Roast topside of beef with celeriac dauphinoise ‘LEON’ style and braised red cabbage
I’ve had bad luck with roasting beef in the past, straying too far into tough territory and never quite hitting the pink-and-juicy mark. This time I think I’ve discovered the trick! As well as using good quality meat (which I’m sure is the most important factor), I watched the timings carefully and took it out plenty early leaving a good half hour for it to rest, so it was rare and juicy.
The celeriac dauphinoise is from the LEON restaurant cookbook and makes a yummy change from the traditional potato version. The extra flavour from the celeriac goes beautifully with the beef. I finished off the plate with some lovely red cabbage for a bit of colour.
And the bonus of course is that a roast joint like this should feed you for a while. We’ve been enjoying the leftovers thinly sliced in sandwiches with plenty of horseradish mayo, and stir-fried with ginger and spring onions.
As above, the key here is to time it right – other than that this is a super easy cook. Just whack it in the oven! LEON recommends 25 minutes at the high temperature, then 10 minutes per 500 grams at the lower temperature, e.g. 30 minutes for a 1.5kg joint. It worked for me.
1. Preheat the oven to 220C/gas mark 7/fan 200C.
2. Rub the beef with some olive oil, salt and pepper, and stand it in a roasting tray, fat side up. Put it into the oven for 25 minutes.
3. Baste the meat, and turn the oven down to 150C/gas mark 2/fan 130C. Return the meat to the oven for 10 minutes per 500 grams. Rest for 30 minutes before serving.
25g butter plus extra for greasing
600g celeriac, peeled and sliced as thinly as you can
50g grated cheese (LEON suggests Gruyere, I only had Cheddar and that worked fine)
a good grating of nutmeg
150ml double cream
1 clove of garlic, crushed or finely chopped
salt and pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4/fan 160C.
2. Grease a oven proof dish with some butter and line it with layers of the sliced celeriac. Season each layer with cheese, nutmeg, salt and pepper as you go until all the celeriac is used.
3. Melt the butter, then combine it in a jug with the milk, cream and garlic. Stir and pour over the celeriac. Season the top layer with the last bit of cheese, nutmeg and salt and pepper, then bake in the oven for one hour. Check it after 45 minutes - it should be golden, and a knife should go in fairly easily.
Braised red cabbage:
I think of this as my Mum’s recipe, though it derives originally from a Delia classic. It’s really easy. Have a taste towards the end of the cooking time and add more sugar/vinegar/spices if you like to get the perfect sweet/savoury balance. It freezes really well if you end up with too much.
1 red cabbage, roughly 1kg
450g chopped onion
450g of apples, peeled and chopped
a teaspoon or two of mixed spices - I literally used mixed spice, but any combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove or allspice would be good.
2tbsp brown sugar
2tbsp white wine or cider vinegar
a few knobs of butter
1. Preheat the oven to 150C/gas mark 2/fan 130C.
2. Shred the cabbage finely, discarding any tough outer leaves. Combine all the ingredients in a casserole dish, stir and put in the oven for 2-2.5 hours. Stir a couple of times during cooking.