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Roast Rib of Beef with Yorkshire Pudding & Red Wine Gravy

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.

Serves 6-8


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 (or 4 medium) plus 1 large egg yolk (or 1 medium)

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


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. Nigel says if making individual Yorkshire's, equally distribute the dripping, or oil into the 12 holes of the baking tray. When the fat is smoking hot, pour in the batter & bake for 30 mins, or slightly less time for the 12 individual puddings.

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.

Brussels Sprouts in Nut Brown Butter

Traditionally sprouts are cut with a cross at the base, but I don’t bother. They can be washed & trimmed a day or two in advance & stored in a plastic container / bag & kept outside to save fridge space.

Serves 4

Prep time: 15 mins

Cooking time: 10 mins


600g Brussels sprouts

25g butter


1x orange

25g chopped roasted hazelnuts


Wash & trim your sprouts.

Add them to a large pan of boiling salted water & cook for 5 mins, or until just tender.

Drain well & set the sprouts aside.

Using the same pan, add the butter & cook over a medium heat until it turns nut brown in colour (don’t take your eyes off it, as it’ll burn).

Immediately return your sprouts to the pan & stir to combine with the butter.

Grate the zest of half the orange directly over the sprouts & then scatter over the chopped roasted hazelnuts. If you can’t get roasted hazelnuts, roast them in a 150C oven for 15mins, checking they don’t burn. Then chop them up.

Alternatively, you can add one of the following: whole cranberries, chopped chestnuts, sliced spring onions, cubes of pancetta / chopped bacon. All of which you fry separately before adding to the sprouts.

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