Archive of BBC Food Recipes

Roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, fondant potato and red cabbage

Prep time 1-2 hours
Cook time 1-2 hours
Serves 4
From Saturday Kitchen
James Martin’s version of traditional roast dinner, with best beef, rich red wine gravy and his special Yorkshire puddings. Equipment and preparation: for this recipe you will need a 3cm/1¼in diameter pastry cutter.


  1. First make the batter for the Yorkshire puddings. Put the flour in a bowl and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the eggs and milk and whisk to make a smooth batter. Cover and place in the fridge to chill for at least one hour, but preferably overnight.

  2. For the red cabbage, heat a large saucepan until hot, add the butter and red cabbage and fry for 1-2 minutes, or until just softened. Add the red wine and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the volume of liquid has reduced by half. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer, then cover with a lid and continue to cook for 40-45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is tender.

  3. To cook the beef, preheat the oven to 60C/140F/Gas ¼. Heat half the vegetable oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the beef fillet and fry until browned on all sides - this should take no more than two minutes in total. Remove the beef from the pan and set aside to cool.

  4. Wrap the cooled beef fillet in cling film and place onto a roasting tray. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes. Set aside and keep warm. Warm through before serving if necessary, but remove the cling film if using a higher heat.

  5. For the fondant potatoes, preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

  6. Cut the large potatoes in half widthways. Using a 3cm/1¼in diameter pastry cutter, cut two cylinders out of each potato.

  7. Heat a deep, ovenproof saucepan and add a little vegetable oil. Place the potatoes in the pan standing on end and fry gently until golden-brown at the base. Add the chicken stock and bring it up to the boil. Add the garlic, thyme and butter. Place in the oven for 20-30 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Set aside and keep warm.

  8. To cook the Yorkshire puddings, preheat the oven to 220C/450F/Gas 7.

  9. Divide the dripping or lard between the holes of a 12-hole muffin tin or Yorkshire tin. Place the tin in the oven for ten minutes, or until smoking hot.

  10. Carefully pour the batter into the tin, filling the holes two-thirds full. Cook for 20 minutes. Do not open the door during this time.

  11. After 20 minutes, open the door to allow any steam to escape and turn the temperature down to 190C/375F/Gas 5. Continue to cook until the Yorkshire puddings are golden-brown and crisp.

  12. To make the red wine gravy, heat the red wine in a small pan. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the volume of liquid has reduced by half.

  13. Add the beef stock and simmer until the volume of liquid has reduced by two-thirds. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper and whisk in the butter.

  14. To serve, slice the beef and place on serving plates alongside the Yorkshire pudding, cabbage, fondant potatoes and gravy.


For the Yorkshire pudding

  • 225g/8oz plain white flour
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 medium free-range eggs
  • 600ml/20fl oz full-fat milk
  • 50g/1¾oz beef dripping

For the red cabbage

  • 75g/2½oz butter
  • 600g/1lb 5oz red cabbage leaves, finely sliced
  • 285ml/10fl oz red wine
  • 50g/1¾oz dark soft brown sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • 5 tbsp redcurrant jelly
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar

For the beef

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 500g/1lb 2oz middle-cut aged beef fillet

For the fondant potatoes

  • 4 large potatoes
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 300ml/10½fl oz chicken stock
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and left whole
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 50g/1¾oz butter

For the red wine gravy

  • 200ml/7fl oz red wine
  • 300ml/10½fl oz beef stock
  • 50g/1¾oz butter

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