Roast beef is a cut of beef which is roasted in an oven. Roast beef is often served within sandwiches and sometimes is used to make hash. In England, Ireland, Canada, and Australia roast beef is one of the meats traditionally served at Sunday Dinner. A traditional side dish to roast beef is Yorkshire pudding.
According to research carried out by the Museum of London amongst Roman rubbish dumps in London, it seems that Britons acquired their first taste of roast beef from the Roman military as the city expanded under their occupation. Despite this, it seems not to have become popular amongst the population in general until the Middle Ages or later, and only became a 'national caricature' in the 18th century. William Shakespeare suggests a reputation of the English to gorge on beef, when in the play Henry V, act 3, scene 7, before the Battle of Agincourt he has the Constable of France say
Roast beef is traditionally served "rare" or "pink" meaning that the centre of the joint is warmed, but not cooked so that it retains the red colour of raw beef. It should be noted however that there are health concerns associated with the consumption of raw meat.