George Alderson from Serial Grillers BBQ knows his meat. He’s a Brisbane-based butcher, competitive barbecuer and self-described “all round food nerd”. With several notable competition wins under his belt – including the 2019 and 2021 Townsville BBQ Battle – George loves to share advice with the general public and increase awareness of low and slow barbecue in Australia.
But while brisket and pork ribs are his passion, it’s the classic roast beef that holds a special place in his heart.
“Roasts have become my favourite meal from a very early age. My grandparents are English and I always loved having them at their house.”
George’s favourite cuts for roast beef are a rump cap or whole sirloin cooked over a charcoal rotisserie. If you don’t have a rotisserie, an oven and a roasting rack will do.
But he suggests keeping the seasoning minimal. “Kosher salt, pepper and garlic powder are my ideal seasonings. I also like Barbecue Mafia’s Steakout rub.”
Favourite side dishes
“My nana made the best roast potatoes I’d ever had when I was a kid, and I’ve spent the last 15 years trying to perfect them.”
The key to a good Yorkshire pudding, George says, is all about choosing the right fat.
“Rendered down beef fat is perfect, but it usually has to be homemade. I normally render down the fat off my competition Wagyu briskets and keep it in a jar in the freezer. But you can also use duck fat – it’s more accessible and adds great flavour.”
And if you want your puddings to rise, don’t be tempted to open the oven door while they’re cooking. “Opening the door lets the heat out and they won’t rise as well. Sometimes they’ll sink in the middle if you do.”
Here are George’s recipes for Yorkshire pudding and life-changing roast potatoes, “the best roast beef sides anyone could ever ask for”.
Recipe: Yorkshire Puddings
- Muffin tray
- 1 1/2 cups of flour
- 1 1/2 cups of milk
- 2 eggs
- Salt and pepper
- Beef or duck fat (about half a cm per muffin mould)
Preheat the oven and muffin tray at 480ºF/250ºC.
In a blender, mix together the flour, milk, eggs, salt and pepper until combined.
Add half a centimetre of fat into each muffin mould. Heat for 20 minutes.
Half-fill each muffin mould with the batter. Cook for 25 minutes without opening the oven door. The puddings are ready when they are golden brown.
Recipe: Life-Changing Roast Potatoes
- Large pot
- Heavy-based, oven-proof pan (I use a SolidTeknic Bigga Skillet)
- A handful of garlic bulbs, cut in half
- Duck fat
- Salt and pepper
Peel and wash the potatoes.
Place the potatoes in a large pot full of cold water, salt and the garlic bulb halves. Place on a high heat and boil until the potatoes are almost falling apart.
While the potatoes are boiling, pre-heat a heavy-based pan in the oven at 480ºF/250ºC with half a cm of duck fat. When the potatoes are ready, pour them into a colander and shake around to rough up the edges.
Carefully place the potatoes in the pan and turn them over to coat all sides in the duck fat. Season with salt and pepper.
Cook for 45 minutes, flipping half-way through. The potatoes should be crunchy and golden brown. Enjoy!