Methods for Perfectly Roasting a Topside Beef Joint

We demonstrate how to roast a topside beef joint to perfection. During cooking, beef stock is used to make a delicious beef gravy to serve with your tender roast beef slices and all the sides.

Topside beef sliced on a wooden chopping board served parsnips, broccoli, Yorkshire puddings and horseradish sauce

Cooking time calculations and tips for rare, medium, and well done beef joints of various sizes are provided.

Serve tender beef slices for Sunday roast dinner or as an alternative to turkey for Christmas.

Roasting topside beef in the oven is the best way to prepare it. See the quick slideshow below for an example of how to roast.

Jump straight to the recipe card if you looking to are roast a 1.2kg topside beef joint medium-rare

Continue reading if you want to see calculations for different sizes or if you want it cooked rare or well done.  

Topside beef is a relatively inexpensive joint that works well for roasting. Fairly lean, with some fat left on top to keep it moist while cooking.  

An extra layer of basting fat may be applied to your topside joint to keep it tender. The one we used in this blog post did not work. It is hit-or-miss.

Getting the beef roasting joint ready

Remove the roasting joint from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature for about an hour before cooking. This prevents uneven cooking and results in more juicy roast beef.

We use onions and carrots as a trivet to sit the beef on top of to prevent too much heat from coming from the bottom of the roasting tin. We also add garlic, thyme, and water at the end.  

Chopped onion, carrot, garlic cloves and fresh thyme in a black baking tray

The vegetables and herbs are not thrown away; they flavor the water, which also collects the beef juices during cooking.  

This will later be used to re-bast the topside roasting joint halfway through cooking and as the base for a homemade beef gravy.

Do you cook a beef joint with the netting attached?

If your beef roasting joint has netting or string wrapped around it, keep it on during cooking to keep the joint in shape and help it cook evenly.

To allow the fat to melt into the joint, the thin layer of fat should be facing up.  

We like to make a paste to rub over the beef for added flavor and color. This straightforward paste is made from olive oil and a stock cube.

Crumbling beef stock by hand into a white bowl of olive oil

Apply this to the topside beef. It's easiest to rub it in with your hands. Finally, season with freshly ground pepper.

Rubbing the beef stock and olive oil over the beef joint by hand which is sitting on chopped carrots, onions, garlic cloves and thyme in a black baking tray

Should I cover the roast beef while it cooks?

Cook topside beef with foil to prevent the outside from cooking faster than the inside and to lock in moisture in the same way that pot roasting does during slow cooking.

Placing a sheet of aluminium foil over the top of the topside beef joint by hand

The time will vary depending on two factors: the weight of the joint and whether you prefer it rare, medium, or well done.

Before roasting, preheat the oven to 160°C Fan / 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4. For more information, consult our Oven Conversion Table.

I've also included the roasting time for a few common-sized beef joints to help you figure it out.

Roasting Joint on the Topside Rare
Very bloody and pink Medium to uncommon
As seen on the blog, blushing pink Medium - Excellent
Only a tinge of pink Well done
Brown, no pinkness at all Temperature in the oven: 160°C Fan 180°C 350°F

Mark 4 gas

Remove the foil for the last 10 minutes of cooking. For the last 10 minutes, remove the foil. Remove the foil for the last 15 minutes. Remove the foil for the last 20 minutes. 800 g 34
minutes 42
minutes 55
minutes 1 hour 
8 minutes 1 kg  40
minutes 50
minutes 1 hour
5 minutes 1 hour 
20 minutes 1.2 kg 46
minutes 58
minutes 1 hour 
15 minutes 1 hour 
32 minutes 1.5 kg 55
minutes 1 hour 
10 minutes 1 hour 
30 minutes 1 hour
50 minutes 2 kg 1 hour 
10 minutes 1 hour 
30 minutes 1 hour 
55 minutes 2 hour 
20 minutes

Is your joint size not listed? To determine the cooking time for a topside beef joint, multiply the weight of the joint by the cooking time for the desired doneness.

Cooking timeOven temperature set to 160°C Fan / 180°C /

350°F/Gas 4

Multiply below time for each 100g of beef extra time to brown outside without using foil Rare 3 minutes 10 minutes Medium to rare 4 minutes ten minutes Medium - Good 5 minutes fifteen minutes Well Done 6 minutes 20 minutes


Halfway through cooking, baste the beef with the liquid from the bottom of the tray.

Basting the beef joint with stock with a silver spoon


Remove the foil for the final 10-25 minutes (depending on doneness), baste again, and allow the topside beef joint to brown.

Beef Resting

Remove the netting and rest the beef for at least 30 minutes after removing from the oven, covered loosely with foil, for the best results.

Cutting away the netting of the beef joint with scissors by hand Wrapping the beef joint up with aluminium foil by hands

The remaining heat will finish cooking the topside beef joint while allowing the juices to cool and redistribute. Resulting in tender, juicy slices of roast beef  

One of the most common causes of dry, tough beef slices is premature carving.

When the beef is carved too soon, the juice runs out, so let it rest before carving. During this resting period, I usually prepare my roast dinner side dishes. So it has about 50 minutes to rest and is still warm.


With no bones and little fat, topside beef is simple to carve into thick or thin slices with a large sharp knife.

Slicing the topside beef with a silver knife and carving fork on a wooden chopping board

The joint depicted in these images is number one. We cooked 5kg Topside beef from Tesco's for 1 hour 15 minutes for a medium-rare result.

How to Make Gravy from Beef Juices

After removing the beef, you will have a delicious stock made from the water, beef juices, vegetables, garlic, and herbs.  

