Beef Christmas Recipe

Owton’s Christmas Roast Beef Recipe

With Christmas just around the corner, the festive season is a time of joy, celebration, and, of course, delicious food! Whilst turkey may be the UK’s firm favourite as their go-to choice of christmas dinner meat, a joint of beef is rapidly becoming more and more popular with those nominated to cook this year’s Xmas dinner.

Our butcher’s have put together the ultimate Christmas roast beef recipe (with all the trimmings too), so that you can please the whole family!

Christmas Beef Joints

PREP: Overnight

COOK: 2 hours

SERVES: 6 - 8


  • For the roast beef


    For the vegetables

    • 1 cauliflower, separated into large florets
    • 300g / 10½oz French beans, top and tailed
    • 1 broccoli, separated into large florets
    • 8 carrots, peeled and cut into sticks


    For the roast potatoes

    • 2kg / 4.4lbs large fluffy potatoes such as King Edward, each peeled and cut into 2 to 3 chunks


    For the Brussels sprouts


    For the Yorkshire puddings

    • 225g / 8oz plain flour
    • 8 free-range eggs
    • 600ml / 20fl oz whole milk
    • Salt and pepper


    For the gravy

    • 200ml / 7fl oz red wine
    • 1 litre / 1¾ pints beef stock


  1. Start by creating the Yorkshire pudding batter. Place the flour into a large mixing bowl and create a well in the centre. Gradually add the eggs one by one, incorporating the flour from the inner edges of the well as you whisk.
  1. Gradually whisk the milk into the batter until it becomes a velvety, well-blended mixture. Don’t forget to add a touch of salt and a dash of pepper for seasoning. Once seasoned, cover the bowl securely and let the batter rest in the refrigerator overnight, enhancing its flavours.
  1. Save time cooking on Christmas day by preparing the vegetables ahead. Boil a pot of salted water until it bubbles. Keep a bowl of iced water nearby. Boil the cauliflower florets for 4-5 minutes until they’re tender, then transfer them to the ice water with a slotted spoon to cool. After cooling, drain and arrange them on a roasting tray for use when needed.
  1. Repeat the process with the French beans, simmering them for just 2-3 minutes. Once they are ready, drain them and mix them in with the cauliflower on the tray.
  1. Repeat the process with the broccoli florets, simmering them for just 1-2 minutes. Once they are ready, drain them and mix them in with the other vegetables on the tray.
  1. Repeat the process with the carrot sticks, simmering them for just 6-7 minutes. Once they are ready, drain them and mix them in with the other vegetables on the tray.
  1. Doing this ensures you have all your vegetables prepared and cooked to perfection, ready to be reheated when the time comes to heat on Xmas day.
  1. As you celebrate Christmas Day, it’s time to prepare the roast beef. Begin by preheating the oven to 200°C (180°C Fan/Gas 6).
  1. Using a sharp knife, score the fat of the beef in a criss-cross pattern, and then season the beef joint to taste with a generous amount of salt and pepper.
  1. Over high heat, warm a frying pan until it’s exceptionally hot. Add 25g / 1oz of the beef dripping, and once it’s liquified, sear the beef on all sides until it becomes golden brown on all sides.
  1. Place the beef joint in the roasting tray with the fat side down. Roast it in the oven for 45-50 minutes (for medium-rare) or longer as per your preference, noting that it will continue cooking as it rests. Turn the beef joint halfway through cooking. Once it’s cooked to your liking, transfer it to a sizable plate, shield it with aluminium foil, and let it rest for 30 minutes.
  1. As the Christmas beef roasts, return the frying pan containing the meat juices to medium heat. Once it’s heated, add the red wine. Bring the mixture to a boil and let it simmer until the liquid reduces by half to create a rich gravy.
  1. Pour the beef stock into the pan and return the mixture to a simmer. Let it simmer until the liquid reduces by one-third, and then season with salt and pepper to taste. Finally, strain the gravy into a jug or gravy boat (preferably a festive one!). Keep it covered and warm for serving, and reheat if required.
