© Waitrose.com/Delia Smith
* A 3-rib beef joint (approx 2.5kg) use either sirloin or forerib
* 1 small onion, peeled and halved
* 1 dessertspoon mustard powder
* 1 dessertspoon plain flour
* You will need a medium roasting tin
For the gravy:
* 1 heaped tablespoon plain flour
* 570ml vegetable stock (from potatoes or other vegetables)
* 300ml full-bodied red wine
1. Preheat the oven to 240C, gas mark 9. Place the beef, just as it is, upright in a roasting tin, tucking in the half onion alongside it.
2. Combine the mustard powder and flour, then dust this all over the surface of the fat, and finally season with a few twists of freshly milled pepper and some salt. This floury surface will help to make the fat very crusty, while the onion will caramelise to give the gravy a rich colour and flavour. Place the joint in the oven - it will have plenty of fat so don’t add extra.
3. After 20 minutes turn the heat down to 190C, gas mark 5, and continue to cook for 15 minutes per 450g for rare, plus 15 minutes extra for medium rare or 30 minutes extra for well-done. While cooking, baste the meat with the juices at least three times. To see if the beef is cooked to your liking, insert a thin skewer and press out some juices: the red, pink or clear colour will indicate to what stage the beef has cooked.
3. Remove the cooked beef to a board for carving and leave it to rest for at least 30 minutes before serving (while it’s resting you can increase the heat in the oven to finish the roast potatoes if you’re serving them). This resting period allows most of the juices which have bubbled up to the surface of the meat to seep back into it, and the meat itself firms up to make it easier to carve.
4. To make the gravy, spoon off the fat from the corner of the tilted tin. Place the tin over a medium heat and sprinkle the flour into the fatty juices.
5. With a wire whisk, blend in the flour using a circular movement. When you have a smooth paste, slowly add the vegetable stock, whisking all the time and scraping the base of the tin to incorporate all the residue from the roast.
6. Once the gravy has started to bubble, add the red wine. Let the gravy continue to bubble and reduce very gently, then taste to check the seasoning.
7. Turn the heat down low and, after you have carved the beef, add any escaped juices to it before pouring into a warmed serving jug.
Recipe adapted from Delia’s Happy Christmas published by Ebury Press 2009 copyright Delia Smith 2010
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