How Do I Roast Beef Topside?

Dan Harkins

Beef topside is another way of referring to the silverside cut of meat that comes from the round, or rump, primal region of the cow. So named for the inedible strip of tissue along one side of the cut, many culinary authorities at first recommend a slow and moist roasting for silverside in a closed pan or Crock-Pot®. That does not mean a roast beef topside would not be delicious if prepared by another moisture-retaining method though, like making corned beef or a long, slow braising in the oven.

Beef topside is one of the leanest cuts of meat.
Beef topside is one of the leanest cuts of meat.

The cut used for making roast beef topside is among the more respected of the rump roasts. Silverside is the most-used choice in countries like Australia and parts of Europe for making corned beef, which is actually called "silverside" in some of these places. Along with all the other types of roasts that come from the rump, it is lean, with less than 4.5 g of saturated fat per serving.

Using a slow cooker is the recommended way of cooking beef topside.
Using a slow cooker is the recommended way of cooking beef topside.

Roasting a silverside cut, due to its potentially tough-yet-flavorful texture, is best done with a slow-and-moist braising or Crock-pot®. According to a beef preparation chart produced by the Cattlemens' Beef Board and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, roast beef topside should be prepared with a slow cooker and no other method. This involves adding chunks of vegetables like carrots, garlic, potatoes and celery to the pot with stock and fresh herbs, and then laying in the beef for a daylong, covered braising on low heat. Not only will the roast beef topside be infused with aromatic steam and potentially fall apart with a fork, but so will the other ingredients in the pot.

If looking for a beef roast more suitable for a dryer, traditional roasting in the oven, the fat content is higher in steaks and roasts made from the less-worked sections of the cow. This includes the loin, rib and sirloin primals. The cuts from these sections can be much more expensive though, since they can be used in more ways in the kitchen and prepared much more quickly.

This does not mean, however, that a roast beef topside cannot be cooked if a slow cooker is not available. At the least, a quick rubbing followed by a long covered braising in the oven would not ruin the meat, but only enhance its tenderness. If enough stock is used, with the right combination of herbs and chopped vegetables, the aromatic steam inside the braising pan, or even Dutch oven, will produce a similar effect as the slow cooker, as long as regular basting is part of the regimen.

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