Updated: Jan 31, 2020
by Danny Lidgate & Hattie Ellis from Lidgates ‘The Meat Cookbook’ (Mitchell Beazley)
Rib of beef is the ultimate roast, magnificent to set on the table & fantastic to eat. This one has three ribs & will feed a family for Sunday lunch, leaving some juicy cold meat to eat during the week. A four-rib joint will feed a dinner or lunch party, and at Christmas, for a real showstopper, we sell huge seven-rib joints that include part of the sirloin. We always cut off the back bone & some of the other muscles to leave just the round central rib-eye. This means that the meat cooks evenly & is easy to carve. However, we leave in the fingerbones & also plenty of luscious fat in order to add flavour to the meat.
Photography & Styling Caroline Marson
3-rib joint of beef, back bone removed & fingerbones trimmed (about 3-3.5kg/7-8lb trimmed weight)
2 onions, halved
2 carrots cut into large chunks
2 celery sticks, halved
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
For the Yorkshire batter
300g (10oz) plain flour
Pinch of fine sea salt
3 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
350ml (12fl oz) milk
350ml (12fl oz) water
3 tbsp dripping or olive oil
For the gravy
400ml (14fl oz) beef stock and/or vegetable cooking water
1 tbsp plain flour
About 150ml (¼ pint) red wine
Celeriac and Sweet Potato Gratin (see recipe below)
Stir fired Brussels with Red Cabbage (see recipe below)
Preheat the oven to 220C/Gas 7.
Take the meat out of the fridge 1hr before roasting so it doesn’t go into the oven stone-cold.
Meanwhile, make the batter. Combine the flour & salt in a large bowl & make a well in the centre. Crack in the eggs & extra yolk & pour in a little of the milk.
Start mixing the flour into the liquid & continue mixing as you add the remaining liquid bit by bit, stirring hard to get a smooth batter. Cover with clingfilm & place in the fridge.
Put the onions, carrots & celery in a roasting tray. Place the meat on top, fat-side up.
Season well all over with salt & pepper.
Roast for 15mins, then lower the temperature to 160C/Gas 3 & continue cooking for one of the following times per 500g (1lb), depending on how you like your meat:
15 mins for rare
20 mins for medium
25 mins for well done
About 15 mins before the end of the cooking time, you can use a meat thermometer to help get the beef to your liking:
45-47C for rare
50-52C for medium rare
55-60C for medium
65-70C for well done
Make sure the probe goes into the thickest part of the meat, & take the joint out of the oven when it is 5C under your target, as its temperature will continue to rise for a while.
Put the joint on a carving board, cover with foil & a couple of clean tea towels & set aside to rest while you cook the Yorkshire pudding. Alternatively, if you have a double oven, warm it to 110C/Gas ¼ & pop the meat inside.
Turn the main oven back up to 220C/Gas 7. Put the dripping or oil in a baking tin & place it in the oven. When the fat is smoking hot, pour in the batter & bake for 30 mins.
Meanwhile, make the gravy. Place the roasting tray, still containing the veg, over a medium-low heat. Pour in the stock & stir well, scraping up the tasty bits stuck in the bottom of the pan. Strain the liquid into a jug, discarding the vegetables. When the fat has risen to the top, spoon or pour it off into a bowl.
Return 1½ tablespoons of the fat to the roasting tray, place over a medium heat & sprinkle in the flour (you can add a teaspoon or so more if you like thickish gravy). Stir well for 1 min. Add about 90ml (3½ fl oz) of the hot stock and/or vegetable water & stir well to combine. Now add the wine & let it bubble up.
Gradually add the rest of the liquid & let the gravy simmer until it has thickened slightly. Season to taste with salt & pepper. Keep the gravy warm until needed, pouring in the juices from the rested meat just before serving.
To carve the joint, hold it firmly with a carving fork & cut off slices, starting at the end of the lowest bone, as this will come away the most easily. Cut away the bones & string as you go, not all at once, because they hold the joint together & make carving easier.
Serve the meat on warm plates with the Yorkshire pudding & gravy, along with potatoes & vegetables of your choice, such as steamed leeks & carrots.
Celeraic and Sweet Potato Gratin
1 large onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
568ml tub Waitrose Double Cream
½ pack fresh rosemary, chopped,
plus 1 sprig for garnish
500g sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
500g celeriac, peeled and thinly sliced
3 tbsp freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Preheat the oven to 170ºC, gas mark 3. Heat a frying pan until hot, Add the onion and cook over a low heat for 6-8 minutes or until soft, stirring occasionally. Stir in the garlic and continue to cook for a further minute. Place the cream and chopped rosemary in a large pan. Bring to a simmer, then add the sweet potatoes and celeriac and stir well. Return to simmering point then remove from the heat. Stir the onion mixture into the sweet potatoes and cream, then season. Spoon the mixture into a 1.3 litre, ovenproof dish. Shake the dish gently until the potatoes are lying flat. Sprinkle the Parmigiano-Reggiano over the top and garnish with a sprig of rosemary. Bake in the oven for 50-55 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and the top is golden brown.
Red Cabbage and Brussel Stir fry
2 tbsp unsalted butter brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
1 red onion, finely sliced
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small red cabbage or 1/2 large cabbage, finely sliced
1 tbsp fennel seeds
1 tbsp cinnamon, ground
Heat a large skillet over a medium-high heat and add the butter, fennel and ground cinnamon. When the butter is melted, add the red onions and Brussels sprouts. Cook for 1 minute then add the sliced cabbage. Cook until the cabbage has softened and the sprouts are warmed through. Season with salt and pepper and serve warm.