The herb crust keeps the succulence of the beef while roasting with vegetables melds flavours for a rich and satisfying meal.
1.25 kg rolled beef topside, trimmed of excess fat
300g shallots, peeled
4 carrots, peeled and chopped into cubes
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 3.5cm chunks
1 celeriac, peeled and chopped into 3.5cm chunks
150g fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs
100ml medium-sweet sherry, Madeira or port
6 large fresh sprigs of thyme
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp semi-skimmed milk
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
1 tbsp fennel seeds
1. Preheat the oven to 190°C.
2. Mix the breadcrumbs and fennel seeds in a bowl with the leaves from 2 of the thyme sprigs and seasoning to taste. Mix with 2 tbsps of the oil.
3. Place the beef in a roasting tin and spread with the mustard. Press the crumb mixture on the top of the meat to make a neat, firm crust before placing in oven.
4. Mix the vegetables in a bowl with remaining oil, then after 1 hour add the vegetables to the oven, arranged around the meat.
5. Place some foil over the beef and cook for a further 40 minutes, turning and basting the vegetables occasionally.
6. Once cooked, remove the meat and vegetables to a warmed serving dish and cover with foil.
7. Pour 300ml water into the roasting tin and bring to a boil on the hob, scraping up the meat juices from the bottom of the tin.
8. Add the sherry, Madeira or port and boil steadily for 5–7 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the liquid is reduced by about half. Serve in a jug with sliced meat and vegetables.