Roast topside of beef sliced on a board

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Roast Topside of beef makes a mouth-watering, lean and succulent dish. Perfect for your next Sunday lunch. When cooked to perfection topside provides an abundance of juicy and tender meat. Not only that but it’s super affordable too. This recipe also makes lashings of rich gravy with the juices from the roast, perfect for drizzling over your dinner!

Is beef topside good for roasting?

Topside of beef, also known as top round in the US, is a lean joint which has strong connective tissues. It’s taken from the top, ahem, backside of the animal, above the hind legs. Because of this, it can be a tougher cut which is often used for braising. However, it is beautiful when roasted for the right amount of time. As it is so lean, you may find that you buy it ‘barded’. This means that there are thin strips of fat which are tied around the joint to help it retain moisture throughout cooking.

I add a rub of rosemary and wholegrain mustard to the beef to lock in more moisture and add extra flavour as it roasts. Not only does topside provide beautifully lean uniform slices when cooked, but it’s also a very economical and budget-friendly cut.

Sliced beef topside on a plate with gravy

How long do I need to roast topside?

How long you need to roast your topside joint depends on a couple of different factors. These are the size of your joint (you’ll need to know the weight). And also how ‘done’ you want it to be. Once you know these two things you’ll need to do a little maths to work out how long to set that timer for. I’ve included the equation below, and also a handy table to take some of the work out for you!

Roasting times are in minutes based on 180C / 350F oven

  • RARE – 20 minutes per 500g plus 20 minutes
  • MEDIUM-RARE – 25 minutes per 500g plus 20 minutes
  • WELL DONE – 30 minutes per 500g plus 20 minutes
WeightRareMediumWell Done
500g | 1.1lb404550
1kg | 2.2lb607080
1.5kg | 3.3lb8095110
2kg | 4.4lb100120140
Beef topside cooking times (minutes) based on 180C / 350F oven

You can also use a meat thermometer to check if the meat is done. If you do this then you want the reading to show:

  • RARE – 45 – 55°C | 113 – 130°F
  • MEDIUM – 58 – 65°C | 136 – 150°F
  • WELL DONE – 70 – 75°C | 158 – 167°F

Do I need to seal the meat first?

You may have heard that sealing meat before cooking helps to lock in flavour and juices. This is, in most cases, untrue. It does however help to add extra flavour. Browning the meat over high heat creates a chemical reaction that actually intensifies flavour and aroma. (I won’t go into the science of this, but think about a piece of sliced bread vs toast).

Your joint will be perfectly edible if you skip the browning process, but you’ll be missing out on a load of flavour. Plus, it helps to add a bit of a crusty surface, adding to the texture of the roast.

Why is my roast tough?

Is tough and dry meat plaguing your Sunday lunch? There are a few possible explanations. The most likely one is that you are overcooking your beef. If you bring the internal temperature of the joint over 95C (205F) then the meat will really start to dry out, which will result in it becoming tough. When cooking a lean joint, with a lot of connective tissue, such as topside, this is all the more important.

You may have also cooked the joint for too long. The longer you cook the beef the more the proteins tighten up. Naturally, this will make the beef tougher and less succulent.

Finally, don’t underestimate the power of resting! See more information below.

Sliced beef topside on a chopping board

Why do I need to rest the meat?

If you want the most tender, mouth-watering joint possible then it is important to rest the meat. The main reason for this is that it allows the juices to redistribute throughout the joint. If you cut into meat immediately after cooking it, many of the juices will flow out and the meat will be dry. By letting it rest, you give the juices a chance to spread back through the meat, making it juicier and more flavourful. It also allows the fibres in the meat to relax giving a more tender cut.

In addition, resting meat also allows it to finish cooking through. This is especially important for larger cuts of meat, such as roasts, which can continue cooking even after they’ve been removed from the heat source. Allowing the meat to rest before carving or serving ensures that it will be cooked to perfection.

For best results, rest the meat for at least 20 minutes before carving.


For a full list of ingredients with weights and measurements jump to the printable recipe card.

Roast topside of beef ingredients

For the roast…

  • Beef topside jointbring to room temperature before cooking
  • Rosemary, finely chopped
  • Ground black pepper
  • Wholegrain mustard
  • Olive oil
  • Carrot, sliced into thick chunks
  • Onion, sliced into eighths
  • Garlic cloves, whole and unpeeled

For the gravy…

  • Red wine
  • Plain flour
  • Beef stock


How to make it

For more detailed recipe instructions with tips jump to the printable recipe card.

