Festive Roast Beef with Cranberry and Red Onion Relish Festive Roast Beef with Cranberry and Red Onion Relish

Festive Roast Beef with Cranberry and Red Onion Relish

This centrepiece is a must for Christmas or any festive occasion. A rib of of beef or sirloin joint dusted with festive spices (allspice and cinnamon), roasted and served with a delicious cranberry and red onion relish and a tasty mulled wine gravy plus all the trimmings.

prep time
25 mins

cook time
2 hours 55 minutes

10 people

To Cook Rare: 20 minutes per 450g plus 20 minutes

To Cook Medium: 25 minutes per 450g plus 25 minutes

To Cook Well Done: 30 minutes per 450g plus 30 minutes


  • 2.7kg lean bone-in rib of beef, sirloin or topside joint
  • 2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 medium sized red onions, peeled and quartered
  • For the Cranberry and Red Onion Relish:

  • 350g fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 175g light brown sugar
  • 125ml water
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli pepper, deseeded and finely chopped, optional
  • Pinch ground ginger
  • Pinch salt
  • For the Mulled Wine Gravy:

  • 1 tablespoon plain flour
  • 300ml good, hot beef stock
  • 300ml mulled wine
  • 1 tablespoon redcurrant jelly


  1. Preheat the oven to 180-190°C, 160-170°C Fan, Gas Mark 4-5.
  2. Place the joint on a chopping board and make several slits over the surface of the joint. Mix together the salt, pepper and spices then rub all over the joint.
  3. Place the joint on a metal rack in a large non-stick roasting tin and open roast for the preferred, calculated cooking time, basting occasionally with any meat juices.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the relish; put all the ingredients into a large saucepan, stir to dissolve the sugar and bring the mixture to the boil.
  5. Reduce the heat and simmer gently, uncovered for 15-20 minutes until the cranberries are soft and no liquid remains in the pan. Cool and adjust the seasoning if required.
  6. 40 minutes before the end of the cooking time remove the joint from the rack and add the onions. Position the joint on top of the onions and return to the oven.
  7. When the beef is ready, remove the joint from the tin with the red onions and transfer to a warm platter, cover and set aside to rest.
  8. To prepare the gravy: Spoon off any excess fat from the roasting tin and discard. Place the roasting tin over a medium heat and sprinkle over the flour. Stir well with a small whisk or spoon, add a little stock and stir again, scraping the base of the pan to release any rich, beefy sediment.
  9. Add the remaining stock, mulled wine, redcurrant jelly and any meat juices from the platter, adjust the seasoning, if required and simmer for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally or until reduced to a well-flavoured gravy. Strain before serving.
  10. Garnish the beef with fresh thyme leaves and serve with the onions, seasonal vegetables, the gravy and relish.