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Roast Beef for a Wedding Feast from Outlander

Roast Beef for a Wedding Feast from Outlander


At the inn, food was readily available, in the form of a modest wedding feast, including wine, fresh bread, and roast beef.

Dougal took me by the arm as I started for the stairs to freshen myself before eating.

“I want this marriage consummated, wi’ no uncertainty whatsoever,” Dougal instructed me firmly in an undertone.  “There’s to be no question of it bein’ a legal union, and no way open for annulment, or we’re all riskin’ our necks.”

“Seems to me you’re doing that anyway,” I remarked crossly.  “Mine, especially.”

Dougal patted me firmly on the rump.

“Dinna ye worry about that; ye just do your part.”  He looked me over critically, as though judging my capacity to perform my role adequately.

“I kent Jamie’s father.  If the lad’s much like him, ye’ll have to trouble at all.  Ah, Jamie lad!”  He hurried across the room, to where Jamie had come in from stabling the horses.  From the look on Jamie’s face, he was getting his orders as well.

Diana Gabaldon, Outlander, Chapter 15

Just a little different than the wedding receptions I’ve been to!  I’m more used to clinking cutlery on my glass, a cheesy toast from the Best Man, a couple of well-placed polkas and maybe even The Macarena if it’s an open bar.

The buffet is usually a little more generous as well.

But if you were hurled back 200 years in time, forced to marry a virtual stranger in someone else’s strong-smelling dress and then hurried through a ceremony complete with blood letting — all on no more than a couple of glasses of port for breakfast (poured on top of last night’s whisky dinner) — I’m willing to bet you’d accept roast beef, bread and wine with a little more grace than your average Bridezilla.

After all, the food is fuel for activities yet to come — any more than that would just weigh you down.

Roast Beef

He studied his wineglass with some care.  “Perhaps it’s just that I want to bed you.”  He looked up abruptly.  “Did ye think of that?”

If he meant to disconcert me, he was succeeding nicely, but I resolved not to show it.

“Well, do you?” I asked boldly.

“If I’m bein’ honest, yes, I do.”  The blue eyes were steady over the rim of the glass.

“You wouldn’t necessarily have had to marry me for that,” I objected.

He appeared honestly scandalized.  “You do not think I would take ye without offering you marriage!”

“Many men would,” I said, amused at his innocence.

He sputtered a bit, at a momentary loss.  Then regaining his composure, said with formal dignity, “Perhaps I am pretentious in saying so, but I would like to think that I am not ‘many men,’ and that I dinna necessarily place my behavior at the lowest common denominator.”

Rather touched by this speech, I assured him that I had so far found his behavior both gallant and gentlemanly, and apologized for any doubt I might inadvertently have cast on his motives.

On this precariously diplomatic note, we paused while he refilled our empty glasses.

Diana Gabaldon, Outlander, Chapter 15

Roast Beef

Let’s take a pause in the action to talk a little more about the beef, shall we?

The one served to celebrate the marriage of Claire and James was probably roasted at the hearth over an open fire.  And for sure it wasn’t the tenderloin.

Which is OK by me.  I’m a big fan of the less-expensive cuts of meat.  As long as you know how to cook the particular piece you have, you can turn almost any cut into a delicious, juicy and tender dinner.

The more that the muscle moves while the animal is alive, the more connective tissue the meat contains.  Connective tissue will make meat tough unless you roast it low and slow to melt it away, which will leave you with fork-tender meat and gelatin-packed juices to make a rich accompanying sauce.

I chose a top or inside round (from the top of the hind leg) because it offers a good combination of superior flavour and value for money while being tender enough to dry roast in the oven.

Serve it with your favourite sides and gravy made from the juices.  Or, go Full-On Outlander and bake a fresh loaf of bread and open bottle of red worthy of Colum’s cellars.

Roast Beef Dip

“Are you hungry?” I asked softly, sometime later.

“Famished.  He bent his heat to bite my breast softly, then looked up with a grin.  “But I need food too.”  He rolled to the edge of the bed.  “There’s cold beef and bread in the kitchen, I expect, and likely wine as well.  I’ll go and bring us up some supper.”

“No, don’t you get up.  I’ll fetch it.”  I jumped off the bed and headed for the door, pulling a shawl over my shift against the chill of the corridor.

“Wait, Claire!” Jamie called.  “Ye’d better let me –” but I had already opened the door.

My appearance at the door was greeted by a raucous cheer from some fifteen men, lounging around the fireplace of the main room below, drinking, eating and tossing dice.  I stood nonplussed on the balcony for a moment, fifteen leering faces flickering out of the firelit shadows at me.

