Roast Beef, Now I Want Roast Beef #LoveCDNBeef

Even saying “Roast Beef” makes my mouth water!

So when this month’s Canadian Beef Ambassador post assignment came in, it was all I could do to sit down and write, when I really just wanted to be in the kitchen getting my roast on!

I’ve been eating Roast Beef for holidays all my life, I’ve been roasting it in the oven and on the barbecue since I was 15, and I have demanded Roast Beef as my special birthday meal for decades before the Secret Pickle began!

Roast Beef

Lex’s Mostly Traditional Roast Beef Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Additional Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 5 minutes


  • Roast Beef
  • salt & pepper
  • optional 20 garlic cloves – quartered
  • optional 20 leaves basil
  • 2-3 small onions – roughly chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 450°F
  2. rub roast all over with salt and pepper
  3. optional – pierce roast all over and insert garlic clove pieces (or whole garlic depending on how big your roast is and how much you like/love garlic)
  4. optional – add a leaf of basil to each of the holes
  5. put onions into the bottom of a shallow roasting pan.
  6. put the roast on top of the onions. I often use a little rack to let all the onions roast too, but it’s not necessary.
  7. Roast at 450°F for 10 minutes
  8. Drop temperature to 300°F
  9. optional – open wine or beer, pour yourself a glass and let everyone else do the veg and set the table!
  10. Roast until your meat thermometer in the biggest piece of the roast says you are done  (rare: 120-130°F, medium-rare: 135-145°F; medium: 150-160°F; medium-well: 160°F; well 170°F;)
  11. Remove from the oven, cover and let stand for 10-20 minutes
  12. Make the gravy while you wait

We have roasts regularly at home and a big, juicy, Prime Rib roast has become a Christmas mainstay at our house, and it works exceptionally well.

Slicing Garlic Roast Beef

As I was preparing for this post, I realized that while I have very very few photos of Roast Beef, so the one above is courtesy of CC Chapman. Thanks CC!

We generally do a quick oven sear and then roast the meat low and slow these days, but since Gerry prefers his roast on the very rare end of the scale, and I prefer it on the medium-rare end of rare, doing it in a fast oven or medium-hot barbecue works too.

Since the in-laws prefer it cooked medium-well, we’ve found a great trick (which has been used in restaurants for years).  To get well done roast beef when most of your guests want rare or medium-rare, slide a couple of slices of roast beef into the gravy (or juices you are using for the gravy) and just cook until they are done.  That way your guests get the level of doneness they are happy with, and your gravy gets a little extra flavour too.

Tip: to get well-done roast beef from a rare or medium roast, slide a couple of slices of roast beef into the gravy and cook until the slices are well-done.

When we buy a roast, it’s always bigger than 2 of us can, or should, eat in one sitting, but that’s great for us.

Even when it’s just the two of us, It’s the perfect thing to cook for a no-muss, no-fuss but restaurant quality meal with killer leftovers!

Roast Beef Leftovers

Leftover roast is never really “left over”. It quickly becomes sandwiches, assuming as we slice it the meat actually makes it between the bread.

Market lunch - sliced roast beef, blue cheese, a roll and some green grapes

We will often slice it up cold and have it on a salad as lunch or dinner. Or reheat the slices and serve them with a risotto.

roast beef salad

If it doesn’t all get gorbied down that way, we will slice up the rarest bits of the roast beef and use it in a stirfry or our House Bulgogi.  Though, even when we plan to put leftover roast beef onto a risotto the next day, I’ll come home from work to find there’s less than 1 serving for dinner.

Buying your Roast Beef

Our Roast Beef recipe is simple,  easy, and works for anything labelled “Oven Roast” in your grocery store.

Estimated Timing for Oven Roast Beef

Here are some estimated cooking times from

 Average Cook Time (Hours) 
Weight (kg/lb)Medium Rare 145°F (63°C)Medium to Well Done 160°F (71°C) or Greater
½1-3/4 to 2-1/42 to 2-1/2
1.5/32 to 2-1/22-1/4 to 2-3/4
2/42-1/4 to 2-3/42-1/2 to 3
2.5/5.52-1/2 to 32-3 to 3-1/4

Now, since one of the most asked questions of Canadian Beef is how to buy and cook a roast, I’m going to give you some tips and some links.

Tips & Trips to Making Roast Beef

  • Can I take a roast right out of the freezer into the oven? Sure can. Just skip the 10 minutes at 450 (i.e. the oven sear part), start at 300 and add 50% more time to the cooking, and watch your meat thermometer once the meat is soft enough for you to insert it.
  • How big a roast do I need to buy? About 250g per person of the uncooked beef, if there is a bone in it about 375g per person. If you are getting Prime Rib, we usually assume 1 rib for every 2 people.

Links to info on Roast Beef from Canadian Beef

Meat thermometre

Note: Canadian Beef provided me with compensation and groceries for this post.  For more information on my relationship with Canada Beef Inc read about my Foodie Adventure: I’m a Canadian Beef Brand Ambassador. #LoveCdnBeef and my disclosure statement

Alexa Clark

Alexa is a digital marketer and author with over 20 years in digital & interactive communications in the food and tech industries. Alexa's CheapEats Restaurant Guides, for both Toronto & Ottawa, were Canadian best sellers. She is a recognized authority on social media and has been named one of Canada's 20 Leading Women in Social Media.

One thought on “Roast Beef, Now I Want Roast Beef #LoveCDNBeef

  • December 8, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    @mliao It really is! As I said above a properly cooked rare to med-rare Roast Beef is one of my favourite things, and so useful to have around the house… for as long as it will last.


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