Pot-roast topside of beef with juniper berries and wild mushrooms

Ren's pot-roast topside of beef recipe is one of the ultimate comfort food dishes for winter, with the cosy scent of juniper permeating the wonderful sauce. Serve with some creamy mash and a glass of red.

First published in 2017

Topside of beef is a leaner and cheaper cut of beef, which lends itself to being covered in stock and slow-roasted or pot roasted in a large casserole, as well as to traditional roasting. This recipe begins with a flavourful base of onions, carrots, celery and garlic. Along with the beef, aromatics, such as juniper berries, bay leaves and fresh thyme are added along with mixed forest or wild mushrooms.

This is a comforting dish, which goes particularly well with celeriac mash, or potato mash. It makes a simple and easy centrepiece, too, when entertaining guests over the winter months.

Ask your butcher, or try and select a piece with a reasonable layer of fat on the top, which will help keep the beef from drying out during cooking.




Pot-roast topside of beef with juniper berries and wild mushrooms


Take the beef joint out of the fridge at least an hour before you begin cooking
Preheat the oven to 160°C/gas mark 3
Heat a large frying pan and add the oil. Fry the onions for 5 minutes until starting to soften. Add the carrots, celery and garlic and cook for a further 5 minutes. Tip the vegetables into a large 24cm casserole pot, with a lid
Place the beef joint into the same frying pan, fat-side down, and cook for 5–6 minutes, until the fat begins to render. Move the beef around the pan and flip it over to colour it on all sides. This will take around 10 minutes in total. Once the beef has started to take on some colour, place it on top of the vegetables in the casserole dish
Add the wild mushrooms to the frying pan and fry for 5 minutes, so that they soak up any juices and fat from the beef. Tip the mushrooms into the casserole. Add the juniper berries, bay leaves and fresh thyme
Season well with sea salt and black pepper and pour over the beef stock. Ideally, the beef should be completely covered. If not, add a cupful of hot water
Cover with a lid and transfer to the oven. Cook for 2 hours and 30 minutes
Remove the beef from the oven and place it on a plate to rest. Snip away any string and cover it with foil
Place the casserole dish with the vegetables in it onto the stove. Remove the juniper berries, bay leaves and thyme sprigs
Mix 2 tsp cornflour with a little water and stir in. Bring to the boil and allow the sauce to thicken. Whisk in 1 tsp butter
To serve the beef, carve into thick pieces, transfer to a large, deep serving platter and pour over the sauce. Serve with celeriac or potato mash and a good bottle of red wine
First published in 2017

Ren Behan is a mum of two and a lawyer turned food writer.

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