guaranteed tender Roast that doesn’t shrink.

Many home cooked roasts shrink by up to half size by the time they’re cooked.

When I see someone cooking a roast at 150C/300F I cringe, the roast nearly always shrinks, the meat is tough.
The cook complains that they don’t know why it happened.
Roast meat shouldn’t be cooked hard, it’s a recipe for disaster

Stop Roast meat from shrinking

Commercial kitchens can’t afford to have roasts shrink and lose meat. They cook the meat slowly, over a low heat for a longer period.

Most people don’t want to cook for 5-6 hours. I use a simple method that cooks Roast Lamb or Roast beef to perfection in less than 2 ½  hours, with no shrinkage and you can even choose the level of doneness, rare, medium or well done.

The result is a lovely tender and juicy Roast

Cook slow and low
High cooking temperatures cause the Protein to shrink, the muscle fibers contract, the fat is mostly rendered out and the result is a dry shrunken roast.

Monitor the internal temperature of the Roast
Knowing the internal temperature of a Roast lets you decide on the precise moment to stop cooking.  It removes all the guesswork.
The secret is to have an accurate thermometer that shows the temperature of the centre of the Roast.

Cooking time is approx 2hrs 50mins. Resting time 20-30mins.

Roast Beef or Roast Lamb Cooking Method

  • Pre heat the oven to 220C/428F
  • Coat the Roast Beef or Roast lamb with your favourite marinade or  coating
  • Place the roast in casserole Dish that has a lid
  • Place an onion cut into quarters beside the roast and optional 2 cloves of crushed garlic on top of the roast.
  • Add 15mm/1/2” wine or water.
  • Place the casserole dish in the hot oven with the casserole lid off, for 3 minutes
  • After 3 mins, turn the oven temperature down to 85C/185F and replace the casserole lid
  • Monitor the temps after 1hr, 2hrs, 2hrs 30mins and then every 10-20 mins as you get close to your required internal temperature.
  • When the centre of the roast is about 2-3 degreesC/3-4F below the required temperature, remove the lid and turn the oven up to 200C/392F.
    This will caramelize the outside of the roast a little.
  • Remove the Casserole dish when the centre is at the required temperature, baste the roast with the juices, put the lid back on and let it rest 20-30 mins, covered in towels to keep it warm. If you watch the thermometer the internal temps continue to rise for the next 10+ mins

Carve and ENJOY!

Required Internal Temperature for Roast Beef

60C/140F – gives a pink centre
64C/147F – PERFECT for me, the centre has just turned from being pink
65C/149F – for medium
67+C/152F for well done.  I would say OVERDONE and expect some shrinkage

Required Internal Temperature for Roast Lamb

63C/145F – gives a pink centre
68C/154F – PERFECT for me, the centre has just turned from being pink
70C/158F – for medium
74C/165F for well done.  I would say OVERDONE and expect some shrinkage

Cooking Times
After –
30 mins: Around 20-25C/68-77F
1 hr:  35-40C/95-104F
90 mins:45-50C/113-122F
120mins: 50-55C/122-131

Even with an accurate oven thermometer, cooking times vary a little. Many ovens don’t cook at a steady temperature, they are either ON of OFF, and the heat constantly fluctuates up and down. The air temperature and the temperature of the roast can all influence the length of cooking.
The roast should heat up quickly in the first hour because the oven was very hot at the start. After 90 mins the temperature rise should become steady, as per the above times.
Adjust the oven temps accordingly if you don’t get the same results. Get to know your oven.

However accurate a roast meat thermometer is, if it can’t be left in the meat in the oven, you have to keep opening up the oven, take the casserole dish out of the oven and remove the lid to check the internal temperature.
The trickiest part is finding the exact final temperature.
A better solution:
Digital thermometers are available on ebay at a reasonable price, some Under $10 delivered.
On this page I explain the different types and what they cost in April 2017.
You can also use an analogue oven thermometer sitting in the oven. That way you know the true Oven Temps. Under $10 on ebay.

Larger Roasts: This method works for either Roast Beef or Lamb – up to about 2.2kg (4.8lbs). Above that size the center is going to take longer to reach its temp and because of that the outside will be exposed to higher heat for longer. The solution is to cook at lower temperatures, for longer.

Sharp Knife
A sharp knife is one of the joys of cooking.
A steel can maintain an edge but doesn’t sharpen.
I love my knife sharpener, so easy to use and it removes the bare minimum of metal from the blade.
Read the full details on the best kind of knife sharpeners here

Cooking is both art and science. Knowing the internal temperatures accurately means every roast is cooked how you want it. What you marinate the roast with is up to your artistry 🙂


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