Recipe steps
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F
  2. Mix together the rosemary, black pepper and mustard.
  3. Fry the beef over high heat until browned on all sides.
  4. Add the carrot, onion and garlic to a roasting tray.
  5. Brush the mustard mixture over the top of the beef and place it on top of the veg in the roasting tray.
  6. Roast the joint in the oven for 60 minutes for rare, 70 minutes for medium or 80 minutes for well done. Times are based on a 1kg joint. For other sizes see ‘how long to roast beef topside’.
  7. Remove the beef from the oven and leave to rest for 20-30 minutes, covered with foil.
  8. Place the roasting tray with the veg over medium-high heat on the hob/stove. Mash the veg together with a potato masher.
  9. Sprinkle the flour over the veg and then add the wine and simmer for 2 minutes.
  10. Slowly add the stock to the veg and then simmer for 20 minutes.
  11. Pour the gravy into a pan and skim the fat from the surface. Or pour into a fat separating jug.
  12. Add any juices released from the meat while resting and then serve the beef and gravy.

Looking for more great roasted meat recipes? Try:

Products that work well for this recipe

OXO Good Grips Fat Separator

Stopper keeps flavor in and fat out while making gravy Strainer catches unwanted bits Raised shield helps prevent spilling and splashing while pouring

Magnetic Spice Rack – Set of 12

Organise your spices with this magnetic rack! – Stick to the fridge or the provided plate – Rotating design with sift/pour holes

Cole & Mason Herb Keeper

It’ll keep what’s left of your bunch perky for longer – perfect for the fridge door!
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Roast topside of beef sliced on a board

Roast Topside Beef

  • Author: caroline
  • Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


Roast Topside of beef makes a mouth-watering, lean and succulent dish. Perfect for your next Sunday lunch and served with lashings of rich gravy.

Nutrition information is based on a 1kg joint to serve 4 people


Units Scale

For the roast…

  • 1kg beef topside (see note 1)
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 carrot, sliced into thick chunks
  • 1 large brown or white onion, sliced into 8 chunks
  • 4 garlic cloves, whole and unpeeled

For the gravy…

  • 125ml red wine (see note 2)
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 500ml beef stock



  1. Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F
  2. Mix together the rosemary, black pepper and mustard in a bowl.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan or skillet over high heat. Once the oil is smoking hot add the beef and cook for a couple of minutes on each side until the joint is browned all over. Set the beef aside on a plate. (see note 3)
  4. Add the carrot, onion and garlic to the roasting tray.
  5. Brush the mustard mixture all over the top of the roast before placing it on top of the veg in the roasting tray.
  6. Roast in the oven for 60 minutes for rare, 70 minutes for medium or 80 minutes for well done. (see note 4)
  7. Remove the joint from the oven and cover with foil. Leave to rest for 20-30 minutes.
  8. While the beef is resting make the gravy. Place the roasting tray over medium heat on the hob/stove. Use a potato masher to mush everything together.
  9. Sprinkle the flour over the veg and then add the red wine. Let it simmer for 2 minutes. 
  10. Add the stock to the tray, a little at a time, and then simmer for 20 minutes. (see note 5)
  11. Strain the gravy into a pan and then skim off the fat from the surface. You can alternatively use one of these nifty gravy fat separators.
  12. Add any juices which have been released from the resting meat to the gravy before serving everything.


  1. Bring the beef to room temperature before cooking. This will help it cook more evenly and become more tender and juicy. 1-2 hours left out of the fridge is a good amount of time.
  2. If you prefer to cook without wine then you can skip this ingredient. However, the alcohol does burn out of the wine during the cooking process.
  3. You can also fry it in the roasting tray to save on washing up!
  4. Roasting times are based on 1kg of beef. You can alternatively use the following times:
    1. RARE – 20 minutes + 20 minutes per 500g
    2. MEDIUM – 25 minutes + 25 minutes per 500g
    3. WELL DONE – 30 minutes + 30 minutes per 500g
  5. Stir the stock gradually into the gravy to allow the flour time to thicken the liquid.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Roast
  • Cuisine: British


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 488
  • Fat: 14g
  • Carbohydrates: 6g
  • Protein: 78g

Keywords: dinner, roast, beef, sunday lunch, meat, indulgent, comforting

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