My personal way of roasting beef that never fails is to rub into the fat a combination of 2 tablespoons of flour, 1 tablespoon of mustard powder and plenty of freshly milled black pepper. You do not have to use all the mixture: it depends on the size of your joint. To minimise shrinkage, meat should always be at room temperature before it is put in the oven.
Heat a little beef dripping in a roasting tin and fry the meat very quickly on each cut side to seal in the juices.
Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6, 400°F (200°C). Place the meat on a rack in the roasting tin, fat side uppermost so that the fat will run down and baste the joint. Cook for 20 minutes, then reduce the temperature to gas mark 3, 325°F (160°C), and cook for a further 15 to 20 minutes per lb (500g). Baste frequently. If you like your beef well done, it will require a slightly longer cooking time. Test whether the meat is done by inserting a skewer into the centre and observing the colour of the juices.
Remove the cooked beef from the roasting tin and place on a warmed serving dish. Either leave in the warming oven of the Aga, or near the stove, covered with a little aluminium foil. This is the resting period, an ideal time to increase the oven temperature to cook your Yorkshire pud, or crisp the potatoes.
You can also make the gravy. Skim the fat off the top of the roasting tin. Place over a high heat and add 1 tablespoonful of meat glaze. Stir well to scrape up all the meaty sediment. If you like a rich gravy, whisk in a knob of butter. Strain into a warmed gravy boat and remember to add any juices that may have run from the beef while it was resting. Alternatively, try serving your roast beef with one of the sauces.
In either case, you’ll want to accompany it with a really good Yorkshire pudding. And don’t forget the horseradish sauce – homemade is immeasurably better than the bought variety, if you can manage it.