Growing up it was on Sundays we would enjoy a nice roast beef, usually roast beef with onion gravy as in my family everyone loves onions. As an adult, I make these on longer weekends during the cooler months. There is just something about having a marvellous hearty roast to serve for dinner, plus it’s actually quite uncomplicated to make. Often I have put these in a crock pot, but there is something about a slow roasted roast beef that is so hard to resist. A thick, rich, sticky onion gravy is the perfect sauce for many great traditional British and Irish meat dishes. The recipe for onion gravy is so quick and simple to make and is also perfect with bangers (sausages) and mash or as a filling for Yorkshire puddings. A really good homemade gravy can lift a boring meal and make it something special. This onion gravy is also an economical way to add flavour by using what you already have in your pantry.
FOR THE ONION GRAVY
4 tablespoons plain flour
2 beef stock cubes
3 tablespoons caramelised onion chutney or marmalade
2-3 teaspoons Marmite
Crush the peppercorns, mustard powder, thyme and celery seeds together with some salt, using a pestle and mortar. Stir in the oil, then rub it all over the beef. (If you have time, cover and chill the joint overnight to marinate. Bring the beef out of the fridge 1 hr before roasting.) Heat oven to 190°C/170°C fan/gas 5 and sit the joint in a snug-ish roasting tin. Roast for 12 mins per 450g/1lb (about 55 mins for a 2kg/4lb 8oz joint) for medium-rare, or 15 mins per 450g/1lb (about 1 hr 10 mins) for medium-well. Remove from the oven, lift onto a platter, cover with foil and rest for 30 mins. If you’re making the Yorkies, increase oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas 7.
For the gravy, pour any juices from the roasting tin into a jug. Let the juices separate, then spoon 2 tablespoons of the fat back into the tin – if there is no fat, use 2 tbsp butter instead. Discard any other fat. Sit the roasting tin on the hob and stir in the flour, stock cubes, onion chutney or marmalade and Marmite. Cook for 1 min, stirring well to scrape up any beefy bits stuck to the tin, then gradually stir in 750ml hot water from the kettle. Bubble to thicken to a nice consistency, then gently keep warm until ready to serve with the beef, carved into slices. Enjoy a lovely roast beef with onion gravy with your family!