Roast beef with caramelised onion gravy

The ideal centrepiece is a rare roast topside – make it extra spectacular with Marmite and sweet onion gravy.

Using a pestle and mortar, crush the peppercorns, mustard powder, thyme, and celery seeds with some salt. Rub the oil all over the meat after stirring it in. (If you have time, cover and marinate the joint overnight.) 1 hour before roasting, remove the meat from the refrigerator.)

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius/170 degrees Celsius fan/gas 5 and place the joint in a tight roasting tin. 12 minutes every 450g/1lb (about 55 minutes for a 2kg/4lb 8oz joint) 15 minutes per 450g/1lb (about 1 hr 10 mins) for formedium-rare, or 15 minutes per 450g/1lb (approximately 1 hr 10 mins) for medium-well.

Remove from oven, place on a plate, cover with foil, and set aside for 30 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 220°C/200°C fan/gas 7 if making the Yorkies (p90).

Pour any liquids from the roasting tin into a jug for the gravy. Allow the liquids to separate before spooning 2 tbsp fatback into the pan – if no lard is available, use 2 tbsp butter instead. Any remaining fat should be discarded. Place the roasting tin on the stove top and whisk together the flour, stock cubes, onion chutney or marmite, and Marmite. Cook for 1 minute, scraping off any meaty pieces stuck to the tin with a spatula, then slowly pour in 750ml boiling water from the kettle. Allow to thicken to a good consistency before keeping heated until ready to serve with the sliced meat.

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