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#cookit – Perfect Roast Rib of Beef

by | May 17, 2023 | Cook It!

I have been known to say that the pig is the tastiest of all the domesticated animals, but this is a philosophical position based on the total tastiness across the whole beast.

For roasting, especially for a special occasion, the cow – specifically the rib of a cow – stands alone.

Tasty, moist, crispy around the edges. A rib of beef is the king of roasted meats. If well selected, properly seasoned & seared, and then cooked & rested for the right amount of time nothing in the world beast roasted rib of beef.

Choosing which rib to cook and serve for me is about the occasion. If you’re sharing with your sweetheart (or feeling hungry and elegant) then the Fore Ribs are the place to be. The classic ‘Cote de boeuf’ is a single rib (ideal for two to share) and is my personal favourite. Moving along you will have 2, 3, 4, or 5 rib cuts being a great choice depending on number of people. The Fore Ribs are the ‘friend ribs’ – not too flashy, fattier, and full of flavour.

Moving ‘rumpwards’ you will get to the Wing Rib and then onto the Sirloin on the bone – both what I would call ‘event’ roasts. More elegant, less fatty, a little flashier, and a real conversation piece (if that is your kind of thing) when brought to the table. For me, you are into 4-6 people minimum, simply because the cost per lb/kg starts to drift up and you may as well make a spectacle of it!

Buying decent beef can be hard. Find a butcher – supermarkets just do not carry the quality of meat you are looking for – and make sure your butcher knows where the beef is from (preferably knowing the farmer personally), gets the beef as a whole side, dry ages the beef (minimum 21 days in my view), and that the beef is from grass fed cattle – only a handful of rules!

Mu number one guideline with good beef? Use your eyes. You want a well marbled (appropriate for the cut with less marbling as you head towards the rump) and you want a rich, deep. almost purple colouration to the meat itself. This is the sign of well dry aged beef, that rich colour is everything.

My final thought? There is only one way to eat roast rib of beef – medium rare – if you like it cooked more, you are on your own!

Roasted Rib of Beef (will serve 2-3 people per kg bone in)

Ingredients You Need:

  • Rib of beef – sized for your needs
  • Rapeseed oil
  • Salt & Pepper

Gear You’ll Need:

  • Bastard hot oven (240°C)
  • Heavy bottom frying pan large enough to hold the rib
  • Roasting dish with trivet
  • Serving dish for resting
  • Carving board
  • Sharp carving knife and fork
  • Foil
  • Oven gloves
  • Tea towel (for wafting your smoke detector if your pan is hot enough)

How To Make It:

  1. Oven on, high heat (240°C)
  2. Get the roasting dish into the oven
  3. Get the pan on the hob heat
  4. Wait until the pan is smoking hot (and ensure the oven is up to temp)
  5. Rub a little of the oil over the meat of the rib
  6. Season the rib, all over – top, bottom, sides, everywhere – be generous, in fact – be over generous
  7. Get the rib into the smoking hot pan and sear well on all sides at least 3 minutes per side
  8. Once seared, grab the roasting dish out of the oven, pop the rib onto the dish upright (bones pointing to the sky!) and get that bad boy back into the oven
  9. Bring the oven temp down to 200°C and set a timer – 30 minutes per kilo (2.2lb) – and be precise in knowing the weight of your rib
  10. Once the timer completes, turn the oven off – DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR
  11. Set a timer, 5 mins per kilo, again be precise
  12. Once the timer completes, take the rib out of the oven, place onto a warmed (but not too hot) serving dish, cover with tinfoil and leave to rest
  13. Set a time, 5 mins per kilo, yet again – be precise
  14. Once the timer completes, transfer to a carving board and serve – a super sharp knife will help with thin, elegant slices.
  15. Bask in the glory, and I mean bask!

Worktop Tips:

  • If your rib is refrigerated, take her out of the fridge at least an hour before you want to roast
  • When you are searing, do not touch the beef, let it sizzle and caramelise – trust me
  • Want to get even more flavour in? Light a hot, hot barbecue and sear the beef until well charred. You will not regret this, charred beef is tasty in a way that cannot be beat, once charred follow the guidelines as above reducing cooking time by 5 minutes per kilo (resting the same)
  • Using rapeseed oil should keep the smoke down a little – it has a higher smoking point than olive oil but I would open windows – you are going to generate smoke if things are going right
  • See other posts for gravy and jus if that is your thing
  • More information on beef cuts can be found here.

Wine Pairing:

Red. Full bodied. ‘Nuff said.

Malbec is becoming the ‘de rigueur’ pairing with beef, driven by the ascendancy of amazing Argentine beef being more widely available. Merlot (especially South American) is also popular currently for the same reason.

For me though, I like a red Châteauneuf-du-Pape with roasted rib. The Grenache noir based blends from this AOC have the legs to carry the richness of roast rib with the added benefit of being suited to a special occasion and a conversation starter in its own right.

Photo by adam morse on Unsplash