Guest chef

Lucas Hollweg

Lucas Hollweg is a self-taught cook and food writer respected for his laid-back, homely food. He was named Evelyn Rose 2012 Cookery Journalist of The Year and is author of Good Things To Eat.

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Roast beef sirloin with juniper and black pepper

  • Serves 8 with leftovers
  • Prep 15 mins
  • Total time 1 hr 20 mins, plus infusing and resting time
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Roast beef sirloin with juniper and black pepper
Roast beef sirloin with juniper and black pepper

step by step

  • 1Put the peppercorns, juniper berries, garlic, thyme leaves and lemon zest in a large pestle and mortar with the sea salt flakes and pound together to make a coarse paste. Add the olive oil and stir to loosen the paste. Smear all over the beef joint.
  • 2Scatter the sliced onion and thyme sprigs over the bottom of a small roasting tin; put the joint on top. Set aside for 1-2 hours before cooking, for the flavours to infuse and the meat to come to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 220°C, fan 200°C, gas 7.
  • 3Season the joint with salt, put into the hot oven and cook for 25 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4. Baste the meat with the juices in the pan and cook for another 45 minutes (for medium-rare meat). To test if it's done, push a skewer into the centre of the joint, leave it for a few seconds then pull it out and hold the tip against your lip – it should feel just warm. If you have a digital temperature probe, the internal temperature should be about 48°C. If it isn't quite there, give it another 5 minutes and check again. If you want it more well done, leave it in for another 10-20 minutes (55°C for medium).
  • 4Remove the beef from the roasting tin (keep the juices in the tin for making gravy linked recipe) and put the joint onto a plate. Cover with a double layer of foil and leave to rest for at least 30 minutes. It will stay warm for an hour or so if required. Carve and serve.
  • If your joint is a different weight, cook for 25 mins initially at the higher temperature, plus 12 mins per 500g for medium rare, or 15 mins per 500g for medium.
  • Recipe photograph by Martin Poole

Get ahead

Prepare up to the end of step 2 a day ahead. Take the joint out of the fridge 2 hours before cooking, to come to room temperature.

You will need

  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 15 juniper berries
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tbsp thyme leaves, plus 5-6 whole sprigs
  • finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 heaped tsp sea salt flakes
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1.8kg rolled beef sirloin
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced

+ Nutritional Information