Perfect roast beef recipe

Roast beef

RACV staff

Posted June 01, 2022

This timeless roast beef recipe is ideal for a family meal, hearty Sunday lunch and winter entertaining. 

Roast beef sounds easy but there are few tips and tricks to mastering this classic  recipe. RACV City Club Executive Chef Jason Camillo says using a meat thermometer and resting the roast for half your cooking time will give you the best results.

Ideally, if you are able to, the roast should be trussed. If you have a friendly neighbourhood butcher, get them to tie it for you. This will allow the roast to keep its shape.

In this roast beef recipe, Camillo infuses the beef with the flavours of rosemary, thyme and garlic, as well as a bit of pizazz with orange zest.

"This roast beef recipe always brings back memories of my Nanna’s Sunday roast," Camillo says. "She used dripping in the bottom of the pan, and potatoes and onions as vegetables–just cut in half–and these would be crispy on the bottom but soft on the inside.

"She also made gravy but with a packet mix, which was the only thing I didn’t love!"

Camillo's roast beef recipe includes a lovely sauce made with caramelised meat juices, red wine and orange juice.

Once perfected, this dish is a destined to become a hot favourite with families, especially during winter. Complement the meal with our best-ever classic apple crumble recipe for dessert.


Classic roast beef recipe



Time to make

3 hrs




  • 2kg whole rump or rump cap
  • 1 bunch rosemary
  • 1 bunch thyme
  • 1 head garlic
  • 4 whole small onions (sliced in half)
  • 4 carrots peeled and sliced in half lengthways
  • 2 oranges zested and juiced
  • Olive oil
  • 40g Murray River pink salt
  • 10g cracked black pepper
  • 1 bottle red wine


  1. Remove the roast from the fridge 20 minutes prior to cooking. Rub the roast with orange zest, half of the olive oil, and salt and pepper. Preheat the oven to 180°C fan-forced.
  2. Place ½ of the rosemary, garlic, and ½ of the thyme and arrange like a nest on to a roasting tray, followed by the beef rump. Put the beef into the oven and set your timer. This roast will be best cooked to medium rare, allow 20 minutes per 500g of beef. For more accurate results place a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the roast to measure 60°C.
  3. Mix the remaining olive oil and orange juice. You will use this to baste the beef. With the remaining thyme and rosemary, bunch it together and tie the end with butchers’ twine or string. It will be used like a brush. Every 10 minutes, dip the bunch of rosemary and thyme into the orange liquid and brush the beef as though you were painting it. Continue to baste (brush with olive oil and orange) every 10 minutes.
  4. With 25 minutes left to cook, surround the beef with onions that have been cut in half (skins still on) and carrots .
  5. Once cooked, remove the beef from the roasting tray and keep it in a warm place covered with some alfoil. Allow it to rest for half the time that it was cooked for. This will allow all the juices to settle. Remove the vegetables and keep warm. Remove the outer skins of the onions, which should easily come off.
  6. In the roasting tray, add the bottle of wine and any remaining orange juice. Use the rosemary brush to lift off the caramelised meat juices, which are left on the roasting dish. Once the roasting pan is clean, strain the liquid into a small saucepan and reduce to make your sauce.
  7. When you’re ready, remove the string from the beef and carve your roast against the grain, keeping the best bits for yourself. Arrange the vegetables on a plate followed by sliced beef and jus over the top.

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