“Hey, lass!” shouted Rupert, one of the loungers.  “Ye’re still able t’ walk!  Isn’t Jamie doin’ his duty by ye, then?”

This sally was greeted with gales of laughter and a number of even cruder remarks regarding Jamie’s prowess.

“If ye’ve worn Jamie out a’ready, I’ll be happy t’ take ‘is place!”  offered a short dark-haired youth.

“Nay, nay, ‘e’s no good, lass, take me!” shouted another.

“She’ll ha’ none o’ ye, lads!” yelled Murtagh, uproariously drunk.  “After Jamie, she’ll need somethin’ like this to satisfy ‘er!”  He waved a huge mutton bone overhead, causing the room to rock with laughter.

I whirled back into the room, slammed the door and stood with my back to it, glaring at Jamie, who lay naked on the bed, shaking with laughter.

“I tried to warn ye,” he said, gasping.  “You should see your face!”

Roast Beef Sliced

Diana Gabaldon, Outlander, Chapter 15

(Click on the title below for a printable version of the recipe.)

Roast Beef for a Wedding Feast

A top/inside-round roast is an economical, tasty and relatively tender cut that makes for a wonderful Sunday or special occasion dinner.

Serves 6-8

  • Top or Inside Round Beef Roast – approx 3½ lbs
  • Olive Oil – 1 Tble
  • Garlic, minced/crushed – 6 cloves
  • Kosher or Coarse Salt – 1½ tsp
  • Fresh Rosemary, minced – 1 tsp
  • Fresh Cracked Pepper – ½ tsp

Read the whole recipe through once before you begin.

Mix together the olive oil, garlic, salt, rosemary and pepper in a small bowl, then smear the paste all over the roast, lightly rubbing it into the meat.

Set the roast on a rack in a roasting pan and cover loosely with plastic wrap.  Set aside for 60-90 minutes at room temperature to marinate and take the chill off the meat.

Move the rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350°.

Roast the meat for 28-31 minutes/lb for medium rare, 30-34 for medium and 40-45 for well done.  (Rare isn’t recommended for a top/inside round.)

Remove the roast from the oven, gently move to a plate and tent with foil.  Allow to rest for 15 minutes.  (Note:  the temperature of the roast will increase 5-10° while resting.)

Slice and serve.

Ith do leòr! (Eat Plenty)


  • No kosher salt?  No worries!  Substitute 1 teaspoon of table salt.
  • If you have an instant read thermometer, use this chart to determine your desired level of doneness (med. rare, medium, well done)
  • Use the pan juices to make gravy, or skim the surface of fat, strain, season and serve the jus alongside the roast.


  1. Jen C.
    March 12, 2012 at 3:41 am

    It looks delicious! I’m always afraid to make roast beef because I worry it will be tough. I’m going to give this a try.
    Love the wedding scenes, from the night before to the night after…one of my favorite parts of the series.

  2. outlanderfan
    March 12, 2012 at 6:18 am

    I love me some Outlander w/my roast beast! I agree with you about the lower priced meats. It sounds yummy AND easy!

    Those are the same ingredients I use to make my pork roast w/roasted potatoes in the same pan; do you think I could do the same/roast potato wedges in the same pan?)

    • Theresa
      March 12, 2012 at 6:55 pm

      I might do the potatoes in another pan, Jenn…just because cooking at such a low temp tends to release a lot of liquid…so you’d end up with “steamed/boiled” potatoes rather than roasted ones…

  3. ruaTimeTraveler2
    March 12, 2012 at 6:59 am

    Simple but OH so Elegant …it looks perfect!..and now I’m wanting some….MMmmmmmmmm
    As always…..Standing Ovation …..Bravo bravo…

    • Theresa
      March 12, 2012 at 6:56 pm

      Thanks Vickie!

  4. I adore top round roast and yours looks absolutely perfect. In all honesty, I’d take this for my wedding supper over what we had. At least this would be memorable!

    • Theresa
      March 12, 2012 at 6:56 pm

      I don’t think I should ask, Christiane…

  5. MacZac
    March 12, 2012 at 7:33 am

    YUM!!! I’m going to the store right now to get the stuff to make this!! The Wedding is one of my favorite scenes from the whole series. That’s where it all begins!

    • Theresa
      March 12, 2012 at 6:57 pm

      That’s so cool! Can’t wait to see a pic, MacZac!

