The Topside joint of beef is cut from the inner thigh muscle of the cattle. This thigh muscle is very lean and reasonably tender, so it produces a good joint for roasting. The joint will often be provided with an additional piece of fat secured onto the joint to baste the meat during cooking, but this can be removed if you don’t fancy eating it. Joints of Topside beef vary in sizes, depending on how many mouths you have to feed. It’s a lean, prime cut of beef that can be boiled, braised on a bed of stock and vegetables, or pot roasted and carved into lean slices for a roast beef dinner.
A Topside joint is ideal for roasting, giving a flavoursome joint. The results are better when the joint is dry roasted, rather than braised in a stock, so long as you remember to baste the meat frequently throughout cooking. A topside doesn’t have much connective tissue or fat, so for the tenderest results, cook it to medium or medium rare. Remember to rest the joint after taking it from the oven for around 20 minutes before serving.
Suggested oven roasting times at 180-190 deg C or 350-375 deg F
Rare beef 20 minutes per 1lb / 450g plus additional 20 minutes
Medium beef 25 minutes per 1lb / 450g plus additional 25 minutes
Well done beef 30 minutes per 1lb / 450g plus additional 30 minutes.
Alternative cooking methods
Topside beef, together with Silverside make up the back-quarter of the cow, and are both often used to produce roast beef that is sold in delicatessens. Braising the joints in a slow cooker allows the ligaments in the meat to destruct, resulting in a tender piece of beef. The Topside meat can also be cut into fine pieces, cut across the grain and used for a stir fry if desired. If your butcher has pre-packaged stir fry strips of beef, ask which cut they have used, or alternatively, ask him to prepare some from Topside beef for you.