How to Prepare and Cook Hereford Beef

Harry says, “You can roast it, fry it, grill it or throw it on the barbecue; here’s our guide on how to cook Hereford beef properly.

Always keep meat in the ‘fridge for no longer than 2 days. Minced beef and offal should be consumed within 24 hours. Never prepare raw and cooked meat with the same knife or on the same chopping board to avoid bacterial contamination. Beef can be frozen and used within six months. Defrost, loosely wrapped, in the ‘fridge. Never let the meat or its juices come into contact with other foods, especially cooked foods. Once cooked, cool the meat as quickly as possible, cover and refrigerate and eat within two days.

Before cooking it’s always worth removing the meat from the fridge about an hour before you’re about to get started.”

All meat should be at room temperature before cooking

Which Cut to Choose

Roasting the Perfect Joint of Hereford Beef

Beef fillet, Rib of Beef, Sirloin, Topside, Silverside and Top Rump

To roast a whole joint preheat the oven to 180°C/160° fan/gas 4 and weigh the joint (with any stuffing, if using) in order to calculate the cooking time. Cook in the centre of the oven; if you like rare beef, cook the joint for 20 minutes per 450g plus 20 minutes; for a medium result cook the meat for 25 minutes per 450g plus 25 minutes and for a well done joint cook it for 30 minutes per 450g plus 30 minutes. Once the joint is cooked, cover with foil and allow it to stand for about 20 minutes. This helps the muscles to relax, making carving easier and the meat more tender and juicy.

Mini roasts; small joints of beef of around 300-500g are a popular choice for small families. They come from the same parts as the larger roasts (see topside, silverside, rump, etc.; it will usually be labelled or ask your butcher). A mini joint will serve two to three people and is ready in less than an hour, so is ideal for people looking for an easy but delicious meal when time is short.

For example a mini roast of 350-400g, cook at the temperature given for the particular cut, but for less time; 35-40 minutes in total will cook the meat to medium. If you would like your meat a little less pink, cook for 10-15 minutes longer. It’s important to cover your mini roast with foil and rest for 10-15 minutes before carving.

You like to add the juices to your gravy for some extra Hereford Beefy flavours. Always ensure that you use a sharp knife that slices through the joint and carve across the grain of the meat for optimum tenderness.

Casseroles, Stews, Pot Roasting Hereford Beef

Braising steak, Shin and Leg, Top rump, Silverside, Brisket, Chuck, Blade and Oxtail

To stew or casserole meat, it must be simmered slowly at a low temperature either in the oven or on the hob with liquid for up to 3 hours (check your recipe for specific cooking instructions and timings). The cooking liquid is usually stock, sometimes with wine, cider or beer. This method of cooking produces a tender, melt in the mouth result. When cooking, ensure that the lid fits tightly to prevent the cooking liquid evaporating. Brown the beef first – in small batches, if necessary, to maintain a high heat in the pan. Making a slow-cooked dish the day before will greatly improve the flavour. Chill it overnight, then reheat until piping hot.

Joints such as Topside, Top Rump, Silverside, Rib and Brisket are also suited to long slow cooking. For a 1 kg joint, brown the meat in a large casserole and add root vegetables of your choice (carrots, celery, onions, etc.) and cover with stock. Cover the dish and cook for about 2 hours 160°C/140°C fan/gas 3.

Quick Cooking Hereford Beef

Minced Beef and Steaks

Minced beef can be used in a wide variety of popular dishes, including bolognese sauce, chilli con carne, lasagne, cottage pie, burgers, meatloaves and meatballs. It should be thoroughly cooked until the juices run clear.
Steak should be at room temperature. Brush the meat lightly with olive oil or vegetable oil.

Heat a griddle, grill or frying pan until very hot.

Place the steak under the grill or in the pan. You should hear a sizzle.

Cook the meat for the desired time (see below) on one side without touching, then turn very gently and cook the other side for the remaining time. Don’t turn the steak more than necessary – every turn lets the juices escape and dries out the meat. Don’t overcook, as this will make the meat dry and tough.

For a 2cm thick steak, cook for 6 to 7 minutes on each side for well done; for 4 to 5 minutes on each side for medium and for 3 to 4 minutes for rare. Grill or fry depending on taste. Cook under a hot grill initially, then adjust the temperature by moving the grill pan away from the heat source rather than altering the heat.

When the steak is cooked it must be rested. Place the steak on a wire rack (so it doesn’t lie in its own juices) and cover with foil. Leave in a warm place for up to 10 minutes. During resting, the juices in the center move to the outside and the steak becomes moist and tender all the way through.

Stir fry- cook even-sized strips of beef steak for 2 to 4 minutes in 1 tablespoon of oil.

Content Courtesy of Carol Wilson.

Some Cooking Ideas and Inspiration