Zainab's French bistro inspired roast beef with a shallot and roasted garlic gravy Zainab's French bistro inspired roast beef with a shallot and roasted garlic gravy

Zainab's French bistro inspired roast beef with a shallot and roasted garlic gravy

A French bistro inspired twist on the classic roast beef for Great British Beef Week 2024 by foodie Zainab Pirzada @cookingwithzainab

"To celebrate Great British Beef Week, I’m working with @ladiesinbeef01 – a group of female beef farmers who care passionately about British beef - go girlies!!
The ladies are also working with @simplybeefandlamb, and they both challenged me to put a spin on the traditional British beef roast dinner. I had to go French, so we’ve got a French bistro inspired roast beef with a shallot and roasted garlic gravy, steamed asparagus and dauphinoise potatoes – YUM!
A rump joint works perfectly for this recipe because it’s one of the most flavoursome cuts of beef."

prep time
20 mins

cook time
2 hours 15 minutes

6 people

Rest Time
30 minutes


  • For the beef:

  • 1 x 1kg lean British rump or topside joint
  • 5 tbsps Dijon mustard
  • 3 tbsps sea salt
  • 3 tbsps mixed peppercorns (or black if you can’t find)
  • 2 tbsps dried herbs du Provence or mixed herbs
  • 6-8 shallots, peeled and cut on half lengthways
  • 2 garlic bulbs, halved
  • 500ml hot beef stock
  • 1 fresh rosemary sprig
  • 1 fresh thyme sprig
  • For the gravy:

  • 3 tbsps unsalted butter
  • ½ tbsp plain flour
  • 125ml milk
  • For the dauphinoise potatoes:

  • 250ml double cream
  • 200ml milk
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp whole cloves
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 10-12 white potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced with a mandolin, if available
  • 150g extra strong hard cheese, e.g. Cheddar
  • 200g Gruyère or Comté cheese
  • For the asparagus:

  • 300g fresh asparagus
  • Ice cubes
  • To serve:

  • 6-8 radishes, thinly sliced
  • Baguette
  • Salted butter


  1.  To prepare the beef, preheat the oven to 260°C,240°C Fan. 

  2. Pat the beef dry with a kitchen towel and spread all over with the mustard.
  3. In a small bowl mix the peppercorns and salt together and sprinkle over the beef with the dried herbs to create a thin crust. 
  4. Add the shallots and garlic bulbs to the base of a large roasting tray along with beef stock, fresh rosemary and thyme.
  5. Place the joint on top and roast for 20 mins at 260°C, 240°C Fan, then lower the oven temperature to 200°C, 180°C Fan and continue to cook for a further 5 mins for medium rare. The total roasting time is between 45 mins - 1 hr 15 mins depending on how you like your beef cooked. 
  6. For the dauphinoise potatoes, put the cream, milk, bay leaves, cloves, peppercorns and garlic into a saucepan.  
  7. Bring to the boil, remove from the heat and set aside for 30 mins. Add half the sliced potatoes onto a baking tray and pour over half the infused cream and half the cheese.  
  8. Add the remaining potatoes, pour over the remaining infused cream and finish with the cheese. 
  9. Cover with foil and bake in oven for 1 hour 15 mins covered at  220°C, 200°C Fan then remove the foil and bake for a further 10 mins or until golden brown on top. 
  10. Remove the beef from the oven, cover with in foil and leave to rest for 20 mins.
  11. Meanwhile, prepare the gravy, remove the roasted shallots from the beef pan and keep them aside, we’ll serve them with the beef. Squeeze the garlic cloves from the skin (discard the skin) and strain the stock and meat juices from the pan into a jug.   
  12. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the flour and whisk together to make a roux and cook for 1 min before adding the strained pan juicesBring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer 2 mins, then whisk in the milk and simmer for a further 5 mins, stirring continuously until the sauce is thick. 
  13. To prepare the asparagus, steam the asparagus in a saucepan with boiling salted water for 3-4 minutes. 
  14. Meanwhile fill a large bowl with cold water and plenty of ice. Once the asparagus is cooked, drain and plunge into the ice bath for 2 mins, then drain and serve with sliced beef, gravy, the dauphinoise potatoes and bread butter on the side. Enjoy!