This recipe requires a little bit of planning to get the timings right – the meat takes between 5-8 hours to cook and needs an hour to rest - but it’s otherwise incredibly simple and straightforward. The gravy can even be prepped ahead and re-heated when needed.
Start by drying out the beef. 48 hours before you plan to cook it unwrap it and replace in the fridge. The night before you plan on eating, remove the joint from the fridge and leave out to come to room temperature.
Make sure you plan your timings in advance: to eat a medium-rare joint at 3pm you’ll need to get the meat in the oven between 7-8am. Start by coating the beef in a light layer of olive oil and salt and pepper, and fry off on a high heat until browned all over.
Put the meat in a large baking tray and place in the oven at 60 degrees centigrade. Use a meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature: for a medium-rare joint you’ll want to heat it to 55 degrees, for rare it’s 50 degrees, for medium 60 and well-done 70. Rare will take around 6 hours to cook and well-done up to 8.5.
Monitor the temperature of the beef regularly. As soon as it’s up to temperature remove from the oven and cover with foil to rest for an hour.
As the beef is resting peel and chop the potatoes. Turn the oven up to 200 degrees. Par-boil the potatoes until they’re starting to go soft – watch them closely so they don’t overcook, 10 minutes should do it.
Heat the beef dripping in the oven until it’s shimmering. Add the par-boiled potatoes to the beef fat, mix well, drizzle over the maple syrup and mix again. Season with salt and pepper and return to the oven, cooking for around 30 minutes until golden brown and crunchy.
Meanwhile, make the gravy. Roughly chop the shallots and melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan. Cook the shallots on a medium heat until starting to brown. Pour the stock in another saucepan and simmer until reduced by half. This should take about 20 minutes.
Add the white wine to the shallot saucepan and cook down until it’s almost completely reduced. Add the balsamic vinegar and continue to cook for another three minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the mustard.
Add the reduced beef stock to the shallots and stir well. Liquidise together, preferably using a hand-held stick blender.
When it’s serving time, re-heat the gravy to a slow simmer and taste. If it’s looking a little thin add a couple of teaspoons of Bisto and stir well to thicken.
In a bowl combine the horseradish sauce and crème fraiche. Mix well.
Serve the beef sliced thinly against the grain with the gravy, potatoes, horseradish crème fraiche, Yorkshire puddings and your favourite winter vegetables.