cote de boeuf
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What do you do if there are only two of you and you crave a beef roast? Not an easy question to answer. As much as I like there being just the two of us, we’re systematically deprived of good things like a whole lamb leg roast. Even with chicken, it’s a two-dayer. Half freshly roasted chicken on day one, the other half cold with a salad on day two, so it might seem a little boring a perspective even though I love roast chicken, hot or cold. Unless we’re having people round of course which is not every day and I normally go a bit more elaborate then than a roast chicken.
A proper beef rib-eye roast, full works, standing bone, at least three ribs is a rare occasion. So what do you do, to reiterate my original question?
You can have a côte.
Côte de bœuf is basically an enormous rib-eye steak with the bone in. I would be tempted to cook it all in a pan, like a steak, but then I like my beef barely cooked and The Weather Man is of the medium-rare orientation. So I sear it and stick it in the oven for the statutory time, 15 minutes per pound at 180C. You can skip the searing, whack the heat up in the oven for an initial 10 minutes, then follow by the prescribed time at lower temperature – up to you. I fancied a charred mustardy crust, so I whipped out my trusted cast iron and put up with a bit of smoke in the kitchen.
cote de boeufServings: 2Time: 50 minutes
- 2lb (900g) one rib beef joint
- salt and pepper
- 2 tsp mustard powder
Bring the beef to room temperature – it can happily sit on the worktop, uncovered, for a good few hours. If it isn’t tied with string, wrap a length of butcher’s string around it in the middle and tie the ends to make it more compact.
Sprinkle liberally with salt, pepper and the mustard powder and rub it well in on both sides and into the fat. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4.
Heat up an oven-proof pan or skillet large enough to fit the beef on its side until almost smoking. Drop a little oil into it and place the beef on one side to sear. Cook for about 2 minutes, turn over and sear for further 2 minutes. Try to sit the côte up on its bone side but don’t worry if it doesn’t want to stand – it will probably eventually fall over anyway. Put in the oven and roast for 30 minutes for medium rare (the timing is 15 minutes per pound at this stage). You can turn it over halfway through, especially if you’re using a cast iron pan, so it doesn’t brown too much on one side.
Let the meat rest for at least 10 minutes before serving. Carving one rib côte is tricky so try and do it as much on the diagonal as you can but it will never slice very neatly – the taste should compensate for this.