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Simple Classic English Roast Recipe

Posted December 17, 2017 by Stephanie

Growing up, we never had a set traditional holiday meal. Sure, some years we would have a turkey, but sometimes we’d have duck, or salmon, but really, it was essentially any mix of dishes. There’d always be an Asian theme because we’re Chinese and a meal isn’t a meal without rice or noodles, so I guess maybe that was always consistent. But other than that, the holidays were basically an excuse to gather everyone around and feast on yummy food, whatever it might be.

christmas in japan

The holidays are still kind of a little like a hodgepodge of food things, especially for us because we’re hardly ever home for the holidays. This December we’re in Japan, and we’re going to be doing our little tradition (it involves fried chicken, a Japanese potato salad Christmas tree, yuzu chicken meatballs, spaghetti, and sushi >_<) but while we were still at home, I made this classic English roast for all the holiday feels because there’s just something about a roast that makes me feel cozy.

Simple Classic English Roast Recipe |

I didn’t grow up eating roasts – in fact we didn’t eat beef growing up, but for some reason there’s something very primal and satisfying about placing a huge piece of meat in the oven, having the house fill with delicious smell, then carving it up for dinner, with all the classic English sides. It feels very proper, very holiday, and whenever I do it, we’re always saying to each other, let’s do this more often!

Simple Classic English Roast Recipe |

I prepped this while watching multiple episodes of Nigella’s Christmas specials on youtube. Nigella is the queen of Christmastime! I love watching her Christmas specials because they remind me of when I used to watch them religiously on the Food Network while wrapping presents when I was a teenager. I always wanted to go over to her house for one of her ridiculously over the top yet satisfyingly simple Christmas dinner parties. She and Mariah will always, always be Christmas to me.

Simple Classic English Roast Recipe |

Anyway, I served this roast with some Instant Pot mashed potatoes (dare I say there were better than regular? I’ll post the recipe soon), mini Yorkshire puddings, and quickly sautéed green beans. Mike made some scotch eggs and a classic British style gravy. It was a holiday feast fit for Nigella :)

PS – I’m finally better!! That one took a lot out of me. I was a huge baby and basically did nothing for a solid two weeks. Mike would say that I did nothing for three weeks which is probably a lot more accurate. I love that he took over for the blog and now he’s going to be doing more posts because he’s so good at it, so keep your eyes peeled!

Simple Classic English Roast Recipe |

Simple Classic English Roast Recipe
serves 8-12


  • 3-pound chuck roast/English roast
  • 2 tablespoons room temperature butter
  • 6-8 fresh sage leaves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary needles, minced
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • generous sprinkling kosher salt

Au Jus:

  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 small shallot, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups chicken or beef stock
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oven to 500°F.

Mix together the room temperature butter, sage, rosemary, and pepper. Lightly pat the roast dry with paper towels and place the roast in a shallow roasting dish. Rub the butter mixture evenly all over the roast. Season generously with salt.

Place in the 500°F oven for 20 minutes, then turn the oven down to 200°F and roast for 2 hours. The roast will come out to a rosy medium rare. You can check with an instant read thermomether, it should be around 120°F. Remove the roast from the oven.

Pour the excess fat from the roasting tray into a glass liquid measuring cup and set aside. Lightly scrape any loose remaining pan drippings from roasting dish into a small saucepan and add 2 tablespoons of reserved beef fat from the measuring cup. Add chopped celery, shallots, and crushed garlic and cook until soft but not brown. Stir in flour and continue cooking until flour disappears and becomes a light roux. Add stock, reduce by half or until thickened to your liking. Season with salt and pepper.

Slice the roast according to your thickness preference and serve with au jus. Enjoy!

Note: Make sure your oven’s running at the right temp with an oven thermometer. Also make sure it’s clean because otherwise leftover residue might cause it to smoke :)


  1. Rachel says:

    So much love for the photography on this post! Curious – how did you end up with a Scotch Egg with the roast, as that literally has never been a thing!

