Topside of beef, also know as silverside and top round, is a second-class cut of beef from the top of the hind leg. Topside is a lean, boneless piece of meat best suited for casseroles, stews and roasting. It can be a difficult cut to cook correctly because of its low fat content, and when prepared incorrectly, it tends to be very tough and chewy. Roasting the meat, however, showcases the flavour and creates a tender and juicy piece of beef.
Preheat the oven to 148 degrees C. Place the pot over medium-high heat. Pour in the olive oil.
Season the topside of beef on all sides with salt and pepper. When the oil is hot, brown the meat for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until a crispy crust forms. Do not disturb the meat while it is browning. Touch it only to flip the meat onto the next side.
Pour the red wine into the pot and loosen the residue at the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Simmer the wine for 1 minute. Add the onions, garlic and carrots to the pot.
Pour the water or broth over the vegetables and beef. Add the fresh herbs and the bay leaves. Bring the broth to a simmer. Then cover the pot and place it in the preheated oven.
Roast the meat for 3 to 4 hours, until the meat is very tender. Baste the meat with the pan juices every 30 minutes.
Remove the roast from the pot and let it rest on a platter, covered loosely with aluminium foil, for 15 minutes. Slice the pot roast and serve with the carrots and onions. Drizzle pot juices over the meat and vegetables.
Topside of beef makes excellent cold cuts. Roast the meat, then let it cool completely before slicing it. Add potatoes, parsnips or yams along with the other vegetables for a flavourful side dish.