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: 25mins

Cook Time: 2hrs 55mins

Serves: 10people

To Cook Rare: 20 minutes per 450g/1lb plus 20 minutes
To Cook Medium: 25 minutes per 450g/1lb plus 25 minutes
To Cook Well Done: 30 minutes per 450g/1lb plus 30 minutes


  • 2.7kg/6lb lean bone-in rib of beef, sirloin or topside joint
  • Salt and freshly milled black pepper
  • 10ml/2tsp ground allspice
  • 15ml/1tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 6 medium sized red onions, peeled and quartered

For the Cranberry and Red Onion Relish

  • 350g/12oz fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 175g/6oz light brown sugar
  • 125ml/4 fl oz 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

  • 15ml/1tbsp plain flour
  • 300ml/½pint good, hot beef stock
  • 300ml/½pint mulled wine
  • 15ml/1tbsp redcurrant jelly


  1. Preheat the oven to Gas mark 4-5, 180-190°C, 350-375°F.
  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.


Recipe courtesy of Simply Beef and Lamb