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Which is better a better cut of meat for your Sunday roast?

The Sunday roast is a British staple consisting of beautifully carved roasted meat and potatoes, vegetables, gravy and, usually but not always, a Yorkshire pudding. Since the whole meal centres around the meat, it’s important to know the most common cuts of beef for roasts to help advise your customers. It’s worth mentioning to your customers to experiment with different cuts, marbling, and ageing so they know exactly what they prefer for every occasion.

To that end, we’ve picked three options the lean topside roast, the slightly more middle-of-the-road rolled sirloin roast, and the flavourful rib of beef to discuss in more detail.

Topside, silverside, and top rump

Customers looking for a lean and tender roast should look no further than a topside, silverside, or top rump cut. This cut comes from the inside of the hind leg meaning there is a lot of muscle which reduces the amount of marbling or fat streaking through the meat.

The colour of this cut should be red but more of a deep red than a bright red. The meat should look slightly aged, to provide the best flavour.

In terms of cooking preparation, some customers may need your advice to ensure they have enough meat to serve multiple guests. We recommend you advise them for lean roasts to buy about 250 grams (0.25kg) of beef per person to have enough for everyone.

Remember, cooking time varies and will largely depend on the type of oven, how much meat your customer needs to cook, and the leanness of the beef. If you don’t wrap your topside roasts with fat, be sure to remind the customer they look up the right cooking time to avoid overcooking the meat!

seam butchery

Rolled Sirloin

You customers will love the decadence, tenderness, and lusciousness that comes from a rolled sirloin roast. This meat comes from the hindquarter that runs from the ribs all the way to the rump. Meat cut from this region usually has fairly even marbling which will create a very rich flavour when cooking.

It should be noted, this particular cut is usually boned and rolled, but your shop may offer it on the bone. We recommend, you clearly mark your sirloin and advise customers when purchasing they need about 250 grams (0.25kg) per person.

Due to the dry ageing meat process, which can improve flavour and tenderness, rolled sirloin has a wide price bracket and can range in cost from £10 per kg to £40 per kg or higher. For special occasions like anniversary parties be sure to suggest a dry-aged roast as it will impress guests and offer more flavour for the gravy!

Generally, roasting top sirloin is about a three hour process. You’ll want to remind your customers to score the fat and then seer it (starting fat side down) to preserve the colour and lock in the flavour.

Rib of beef

Of all the cuts of beef we’ve discussed today, none will taste as good as a slow cooked and perfectly carved rib of beef. Rib roasts tend to have the best flavour because there’s more fat in them. The rib of beef is taken from the forequarter between the hindquarter and the blade.

Depending on what you stock in your shop and the preferences of your customers, you may offer rib of beef on the bone or rolled rib roast. This type of roast is generally the most expensive largely do to increased fat content, quality of the meat, the weight of the bone, and the fact most of it is dry-aged. 

When your customers come in and are looking to easily serve 10 or more people a rib of beef is an excellent choice. Be sure to recommend they account for about 400 grams (0.4kg) of beef per person — remember this meat will taste fantastic but does cook down quite a lot!

The best Sunday roasts for your customers may not always come from the most expensive cuts or aged meats, dry-aged is the best, for many it simply boils down to their flavour profile and what they prefer.

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A good question to ask customers looking for advice on which roast is best, is to ask what they’ve tried before. This can then open up a series of questions about their own experiences like, was the cut too dry or did the last roast lack flavour? In both cases, recommend a cut of beef with more fat or dry-ageing like the rolled sirloin or rib of beef.

If the roast cooked down too much recommend a leaner option like the topside, rump, or silverside.

Once you know a bit more about your customers preferences and experiences, you can much more easily recommend new cuts for them to try!

And in order to sell the best Sunday roasts, you’ll not only need to have them beautifully displayed, but it is vital to have the right equipment which is why at Butcher’s Equipment Warehouse we sell everything you’ll need! We sell reliable butchers knives, butchers blocks, and carving sets so you can provide top-quality meat while operating at peak efficiency. If you have any questions or need advice, please give our friendly team a call on 01254 427721.