This amazing beef recipe is part of a spread - serve with the mustard Yorkshire puddings, creamy potato and onion gratin, and roasted carrots with baby turnips.
- About 3.5kg fore rib of beef (2 ribs), chined (see tip)
- Olive oil
- Fresh thyme sprigs, leaves picked, plus extra thyme to garnish
- 1 small red onion, finely sliced
- 2 tsp flour
- 200ml good red wine
- 500ml beef stock, hot
- 1. Preheat the oven to 240°C/fan220°C/gas 9, or to its highest setting. Weigh the beef and calculate its cooking time at 12-13 minutes per 500g for rare, 15-16 minutes per 500g for medium-rare, 17-18 minutes per 500g for medium, plus 30 minutes’ resting. So to cook a joint of this size to medium-rare will take about 13/4 hours, plus resting.
- 2. Place the beef in a large roasting tin and rub all over with a little oil, season with sea salt and pepper and scatter with thyme leaves. Pop the tin in the oven on the middle shelf and roast for 15 minutes.
- 3. Lower the oven to 190°C/fan170°C/gas 5 and cook for 11/2 hours, or the rest of your calculated cooking time.
- 4. Remove the joint from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 220°C/fan200°C/gas 7 (for the Yorkshire puddings). Lift the beef onto a plate, cover loosely with foil and leave to rest in a warm place for 30 minutes. This ‘relaxes’ the beef, making it tender and easy to carve.
- 5. Meanwhile, make the gravy. Tip away most of the fat from the tin, reserving some for the Yorkshires. Place the tin on the hob over a medium heat, add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, until softened. Stir in the flour, cook for 1 minute, then gradually stir in the wine. Bring to the boil and reduce by half. Stir in the stock, boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, or until thickened slightly. Season to taste.
- 6. Tip any juices from the beef into the gravy. Put the beef onto a board, garnish with the extra thyme ready to carve at the table. Cut off the backbone and ribs. Carve the meat and divide between plates. Serve with the gravy, vegetables, potato gratin and Yorkshire puddings.
Per serving (based on 6): 506kcals, 21.6g fat (7g saturated), 75.5g protein, 3.3g carbs, 1.2g sugar, 0.4g salt
Fore rib of beef is a prime cut of beef, and roasting it on the bone adds to the flavour. Ask your butcher to chine it for you, which means to semi-detach the backbone from the ribs, making the joint easier to carve. Bring the joint back up to room temperature before cooking.