  1. To prepare the roast potatoes, begin by putting them into a large saucepan. Cover the potatoes with cold water, add a pinch of salt, and bring the water to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and allow the potatoes to cook for 3-4 minutes. Once done, drain the potatoes in a colander, giving them a gentle shake to roughen up the edges. Set them aside.
  1. As the beef approaches its final 35 minutes of cooking time in the oven, take 100g / 3½oz of the remaining beef dripping or lard and add it to a deep-sided roasting tray. Heat the fat in the oven for about 5 minutes, or until it starts smoking hot.
  1. Add the cooked, drained potatoes to the piping hot fat with caution, keeping your face well away from the roasting tray to avoid any potential splatter. Sprinkle the potatoes generously with sea salt, and then place the roasting tray back into the oven. Continue roasting the potatoes alongside the beef for approximately 30 minutes, or until they start to achieve a nice, golden-brown and crispy finish.
  1. Once the beef has been taken out of the oven, carefully flip the potatoes over. Now, increase the oven temperature to 220°C/200°C Fan/Gas 7 and continue roasting the potatoes for an extra 30 minutes.
  1. As soon as you’ve turned the potatoes over, divide 100g / 3¾oz of the remaining dripping or lard equally among the wells of two 12-hole muffin tins or Yorkshire pudding tins. Heat the fat in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until it reaches a smoking hot temperature.
  1. In the meantime, pour the Yorkshire pudding batter into a jug. Gently fill each hole in the tins two-thirds full with the Yorkshire pudding batter. Bake the Yorkshire puddings in the oven alongside the roast potatoes for the remaining 20 minutes of the potatoes’ cooking time, being careful not to open the oven door.
  1. At the 20-minute mark, slightly open the oven door to let out any steam. Now, check the potatoes (poke them with a sharp knife to ensure they’re tender in the centre). If they’re done, transfer them to a serving tray and keep them warm.
  1. Reduce the oven temperature to 190°C/170°C Fan/Gas 5. Continue baking the Yorkshire puddings at this adjusted temperature for another 12-15 minutes, or until they become crisp, rise nicely, and develop a golden-brown exterior. Afterwards, transfer them to a serving tray and keep them warm.
  1. For the Brussels sprouts, heat the leftover dripping or lard in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook it for 3-4 minutes, or until it becomes crispy and takes on a golden-brown appearance.
  1. Put the sprouts into the pan and stir-fry them for 2-3 minutes, just until they start to wilt. Add the chopped chestnuts, half of the butter, and 2 tablespoons of water. Continue to stir-fry until the chestnuts are warmed through, and the liquid has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the pan from the heat and keep it warm.
  1. Lastly, prepare a large saucepan with salted water and bring it to a boil. Add all the blanched vegetables and let them simmer for 30 seconds or until they’re heated. Drain them effectively and transfer them to a serving platter, where you can dot them with the remaining butter.
  1. Place the beef on a serving platter, with the roast potatoes neatly arranged on one side and the Brussels sprouts on the opposite side. Set the vegetables on a separate serving platter and offer the sauce in a festive gravy boat.

Try Our Very Own Christmas Roast Beef

View All Christmas Beef

Can you cook beef the day before Christmas?

Whilst you would be able to cook your beef joint on Christmas eve and re-heat it on the 25th (we know it can be a stressful day, so cooking is the last of your worries), our butcher’s would always recommend cooking on the day as it creates so a much more tender and flavoursome cut of beef!

Should you cover beef with foil when roasting?

In this instance, we’d leave foil off of the roasting tray as it will give it a nice crispy layer on the beef’s outer layer. If you want to retain moisture, foil can help with this.

How long should I roast a Christmas joint of beef?

Depending on your preference, roasting a beef joint should take between 40 minutes up to 1 hour 15 minutes.

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