Meat is one of our best sources of protein, vitamins and minerals but should be eaten no more than a couple of times a week due to its saturated fat content, which is higher than chicken or fish. There are many cuts of meat and even more ways to cook them!

Roasting and pan-frying are good for cuts such as fillet, sirloin or topside and meat on the bone cooks quicker and is tastier than that without. It is important to remember that the most tender cuts of meat are usually the most expensive and come from the least exercised part of the animal but these cuts also tend to have less flavour. Cuts such as chuck, brisket or shin are much cheaper but tougher also, and need long, slow cooking to tenderise and bring out the best flavour. Have a look at my recipe, Slow-cooked Beef Shin with Orange, inspired by Gordon Ramsay.

When choosing beef, it should be a purplish colour to show that it has been well hung, preferably 3 – 4 weeks, and the fat should be a firm, creamy white. Ageing the beef correctly means that the meat will be tender and more tasty. Good flavours and accompaniments for beef include garlic, horseradish, mustard, mushrooms, red wine and robust herbs such as rosemary and thyme.


Suggested Roasting Times
Times are determined using the following parameters ~
oven temperature 180°C, time measured in minutes per 450g.
Meat Time in Minutes
20 + 20 extra
25 + 25 extra
30 + 30 extra
Lamb and Veal 25 + 25 extra
Pork 35 +35 extra

Prime cuts of meat such as fillet of beef require less cooking time. The most accurate determination of perfectly cooked meat is a meat thermometer.

Thermometer Readings
Beef Temperature
52 – 54°C
60 – 63°C
Lamb Temperature
Well-Done (for Veal also)
54 – 57°C
60 – 63°C
Pork Temperature
71 – 74°C

Pan-Frying Beef Steak
The cooking times are for a 2.5cm or 1″ thick steak which should be at room temperature and then cooked in a heavy-based pan. Grilling will take about a minute longer. Rest the steaks for half the time of the cooking.
Level of Cooking Time
Blue ~
feels soft and fleshy
1 – 2 minutes per side
Rare ~
springs back a little
2 – 3 minutes per side
Medium ~
springs back
3 – 4 minutes per side
Well-Done ~
feels very firm
4 – 5 minutes per side