Jamie Oliver’s Sunday Roast

Jamie Oliver’s Sunday roast is entirely worthy of a special occasion although it’s also an easy way to transform any old day or night into a meal to remember.

Jamie Oliver's Sunday roast carved and displayed on a wooden cutting board.

A Sunday roast, specifically Jamie Oliver’s Sunday roast, is truly something special. And although it’s certainly a splurge and worthy of a special occasion, it doesn’t necessarily merit a special occasion or holiday or other noteworthy event. Because what is life except a collection of moments? So we’re all about making as many of those moments as memorable as possible. This roast will help you do just that.–Renee Schettler

How to carve a rib roast

Rib roasts are commonly carved by slicing between the rib bones, yielding each diner a relatively ample steak that comprises four disparate parts: the medium-rare and meaty eye of the rib; the fatty, well-done, nicely marbled outer meaty portion; the oh-so-gnawable ends of the bones; and any crisp-edged fatty parts. And there’s nothing wrong with that. This recipe, though, takes a different tactic. It shows you how to read and carve a rib roast by hewing the entire roast into those same four different and distinct components and piling them all separately on the cutting board or the platter, enabling diners to indulge in just those parts that makes their knees most wobbly. Now that’s our kind of carving.

Jamie Oliver's Sunday Roast

  • Quick Glance
  • (4)
  • 30 M
  • 2 H
  • Serves 6
5/5 - 4 reviews
Print RecipeBuy the Jamie Oliver's Great Britain cookbook

Want it? Click it.



Take the beef out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you intend to cook it.

Preheat the oven to 475°F (246°C) and put your largest, sturdiest roasting pan in it to heat.

Bash the leaves from 2 sprigs rosemary into a paste with a heaping teaspoon each of salt and peppercorns. Add a drizzle of olive oil and rub this paste all over the beef. Place the beef straight in the hot roasting pan, fatty side up, and roast it, uncovered, for 50 minutes if you want your roast rare to medium-rare, a little longer for medium. The temperature of the roast will continue to rise after you take it out of the oven and let it rest.

Meanwhile, put a large pan of salted water on to boil. Peel the potatoes and turnips, then halve or quarter them and cut them into roughly 1-inch chunks. Add them to the boiling water, return to a boil, and then cook until somewhat tender, about 10 minutes. Drain the root vegetables in a colander and toss them a few times to expel any excess moisture, and then let them dry. (They can sit here for as long as needed.)

Carefully transfer the roast to a plate and set the roasting pan aside. Leave the oven on. Dot half the butter (let’s just say 2 tablespoons although there’s no need to be that precise) on top of the meat, then use the remaining rosemary sprigs to brush the honey all over the meat. Cover with a double layer of aluminum and a kitchen towel and let it rest for 30 minutes. Set the rosemary sprigs aside but don’t discard them.

While the meat rests, quickly bash the unpeeled cloves of garlic, then add them to the fat in the hot roasting pan along with the rest of the butter and the 20 bay leaves. Pour in the vinegar and place the pan over 1 or 2 burners turned to medium-high heat. Add the potatoes and turnips. Keep moving everything around and season well with salt and pepper. When everything is sizzling away, put the roasting pan with the vegetables back into the hot oven for 30 minutes, or until crisp and golden.

When the vegetables are very nearly done, carve the beef. (If the meat was tied by your butcher, discard any string. Pour any juices that collected on the plate into a small heatproof dish and place it in the oven to keep warm. Grab a carving knife and first detach the roast from the bones in a single swoop by sliding the knife between the rib bones and the roast. Trim the upper cap, or fatty fat fat portion, of the roast and then trim and discard the visibly fatty portion of the cap (see bottom right portion of the photo) and thinly slice the remaining meaty section (see upper left portion of the photo). Slice the roast into chops by slicing between where the rib bones were (see center of the photo). Chop the meaty ends of the ribs (see upper right portion of the photo) from the rib bones (see bottom right).

Tester tip: You may want to grab a couple of cutting boards—one to carve on, one to serve on.

Use the rosemary sprig brushes from earlier to paint the various cuts of meat with the flavorful juices left on the cutting board. Serve the meat with the hot, crisp vegetables, the dish of hot juices, and a good schmear of horseradish and mustard. Originally published February 21, 2013.

Print RecipeBuy the Jamie Oliver's Great Britain cookbook

Want it? Click it.

Recipe Testers' Reviews

We loved this Sunday roast. Our palates—and our dog’s—were watering in anticipation. I have to admit to being confused as to how mashing rosemary leaves into a pulp would occur and if it was okay to leave the garlic peels on, but blind faith and the recipe did not fail me. The flavors were excellent.

Also, and this may have everything to do with the cut of meat, there wasn’t as much fat to cook the potatoes in as I expected, so I doused them with a little olive oil. We—that is, me and my tester-spouse—think that red or fingerling potatoes instead of turnips might be better.

I really liked this Sunday roast recipe. The meat was a lovely medium-rare and the vegetables were perfect!

It was fairly easy to put together. I bashed the leaves from 2 sprigs of rosemary into a paste with about a teaspoon of sea salt, a teaspoon of black peppercorns, and a tablespoon of olive oil, and then rubbed it on the roast before throwing it in the oven. I liked the pre-cooking of the potatoes and turnips, as the tossing in the colander broke up the sides a bit so when they baked they had lovely crisp bits. The only thing I didn’t like about this recipe was the addition of honey. I found that the sweetness didn’t go well with the beef—to my taste, anyway. Also, brushing the meat with the rosemary sprigs didn’t add any more rosemary flavor, so I’m sure you could just use a basting brush instead.


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  1. This is the second time I made this recipe. My husband and kids loved it the first time. So I made it again. Cooked it alittle bit longer this time. Though I made different vegetables due to allergies.

  2. Turned out fabulous! My sister and I made this recipe for my Dad’s 80th Birthday. Definitely needed a second hand as it’s a bit tricky. Everyone loved it, it was a complete success!

    1. Great choice for a special birthday meal, Jamie! I’m so pleased that it was such a success.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to let us know, Aria. Can’t wait to hear what you try next.

  3. I made this tonight – it was so good and really very easy. The roasted veg were especially delicious; I added carrots and Brussels sprouts because I had them on hand. My roast was about half the size so I cut the cooking time way back and it came out perfectly. Juicy and tender and full of flavour. Thank you!

    1. Jenny, you are more than welcome. The additions sound terrific. I can only assume you’re Canadian; I don’t think any American could have the gastronomic stamina for that meal after Thanksgiving and all its leftovers!!

  4. My mother-in-law often made a beef roast for Sunday lunch but pretty plain compared to this one. My husband does a delicious côte-de-beouf and it is a marvelous cut! I love this version with rosemary and honey and want to try it. Thanks for sharing.

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