Roast beef with caramelised onion gravy

Roast beef with caramelised onion gravy

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(12 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 1 hr, 30 mins Plus overnight marinating (optional)


Serves 6
Rare roast topside is the ultimate centrepiece - make it extra special with Marmite and sweet onion gravy

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal591
  • fat28g
  • saturates11g
  • carbs13g
  • sugars3g
  • fibre1g
  • protein72g
  • salt1.2g
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  • 1 tbsp black peppercorn
  • 1 tbsp English mustard powder
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme


    This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…

  • 1 tsp celery seeds



    A collection of long, thick, juicy stalks around a central, tender heart, celery ranges in…

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • about 2kg/4lb 8oz topside joint of beef



    The classic choice of meat for a British Sunday roast. Beef is full of flavour, as…

For the gravy

  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 beef stock cubes
  • 3 tbsp caramelised onion chutney or marmalade
  • 2-3 tsp Marmite


  1. 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.)

  2. 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.

  3. Remove from the oven, lift onto a platter, cover with foil and rest for 30 mins. If you’re making the Yorkies (p90), increase oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7.

  4. 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.

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Comments, questions and tips

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1st Apr, 2019
We loved this recipe, I don't have much experience cooking roasts but this went down a treat with everyone plus the kids. The peppery/herby rub made a nice crust and the gravy was fantastic. I followed others advice and adjusted timings according to every other source and the beef came out as expected throughout.
7th Jan, 2019
The cooking times suggested are nonsense and will result in raw beef. 20 mins per 450g plus another 20 is normal for medium. I like mine rare so 15 per 450g plus 15.
31st Aug, 2017
Made this with chicken instead of beef and it was lovely. Already a family favourite.
18th Sep, 2016
This recipe is terrible. I've cooked roast beef many times and this is by far the worst recipe I've every tried. The flavour is awful, the timings are completely wrong, AVOID AVOID AVOID.
12th Jun, 2016
We used the recipe for medium well done and let the meat rest for 10 min longer but it was still medium rare. Tasted lovely but my in laws don't like there to be blood and there was.
23rd Jan, 2016
Fantastic recipe. I accidentally left the meat in for 15 minutes longer than it was suggested for rare but I was very glad I did as it was still very rare anyway! The peppercorn rub tasted amazing and the gravy was perfect. I will definitely be making this again. Tomorrow the rest of the meat is going in crusty loaf sandwiches with horseradish and watercress. Lovely!
4th Dec, 2014
This was fantastic and the gravy just perfect. Prepared the beef day before to marinate and although I was unsure about the cooking time I stuck with it and gave the beef plenty of rest time which resulted in the beef being both tender and juicy. Will be making again over the festive season.
hazine124's picture
2nd Nov, 2014
Perfect timings. Turned out beautifully. Do make sure to include the resting time.
19th Jan, 2014
This worked really well. Timings were perfect - it's really important to include the resting time; I left mine for 40 mins and you have to have the courage to do this as it completes the cooking process. I used a piece of meat of about 1.5kg and it was perfect for 7 - two generous slices each. If I'd had a 2kg piece it would have gone, though! I, too, just made gravy the way I always do but added onion marmalade at the end - perfect!
25th Dec, 2013
Timings are well out. I used a time between medium-rare (my husband's choice) and medium-well done ( my preference) but, when I took it out of the oven and cut into it, it was almost rare! However, after giving it more time, it was gorgeous. The gravy was fantastic and together made for a lovely alternative to turkey for our Christmas meal.


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