Sirloin with herby mustard crust & shallot gravy

If you’re tired of turkey by the time Christmas Day arrives this joint of beef is just the ticket

  • Prep:30 mins
    Cook:1 hrs
  • More effort

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 540
  • fat 26g
  • saturates 10g
  • carbs 15g
  • sugars 4g
  • fibre 2g
  • protein 60g
  • salt 1.04g


  • 3 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1½ kg piece of sirloins, trimmed but not rolled
  • 100g white sliced bread, crusts removed
  • 1 tbsp thyme leaves
  • 3 large handfuls parsley leaves
  • 2 tsp English mustard powder
  • 50g Gruyère cheese, grated
  • 300g bag of small shallots, trimmed and peeled
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 175ml red wine
  • 500ml beef stock or consomme


  1. Up to 2 days ahead, make the crust. Blitz the bread into crumbs in a food processor, then add the herbs and blitz again until chopped as finely as possible. Tip in the mustard powder, cheese and some seasoning, then pulse until all the ingredients come together. Tip out and knead well, until it’s the texture of crumbly pastry. Flatten with your hands, then lay on a piece of greaseproof paper. Cover with another piece of paper, then roll out to about the thickness of a £1 coin. Remove the top piece of paper, then trim the crust to a rectangle that is just a bit larger than the top of the joint of beef. To store, place on a tray, cover with cling film and keep in the fridge until needed.

  2. Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. To cook the beef, season generously, then heat the oil in a frying pan until very hot. Sear the beef well on all sides, turning it with a pair of tongs when needed. Scatter the shallots for the gravy over the base of a roasting tin with the thyme. Sit the beef on a rack above the shallots, then roast for 1hr, shaking the pan occasionally to turn the shallots. This timing will give you beef still pink in the middle – if you prefer your meat more cooked give it another 15 mins.

  3. When the beef has had its time, remove from the oven. Lay the crust over the fat and peel the paper away like a transfer, then pat the crust down slightly. Return the beef to the oven for 10 mins to crisp up the crust. When the beef is done, leave it on a board for 20 mins to rest.

  4. Meanwhile, make the gravy. Place the roasting tin on a low heat and stir in the flour. Let the flour sizzle and become brown, then pour in the wine and bubble down to a purple paste. Stir in the stock and simmer until you have a good consistency. Season to taste and tip into a small bowl. 5 Slice the beef into thicker slices than normal (the thickness of a finger is perfect) and serve with the gravy and veg (see 'Goes well with').

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