    1. Stephanie says:

      hi rachel,

      we had english roast at the harwood arms once and they offered a scotch egg add-on. we did it and have never looked back. it’s SO good :)

  2. Susan says:

    oh my word this looks mouth wateringly good!
    Susan Etc

  3. Kim says:

    Is there another name for the cut of meat? I can’t find an English Roast where I live.

    1. Stephanie says:

      hi kim,
      it’s usually called a chuck roast! :)

    2. Joan says:

      I am English live in Texas and an English roast unfortunately is NOT made with a pot roast. Sorry no disrespect pot roast is for stews and slow cookers etc.
      You need ANGUS Beef Rump Roast get it wherever Angus Beef is sold surprisingly enough I was shocked when someone suggested Walmart been buying my roasts and steaks from there ever since just the Angus Beef tho. It goes into oven at 325 electric fat side should be on top so you get the juices for your gravy from the fat and droppings plus the fat keeps the meat moist. Ok it until it reaches your desired taste I don’t like blood in my meat so I co we with little tin foil until,juices are apparent pour them out leaving little in the bottom of roasting pan, put back in the oven and turn up to 350 then you take it out when it reaches your desired taste.

      1. Sally says:

        Pot roast is not a cut of roast. it is a method of Cooking a roast.

      2. Jennifer says:

        Joan, you are correct that that is a ‘Rump Roast’ in the picture, not an English roast.

  4. Ashley says:

    Do you need to cover the roast?

    1. Stephanie says:

      hi ashley,

      it’s uncovered but if you find it browning too much for your liking, you can tent it with foil :)

  5. Michael says:

    Tried the recipe, smoked my kitchen out!! How do you stop this from happening?

    1. Stephanie says:

      hi michael,
      check the temperature of the oven and/or if there any residual grease on the sides – also, if you want an alternative, you can roast at 200 until it’s medium rare (or to your liking), remove it, then sear it on the stove to get the crust.
      hope that helps :)

  6. Cathy Kerton-Johnson says:

    Does this come out quite tender? I’ve been told the chuck roast has to be cooked long and slow, and that if it is still red inside it will be tough.

    1. Stephanie says:

      hi cathy,
      it was really tender! but we did have wagyu roast :)

  7. Joni says:

    A typical English roast is not a Chuck roast. I find a sirlion tip is the best!!!

    1. Tom says:

      An English roast is a chuck roast but not all chuck roasts are English.

  8. Linda Eacret says:

    Help, I have a 3.67 lb boneless English roast and was wondering if you have suggestions using a 6 Qt. instant pot?

    1. Stephanie says:

      hi linda,
      i haven’t tried an english roast in the instant pot so i can’t comfortably make any suggestions, but it’s a great idea to do it in the instant pot, we’ll have to try that and post about it :)

  9. Debra says:

    The recipe looks wonderful. I have never used sage or rosemary with beef, so it’ll be fun to try.
    I’m taking lunch / foods to my son’s office tomorrow so it’s perfect timing. He can enjoy the roast + in the evening when he gets home.

  10. Wendy Holland says:

    What if I have half size roast.

    1. Stephanie says:

      it might take a bit less time, start checking at 1 hour to see what the temp is, it’ll probably take about 1.5 hours. hope that helps!

  11. Ashley says:

    Actively cooking this in the oven now… I have an internal thermometer and after the 20 mins at 500 degrees it’s already reading at 120 degrees… do I still continue roasting now for the 2 hours? Hoping to not overlook the meat. The roast was about 2.5 lbs rather than 3.

    1. Stephanie says:

      hi ashley,
      i think the temp wouldn’t go too much higher if the oven temperature went down to 200°F. you can leave the oven door open a crack to lower the temp faster.

  12. Mak says:

    Don’t forget that for a traditional English roast dinner you can also have either a joint of pork, a leg of lamb, a roast chicken or turkey. In fact in many English pubs and restaurants you can have a Sunday roast dinner consisting of your choice of one or more of these meats.

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