What’s the Difference Between Topside and Silverside?

Beef topside

Beef is one of the most commonly consumed meats in the world. It’s often purchased as mince, burgers, or steak, but larger roasting joints are also a favourite in many households. However, these are more expensive and often seen as a luxury.

When buying beef for roasting, there are a variety of different cuts you can choose from.

Two of the cheapest and most popular cuts of beef are topside and silverside, but what’s the difference between topside and silverside beef?

When are they best used? And is one better than the other?

Read on for our handy guide!


Topside vs. Silverside Beef – What’s the Difference?

Topside and silverside are two popular cuts of beef that are often rolled into boneless joints for roasting.

They both come from the top part of a cow’s hind leg and are typically very lean cuts of meat.

The difference between these two cuts is that topside beef comes from the inside of the back leg, whereas silverside comes from the outside.

Outer leg muscles are typically tougher than inside muscles, so silverside beef can become chewy if cooked incorrectly.

Because of this, silverside beef is often boiled, used for pot roasts, or turned into corned beef. However, it can be roasted in the oven as long as it is regularly basted and cooked slowly (see below).

In comparison, topside beef makes a very succulent roasting joint. This is because this cut of meat typically comes wrapped in thin strips of fat. These strips help to baste the meat while it is cooking, keeping it deliciously moist and tender.

That said, topside beef is sometimes used to create frying steaks and can also be enjoyed as a pot roast.

Here is a summary of this information to better illustrate the similarities and differences:

  • Part of the animal: Silverside comes from the outside of a cow’s hind leg, while topside comes from the inside of a cow’s back leg.
  • Texture: Silverside is slightly tougher and granier, while topside is slightly more succulent.
  • Roasting: Silverside can be roasted in the oven but it needs to be cooked slowly for tender results. Topside is the perfect cut of beef for roasting as the fat surrounding the meat keeps it tender.


How to Roast Silverside Beef

Roasted silverside beef

Roasting topside beef is relatively straightforward because the meat is so lean: Put it on a roasting tin and cover it in foil, then cook in the oven for 30 to 90 minutes (the precise time depends on the size of the joint).

In the final 10 minutes, remove the foil and plate up your perfectly-cooked roast beef.

On the other hand, silverside beef is tougher than topside, so you have to be more careful when roasting it in the oven.

When cooked incorrectly, your beef will become dry and chewy. However, it is possible to be left with a tender, juicy roast if the silverside is cooked correctly.

For this reason, we’ve put together a great recipe for roasting silverside beef that guarantees mouth-watering results every time.

The key to this recipe is slowly cooking the meat and covering it in foil to limit the amount of liquid that evaporates from the beef.

You will need:

  • 5 kg silverside roasting joint
  • 200 ml red wine
  • 300 ml beef stock
  • Vegetables of your choosing
  • Olive oil
  • A large roasting dish
  • A frying pan


Method for roasting silverside beef:

  1. Take your silverside beef roasting joint out of the fridge 1 hour before cooking to allow it to reach room temperature.
  2. Pat the beef dry with some kitchen towel and season as desired. We suggest using salt and pepper, but you can also add other herbs and spices to your taste.
  3. Preheat your oven to 170 degrees Celsius.
  4. Spread your vegetables out in an even layer at the bottom of a roasting dish.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan until hot, and then sear the beef until it is lightly browned on all sides.
  6. Lay the silverside joint on top of your vegetables in the roasting dish.
  7. Pour the wine and beef stock into the frying pan and heat until boiling.
  8. Transfer the boiling liquid to the roasting dish, making sure to pour it around the beef rather than over the top.
  9. Cover the roasting dish in aluminium foil and bake for 3 hours.
  10. Move the silverside joint to a plate or chopping board and recover it with foil.
  11. Allow the beef to rest for 30 minutes before slicing and serving with roasted potatoes and vegetables.

If desired, you can also use the remaining juices in the roasting dish to create a delicious gravy to pour over your roast.

Simply add 500 ml of extra beef stock and a few tablespoons of cornflour to the juices and heat on the hob until thickened.