The topside of beef comes from the inside of a cow’s hind leg, between the thick flank and the silverside. The meat is extremely lean and works best when diced for slow-cooking. The topside of beef is fairly cheap in price and often called the ‘poor man’s sirloin’, but is rich in flavour. So how do you cook the topside of beef? Express.co.uk talks you through BBC Good Food’s expert advice and topside recipes for roasted topside beef and pot-roasted topside beef.
How do you cook a topside joint?
Roasting topside of beef
When roasted and thinly sliced, topside of beef tastes particularly special.
It tastes just as good the next day in a sandwich or salad.
Try this Roast beef with caramelised onion gravy recipe for six.
It takes half an hour to prepare and an hour and a half to cook.
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Ingredients for roast beef
• 1 tbsp black peppercorn
• 1 tbsp English mustard powder
• 1 tbsp dried thyme
• 1 tsp celery seeds
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• about 2kg/4lb 8oz topside joint of beef.
For the gravy
• 4 tbsp plain flour
• 2 beef stock cubes
• 3 tbsp caramelised onion chutney or marmalade
• 2-3 tsp Marmite
How to cook topside roast beef
Crush the peppercorns, mustard powder, thyme and celery seeds together with some salt, using a pestle and mortar.
Stir in the oil, then rub it all over the beef.
If you have time, cover and chill the joint overnight to marinate. Bring the beef out of the fridge 1 hr before roasting.
Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5 and sit the joint in a snug-ish roasting tin.
Roast for 12 mins per 450g/1lb (about 55 mins for a 2kg/4lb 8oz joint) for medium-rare, or 15 mins per 450g/1lb (about 1 hr 10 mins) for medium-well.
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Remove from the oven, lift onto a platter, cover with foil and rest for 30 mins.
If you’re making the Yorkies, increase oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7.
For the gravy, pour any juices from the roasting tin into a jug.
Let the juices separate, then spoon 2 tbsp of the fat back into the tin – if there is no fat, use 2 tbsp butter instead.
Discard any other fat.
Sit the roasting tin on the hob and stir in the flour, stock cubes, onion chutney or marmalade and Marmite.
Cook for 1 min, stirring well to scrape up any beefy bits stuck to the tin, then gradually stir in 750ml hot water from the kettle.
Bubble to thicken to a nice consistency, then gently keep warm until ready to serve with the beef, carved into slices.
How to make pot-roast topside beef
When you pot-roast topside of beef, you slow-cook the joint in stock.
This eliminates the toughness in the meat and the juice that is released combine with the stock forms a rich gravy.
Follow BBC Good Food’s Pot-roast beef with French onion gravy to find out for yourself.
The dish takes 15 minutes to prepare and two hours and 15 minutes to cook, and it serves four people.
Ingredients for pot-roast topside beef
• 1kg silverside or topside of beef, with no added fat
• 2 tbsp olive oil ￼
• 8 young carrots, tops trimmed (but leave a little, if you like)
• 1 celery ￼stick, finely chopped
• 200ml white wine
• 600ml rich beef stock
• 2 bay leaves
• 500g onion ￼
• a few thyme sprigs
• 1 tsp butter ￼
• 1 tsp light brown or light muscovado sugar
• 2 tsp plain flour
How to cook pot-roast topside beef
Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3.
Rub the meat with 1 tsp of the oil and plenty of seasoning.
Heat a large flameproof casserole dish and brown the meat all over for about 10 mins.
Meanwhile, add 2 tsp oil to a frying pan and fry the carrots and celery for 10 mins until turning golden.
Lift the beef onto a plate, splash the wine into the hot casserole and boil for 2 mins.
Pour in the stock, return the beef, then tuck in the carrots, celery and bay leaves, trying not to submerge the carrots too much.
Cover and cook in the oven for 2 hrs. (You could turn the beef halfway through cooking.)
Meanwhile, thinly slice the onions. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and stir in the onions, thyme and some seasoning.
Cover and cook gently for 20 mins until the onions are softened but not coloured.
Remove the lid, turn up the heat, add the butter and sugar, then let the onions caramelise to a dark golden brown, stirring often.
Remove the thyme sprigs, then set aside.
When the beef is ready, it will be tender and easy to pull apart at the edges.
Remove it from the casserole and snip off the strings.
Reheat the onion pan, stir in the flour and cook for 1 min.
Whisk the floury onions into the beefy juices in the casserole, to make a thick onion gravy. Taste for seasoning.
Add the beef and carrots back to the casserole, or slice the beef and bring to the table on a platter, with the carrots to the side and the gravy spooned over.
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