Step 1

Spread the fat surface of the beef with a mixture of mustard and black pepper, then add some peeled shallots or onion halves around the joint to give extra flavour and colour to the gravy.

Step 2

Set oven to 200℃/400℉/Gas 6. Place the joint in the hot oven for 15 minutes, reduce the temperature to 180℃/350℉/Gas 4 and allow 15 minutes per ½ kg for rare, plus 20 minutes extra for medium or 30 minutes extra for well done. To be absolutely accurate, you can use a meat roasting thermometer.

Step 3

When the meat is cooked remove from the oven, cover loosely with foil and allow to rest for 30 minutes. This resting time allows the juices to settle; the meat firms up so it is easier to carve.

Step 4

Spoon off the fat and add some wine or water to the juices. Boil over a high heat and taste for seasoning. Serve with the sliced roast beef, crispy roast potatoes, roast vegetables (or a creamy vegetable purèe to ring the changes).