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rare roast beef recipe

Rare Roast Beef with Red Wine & Cranberry Sauce


Perfectly spiced rare roast beef fillet with a rich velvety sauce.

  • Serves: 8 |
    8 servings
  • Difficulty:

  • Prep Time : 10 mins |
  • Cook Time : 35 mins
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1.5 kg beef fillet (middle cut)
3 Tbsp (45 ml) black peppercorns
1 Tbsp (15 ml) fennel seeds
2 Tbsp (30 ml) black mustard seeds
1 Tbsp (15 ml) wholegrain mustard
2 onions, quartered with skins left on
1 clove of garlic, halved across the width
a sprig of rosemary
2 sprigs of thyme
1 Tbsp (15 ml) olive oil
1 Tbsp (15 ml) butter
extra olive oil for drizzling
freshly ground salt and pepper to taste
butchers twine

2 C (500 ml) full-bodied red wine
3 Tbsp (45 ml) liquid beef stock concentrate
¼ C (60 ml) cranberry jelly
2 Tbsp (30 ml) corn flour
1 Tbsp (15 ml) butter


Truss the beef with butcher’s twine to allow for even cooking and to retain moisture – tuck in the smaller end piece.

Toast the seeds and peppercorns in a dry frying pan until fragrant and then grind in a pestle and mortar.

Brush the meat with mustard and coat generously with the pepper and seeds. Wrap tightly in cling film and chill until needed.

Before cooking, remove the beef from the fridge an hour before and allow it to reach room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 200 °C.

Place the onion, garlic and herbs into a roasting tray. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for approx. 30 minutes or until fragrant and caramelised.

Heat the olive oil and butter in a large frying pan and brown the beef on all sides until caramelised and sealed. Place the beef on a rack and place the rack onto the roasting tray with the onions and garlic. Roast for 20 minutes for rare and 25 minutes for medium rare.

Remove from the oven and wrap the beef in foil. Allow to rest for approx. 30 minutes before slicing.


Place the tray with the onions, garlic and meat juices onto the stovetop. Over a moderate heat, add the wine, stock concentrate and cranberry jelly and simmer gently for 30 minutes.

Remove the onions, herbs and garlic with a slotted spoon. Squash the cloves out of the garlic bulbs and mash into the liquid. Discard the onions and herbs.

In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of the liquid (cooled) with the cornflour to make a runny paste and whisk this vigorously into the cooking liquid until thickened to a sauce consistency.

Add the butter to enrich the sauce and to give it a good gloss.

Season to taste.

Thinly slice the rested beef and serve with roasted potatoes, steamed veggies and the red wine and cranberry sauce.