The BBC Good Food logo
roast beef

How to cook topside of beef


Learn how to cook topside of beef with our expert advice and tried and tested recipes. Try an extravagant Sunday roast or an easy slow cooker supper.

Topside of beef is the long, inner muscle of the cow’s thigh which makes for a lean cut, yet it’s more tender than silverside taken from the hindquarters. It tastes delicious when roasted as a whole joint, or diced and slowly stewed so the meat breaks down and becomes melt-in-the-mouth. Because it has a slightly tougher texture than cuts like rib or fillet, it’s on the cheaper end of the price scale, but what it lacks in texture is made up for with its deliciously rich, savoury flavour.


If you’re looking for some mouth-watering meal inspiration, try our best ever roast beef recipes, including the perfect Sunday roast. Want to master the art of cooking sirloin, rib or fillet? Read our guide on how to cook roast beef for perfect results every time – and get your timings exactly right with our roast timer tool.

How do you cook a topside joint?

Roasting topside of beef

Roast beef slices with vegetables

Often nicknamed the ‘poor man’s sirloin’, topside makes for a great, thrifty roasting joint that cuts into beautifully uniform slices. It can be served lightly pink. Roasted and thinly sliced it tastes particularly delicious, and any leftovers work well in sandwiches with horseradish mayo, or in salads. Try our roast beef with caramelised onion gravy for an extra-special centrepiece.

Braising topside of beef

Cutting the beef into large chunks and gently cooking it in a stew is a great way to cook topside. It will become soft and should fall apart if cooked for long enough. Topside has less fat running through it than other cuts making it leaner, and therefore it would work in a lower-fat stew, casserole or curry.

Pot-roasting topside of beef

Roast beef in dish with vegetables and side dish

Pot-roasting topside is a great idea because it means slow-cooking the joint in stock, eliminating any toughness in the meat, and the all-in-one method, usually in a cast iron casserole, means less washing-up. Sit the meat on the veg with herbs and aromatics and try adding wine to the stock before pouring it over. Meat-eaters will relish the meltingly tender results, and the juice that’s released combines with the stock to create a deep, rich gravy. Have a go at making our pot-roast beef with French onion gravy.

Slow-cooker topside

When you’re stewing or cooking topside as a fall-apart joint, it can be done in a slow cooker. For stews, follow the stewing instructions and timings and for a whole joint, make sure the meat is half submerged in liquid and follow our timings on the slow cooker recipe below.

Our favourite topside beef recipes

1. Roast beef with red wine & banana shallots

Roast beef in dish with shallots on table

If you have the time to spare, go the extra mile and make our roast beef with red wine & banana shallots. This ultra-indulgent family meal is simple to make but looks stunning and is sure to be the talk of the dinner table. Serve with all your favourite trimmings.

2. Slow cooker beef topside with red wine gravy

Beef with veg, gravy and mashed potato on plate

Put our favourite piece of kitchen kit to work by making our sensational slow cooker beef topside with red wine gravy. Spend a grand total of just 20 minutes preparing the beef, then slow-cook for added depth of flavour. Haven't got a slow cooker? The same method works with an ovenproof pan (see our handy tip below the recipe).

3. Victorian diable sandwich

Beef sandwich with relish on plate

Combine classic flavours in our Victorian diable sandwich. This satisfying roast beef sandwich with capers, mustard and gravy is best served warm with even more gravy on the side. It’s pure, afternoon indulgence. If you have any leftovers from the Sunday roast, there’s no better use for them.

For even more sensational roasts and meaty crowd-pleasers, check out our top 10 roast beef recipes.

See more cookery guides...

How to cook salmon
How to cook buckwheat
How to make breadcrumbs
How to make a baked cheesecake


What's your favourite way to cook topside of beef? Leave a comment below.

Comments, questions and tips

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Sponsored content