About this recipe:Few dishes can rival a magnificent traditional British roast beef with Yorkshire pudding. With a light batter, stock-based gravy and accompanying vegetables, this meal also supplies most of the nutrients we need for good health.
1.5kg (3lb 5oz) rib of beef or rolled sirloin, any excess fat removed
Salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons English mustard powder
1 onion, sliced
1 tablespoon brown sugar
600ml (1 pint) beef stock (see left)
2-3 sprigs of thyme or rosemary
2 tablespoons cornflour, mixed with
3 tablespoons cold water
For the Yorkshire pudding
75g (2¾ oz) plain flour
75ml (2½ fl oz) semi-skimmed milk
3 tablespoons light olive oil
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Heat the oven to 220°C (425°F, gas mark 7). Rub the meat with salt and pepper. Heat a large, heavy roasting tin, add the beef and cook quickly until browned all over. Remove from the tin and set aside to cool for 5 minutes, then pat the mustard evenly over the beef.
To make the Yorkshire pudding batter, sift the flour into a bowl and make a well in the centre. Break the egg into the well and pour in the milk and 50ml (2fl oz) water. Beat until smooth and set aside.
Arrange the onion in the roasting tin and sprinkle with sugar. Place the beef on top and cook in the oven for 10 minutes per 450g (1lb) for rare, 15 minutes for medium and 20 minutes for well done, plus an extra 10, 15 or 20 minutes, reducing the oven to 180°C (350°F, gas mark 4) after 20 minutes. Remove the beef from the tin, cover with foil and place on a rack set over a plate. Leave in a warm place to rest for 30 minutes.
Increase the oven to 200°C (400°F, gas mark 6). For the Yorkshire pudding, pour the oil into an enamelled cast iron dish or small roasting tin and put it into the oven to heat for 5 minutes. Remove the tin and pour in the Yorkshire pudding batter. Return to the oven and cook, on an oven tray, for 20-25 minutes, until puffed and golden.
Meanwhile, while the beef is resting, skim off as much fat from the juices in the roasting tin as you can, using a large spoon. Pour a little of the stock into the tin and place over a medium heat. Scrape up any crusty bits from the tin and simmer for a few minutes, stirring. Add the remaining stock and the thyme or rosemary. Simmer, stirring, for 20-30 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Bring to the boil and thicken the gravy with cornflour, if desired, by spooning the cornflour mixture into the gravy, whisking, until it reaches your desired consistency.
Carve the beef and serve with the Yorkshire pudding, gravy, jacket potatoes, steamed broccoli, and horseradish and beetroot relish.