  6. Ruth
    March 12, 2012 at 7:54 am

    Makes me think about the brisket (sorry, I know it’s not the same cut!) that my Mum used to make for Shabbas dinners – I miss those days! I’d love to make this but will need to get a much smaller cut of beef since there is only myself to eat it – but I can just imagine the delicious roast beef sandwiches this would make the day after!

    • Theresa
      March 12, 2012 at 6:54 pm

      You’re so right, Ruth! The glory of the cheaper cuts…the brisket is one of my favourites too!

  7. Shelley
    March 12, 2012 at 8:02 am

    Love, love, love this. 🙂

    • Theresa
      March 12, 2012 at 6:54 pm

      I’m so glad, Shelley! 🙂

  8. Sarah Jarvis
    March 12, 2012 at 8:07 am

    Looks delish! You do take the plastic wrap off before the oven is turned on, though? 😉

    • Theresa
      March 12, 2012 at 6:52 pm

      yes, well…I do assume a certain amount of common sense, Sarah. 😉

  9. mrs graham
    March 12, 2012 at 8:10 am

    almost makes me wish i still ate beef!!! (haven’t had any in more than 20 yrs.) looks delicious, and so easy to make!
    and i love reading your entries; they are so entertaining, and they make me want to go back through the books to find every reference to food that they make.

    • Theresa
      March 12, 2012 at 6:52 pm

      Awww…thanks Mrs. Graham! I’m glad you can enjoy a post even when you don`t eat the beef. LOL.

  10. lior
    March 12, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    i’ve never cooked roast beef before…but i really want to try this! i love all your recipes! you always motivate me to try new things. thanks OK!!! 🙂

    • Theresa
      March 12, 2012 at 6:57 pm

      Thanks for that, Lior!:)

  11. bullrem
    March 12, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    We have roast all the time. But I have never had it over an open fire. I kinda thought you might do that. I can just see me turning the spit…. haa haa
    Helen in Ark.

    • Theresa
      March 13, 2012 at 9:27 am

      This is but our first roast beef together, Helen! Don’t you worry…I’m sure there will be a spit in there one of these days!

  12. Donna Rubino
    March 13, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    This looks amazing Theresa! I will save this one for a nice dinner! Thanks!

  13. ruaTimeTraveler2
    June 3, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    This looks so amazingly wonderful..I like to visit the picture….

  14. Kathleen Smith
    September 17, 2014 at 12:20 am

    Looks delicious!

  15. Elizabeth Cavanaugh
    September 17, 2014 at 6:03 am


    Have loved all the recipes I have tried and they are easy to follow – thank you. Have just gone to the local butcher to order roast for Saturday and was shown an approximately 2″ x 12″ cut of beef. Not really looking like a roast. Should I cut into 2 2″ x 6″ pieces and tie off?

    Thank you!

    • Theresa
      September 17, 2014 at 7:53 am

      Good idea! That’s what I would do.

  16. Kristin
    September 17, 2014 at 6:53 am

    Yum! Agreed on slow cooking inexpensive cuts. My fiance bought round eye and I roasted it in a slow cooker with similar spices (as well as paprika, but we like things spicy) and home made beef stock from an ice cube tray for 6 hours. Totally tender and delicious! Can’t wait for Saturday!

  17. Laura
    September 17, 2014 at 7:50 am

    I’ve been making a new recipe every week to go with each new episode, until last week 🙁 , and I do believe I found my meal for this week! I think I’ll make this with Neeps & Tatties, bannocks, and the Cranachan for dessert that you just posted about. I may make some Atholl Brose to drink during the show as well. I am so glad I found your website, I love the recipes I have tried. Thank you so much!

  18. toni
    September 17, 2014 at 10:49 am

    I will be making the roast and desert for this Saturdays episode. Can’t wait!!!

  19. Paula
    November 4, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    Thanks for these recipes. My friends and I are getting together on Saturday for a marathon viewing party. We are each going to make recipes from Outlander Kitchen. I want to make this roast, but I only really cook in a crockpot. I also have braces which can make chewing beef difficult. Can I make this in a crockpot?

    • Theresa
      November 5, 2014 at 1:32 pm

      You can totally make this in a crock pot, but I would choose an Outside Round or Blade Roast instead. They’re much better cuts for the slow cooker.

  20. Jennifer
    June 30, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    I am helping with a dinner for a lot of people. I had thought of doing multiple roasts. If I cooked and then reheated them right before serving would they beokay?

  21. Mary c
    September 13, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    I made this last Sunday. It’s my favorite way to cook a roast. Can hardly wait til your cookbook comes out.

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