Pour the cooking juices into a saucepan after passing them through a sieve. If desired, skim some fat from the top.

Pouring the meat stock from a baking tray into a sieve which is on top of a silver pot Pouring cornflour mix into the gravy which is cooking in a silver pot and be stirred with a black whisk

To thicken the beef stock, whisk together cornflour and water before adding it to the liquid. After that, crumble in a beef stock cube and bring to a boil.

Crumbling beef stock into the gravy by hand which is cooking in a silver pot Pouring drops of browning into the gravy

Browning can be added to the gravy to give it a richer, deeper color. This is optional, and the gravy will still taste delicious without it.

If it still looks runny after boiling, reduce to a simmer and stir occasionally until thickened.

Depending on how thick you want it, you may need to add more cornstarch.

Whisking the gravy by hand with a black whisk

You can also add 100ml of red wine to the gravy for extra richness.  

How to Serve Roast Topside Beef

When serving beef for a Sunday roast dinner, make our Yorkshire puddings, honey roast parsnips and roast potatoes, broccoli, carrots, and mustard or horseradish sauce.

Roast topside beef sliced on a wooden chopping board served parsnips, Roast potatoes, broccoli,gravy, Yorkshire puddings

Serve with our red cabbage and roasted brussels sprouts, carrots, and parsnips as a Christmas alternative to turkey.


Leftover beef can be safely stored in the fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container, foil, or cling film.

Leftover beef slices are ideal for sandwiches or a cold meat platter the following day.


When reheating beef, I recommend slicing it first and heating it long enough to heat through.

To keep the beef slices moist when reheating in the microwave, reheat them in the gravy. Avoid overheating them as this will cause the meat to dry out.

A joint of topside beef sliced on a wooden chopping board served parsnips, broccoli, Yorkshire puddings and horseradish sauce
Luke and Kay - Perfect Food
We demonstrate how to roast a topside beef joint to perfection. Several flavors are added during the cooking process with beef stock, which is then used to make a delicious beef gravy to serve with your tender roast beef slices and all the sides. The blog post includes cooking time calculations for rare, medium, and well done beef joints of various sizes.
Please rate this recipe.
Recipe Print Recipe Pin Recipe SaveSaved!
  • 1 large Onion Halved
  • 1 Large Carrot Divided into three
  • 4 cloves Garlic
  • 4 Sprigs Thyme de Provence
  • 2 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Stock cube Knorr vs. Oxo
  • 1.5 kg Beef Topside
  • 500 ml Water
  • The roasting tray juices
  • 3 tablespoon Cornflour
  • 3 tablespoon Water
  • 1 Stock cube Knorr or Oxo?
  • 6 drops Optional browning
  • 1 hour before roasting, remove the beef from the refrigerator. Remove the packaging after 1 hour; netting or string should be left on during cooking. Using a few pieces of kitchen roll, pat the beef dry. Preheat the oven to 160°C Fan/180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4.
  • Place the vegetables and herbs in the roasting pan.
    1 medium onion, 1 medium carrot, 4 garlic cloves 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Crumble the stock cube into the oil and combine to make a paste.
    1 cube of stock, 2 teaspoon Olive Oil
  • Apply the stock paste to the beef joint.
  • Rub the stock and oil all over the roasting joint with your hands. Sides, top, and bottom Place the beef on top of the vegetables, fat side up. So that it does not come into contact with the roasting tin's base. Season with black pepper to taste.
  • Do not pour 500ml of cold water over the beef in the roasting tin.
  • Wrap the entire tray in aluminum foil. Preheat the oven to 160°C Fan / 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4 1 hour and 10 minutes The cooking time given here is for one person. 5 kg medium-rare cooked See the blog post for smaller or larger beef joint cooking times, as well as roasting times for rare, medium, or well-done beef.
  • Baste the joint halfway through cooking time with tray juices.
    The roasting tray juices
  • Remove the foil and baste again before roasting uncovered for the final 10 minutes. (Times may vary depending on how well your beef is done.) )
    The roasting tray juices
  • Remove the beef from the tray and discard any netting or string.
  • Wrap the beef loosely in foil. Allow the beef to rest for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer.
  • Cook all of the other side dishes and gravy while the meat is resting.
  • Pour the liquid from the baking tray into a saucepan through a sieve.
    Juices from the roasting tray
  • Combine the cornflour and water, then whisk the liquid into the saucepan.
    3 tbsp Cornflour, 3 teaspoons water
  • Browning is optional for a richer color.
    Browning 6 drops (optional)
  • Bring to a boil while whisking, then reduce to a low heat and leave to thicken.
Calories: 814 kcal Carbohydrates: 12 g Protein: 103 g Fat: 39 g Fat Saturated: 15 g Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid: 1 g Fat Monounsaturated: 5 g Cholesterol: 1 mg Sodium: 503 mg Potassium: 139 mg Fiber: 1 g Sugar: 3 g Vitamin A: 3056 IU Vitamin C: 6 mg Calcium: 30 mg Iron: 1 mg
Please credit @flawlessfooduk and use the hashtag #flawlessfooduk.

I hope you've learned everything there is to know about roasting a topside of beef. Please leave a comment below if you have any questions or to tell us how delicious and tender the beef was.

Roast beef dinner served on a black plate with gravy poured over the top

Other Recipes for Roast Dinner

Other roast dinner recipes you might enjoy include our Boneless Rolled Rib of Beef, Slow Roast Lamb Leg, or Lamb Shoulder. We also have recipes for Roast Gammon and Small Roast Turkey, which aren't just for Christmas.

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