A prime cut for roasting, this tender beef topside makes an excellent alternative main for Christmas dinner. Add a herby fragrant crust and rich, full-bodied jus for a mouthwatering centrepiece.
- Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Remove the meat from the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Combine the ingredients for the crust in a bowl and set aside, covered.
- Heat the oil in a heavy-based pan over a medium heat. Season the meat on all sides, then brown in the pan for around 4 minutes on each side. Arrange the onion wedges, celery and carrot in the bottom of a roasting tin and put the beef on top of the vegetables. When the meat is cool enough to handle, spread the crust over the top. Put the roasting tin in the oven for 1 hour 10 minutes for rare, 1 hour 35 minutes for medium and 2 hours for well done, covering with foil after 50 minutes.
- Remove the beef from the roasting tin and rest for 15 minutes while you make the jus.
- Using a potato masher, squash the vegetables in the juices in the roasting tin. Put the tin over a medium heat and pour in the red wine. Let it bubble down for about 5 minutes or until reduced by half. Add the beef stock and bubble for another 5 minutes. Stir in the sugar and check for seasoning, then pour into a warmed jug.
- Finely slice the beef and serve with the jus.
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For top tips on protecting you and your family when preparing raw meat and poultry, visit Food Safety in the Home and view the full Food safety at home video.