It’s cold outside, we’re bunkering down for the winter season and spending time with those we love, so stoke the fire and break out the pans because it’s roasting season!

With that in mind, we asked chef Paul Cooper of Surry Hills eatery Bishop Sessa just what makes a roast such an inclusive and warming experience for the colder weather. With regular roasts on the menu and a whole-beast philosophy, it’s a topic that is close to his heart.

“I think a roast is one of those great things that you can do around the table with the whole family,” says Cooper. “It’s a relaxing time when you can stop and enjoy – people don’t get to spend much time together these days. I’ve recently had a child and so family time is something that I appreciate.” [fold]

For many of us, roasts ring full of nostalgia: warm nights or long lunches surrounded by those we love, doing nothing but sharing a good meal, cooked slowly and prepared with care. But you have to get it right to make the experience worth the anticipation.

“Temperature is the most is important thing to pay attention to,” says Cooper, “and choosing an appropriate cut to roast. You need a bit of fat so it doesn’t dry out and so that it will stay nice and moist through the roasting process.”

At Bishop Sessa, Cooper uses Gundooee Organics Wagyu for his roast beef.

“It’s a great product that’s treated very well and Rob Lennon is a great producer.”

Lucky for us, Cooper has shared his Bishop Sessa recipe for roast Wagyu to keep us toasty as the cold days blow in.

“It’s a great recipe because you can roast it to your liking. You can have it medium-rare like I prefer, or you can have it a bit more well done and you’re not sacrificing the quality of the roast at the end. Some cuts are leaner and if you roast them longer they’ll get dry and chewy; this is a more durable roast.”

Bishop Sessa’s roasted Wagyu rump with mashed potato, carrots and parsnips

(serves 4)

Roast Wagyu rump:

1kg Wagyu rump (cap preferably)
2 carrots
2 celery sticks
1 brown onion
1 garlic bulb
olive oil


200ml red wine
300ml beef or chicken stock
¼ bunch parsley
1 shallot

Mashed potato

1kg desiree potatoes
300g butter, melted
100ml milk

Vegetables and garnish

2 bunches baby carrots
2 parsnips
50g rocket leaves
1 bunch red radishes (or a mixture)


For Rump

Preheat oven to 120C.

Cut the rump cap into two evenly sized pieces and season generously with salt. Heat an oven-proof pan large enough to hold both pieces and add a splash of oil and a knob of butter. When the butter starts to change colour a little, add the Wagyu and sear all sides to an even golden brown, then remove from the pan.

Make a mirepoix (chopped mixture) out of the vegetables by peeling the onion and carrots and roughly chopping the vegetables into 2–3cm pieces. Add this to the pan, place beef on top and leave it in oven for approximately 30–40 minutes, or until desired temperature (see temperature guide below) (I use a small metal skewer, press it into the thickest part of the meat, and let it sit for 15 seconds, remove, and feel the temperature by pressing on the back of your hand lightly. This will give you an idea of the internal temperature. Takes a little practice, but is a great way to check).

Remove from the oven and rest for 15 minutes.

For sauce

Return the pan with the vegetables in it to the stovetop and add the red wine. Turn the heat up to high and reduce the liquid by 2/3. Next add the beef stock and reduce this by ½, and then strain into small pot. Set sauce aside until ready to finish.

Mashed Potato

Preheat oven to 180C.

Bake potatoes in the oven until cooked through, approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Remove the potatoes from the oven and while hot, use a sharp knife to cut them in half. Use a spoon to scoop out the centre and place this into a pot, then mash with a fork or masher. Add the melted butter and milk and combine, then stir quickly to bring together. If it looks a little oily add more milk, a little at a time until it is smooth and creamy. It should come away from the side of the pot and not stick to it. Season the mash to taste, cover with cling film pressed down on the mash and set-aside until ready.


Peel the parsnip and trim it to be about 8cm long, then cut into ¼ lengthways, cutting out the core. Trim the carrot tops, leaving about 1cm of green stem and wash them under cold water. Use a knife to scrape out dirt around the green and anywhere else you can see it, but leave the skin on (the skin contains a lot of the vitamins, so it’s nice to eat it and it also protects the flesh during the roasting). Heat a pan large enough for the vegetables over medium heat, add a little oil and butter and arrange the prepared vegetable evenly over the base. Turn the heat up and gently pan roast the vegetables – turning as necessary – until they’re evenly cooked, but still holding their shape. Remove and season with salt. Set aside in a warm place.

To serve

Reheat the mash and the sauce. Dice the shallot and chop the parsley and add them to the sauce. Cut the Wagyu into thin slices going against the grain. Arrange the Wagyu over four plates (I like to put it flat on the bottom and arrange the mash and vegetables over the top), thinly slice the radishes and arrange them around the meat. Divide the sauce over the four plates and garnish each plate with a few rocket leaves.

Roast Temperature Guide
Rare 49C
Med Rare: 52C
Med: 57C
Med Well: 64C
Well Done 70C