from John Torode’s ‘Beef’ and other bovine matters (Quadrille)
Photography: Jason Lowe
This huge hunk of meat takes time. In butcher’s terms there are five ribs to be cut into Côte de Boeuf, each one with the meat hanging freely but with plenty of fat. I often cook this with all the fat so I get all the flavour, then trim off some of the fat before I carve it. Because this is a big, well-used muscle, I do not believe that it should be too rare or it will be tough; the sinew and the fat need to break down.
2 large ribs of beef, about 700g each
50ml vegetable oil
12 whole banana (or regular shallots)
2 bay leaves
1 thyme sprig
250ml beef or veal stock
Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the shallots and colour them over a high heat. Once coloured, drain off and throw away the oil. Add the butter, bay, thyme and some salt to the pan. Cook for a good 5 minutes turning and shaking shallots, but try not to burn the butter.
Add enough stock just to cover the base of the pan and allow the liquid to bubble away before adding any more; the sauce will reduce and become sticky while cooking the shallots at the same time. Continue until the shallots are very soft and have a thick, buttery and beefy glaze.
Meanwhile, heat a griddle pan and season the beef well, remembering that it is thick. Score the fat a little and lay the cutlet fat-side down on the griddle. That fat will start to melt and this is what is going to flavour the outside of this great big beauty.
Once the fat starts to char, let it fall naturally on to one side and leave the beef to cook for 4 minutes. Turn it over and cook for another for 4 minutes. Turn again, but do it so that you rotate the meat by 180 degrees and grill for 2 more minutes. Flip it over, then put it in a hot oven for about 6 minutes for a medium steak. Let it rest for 5 minutes before serving it whole…you have to show off!!