How-To Guides

How to cook cote de boeuf

What is cote de boeuf?

Translated from the French, cote de boeuf simply refers to a bone-in steak, although the phrase has become synonymous with a bone-in ribeye steak. This elegant and revered cut of beef rib is a favourite in classic French gastronomy and is popular across Europe too.

Characterised by rich marbling, it’s cooked on the bone for incredibly juicy and tender meat with outstanding flavour, and is often considered by many to be the ultimate steak.

Cote de boeuf cooking time

We recommend cooking your côte de boeuf medium-rare. This will allow the fat to break down whilst optimising flavour. Remember the meat will become firmer the more it cooks. For a medium-rare steak, it should have a soft feel with a little spring back and take around 14-16 minutes when using the traditional pan fry/roasting method.

Alternatively, you could try our low roasting temperature technique, sometimes referred to as a ‘reverse sear’. This method will result in uniform cooking and a more moist result than traditional roasting – the use of a meat thermometer is essential. For a celebration, it will be worth the extra effort.

The best way to cook cote de boeuf

Traditional cooking technique

  1. Take your cote de boeuf out of the refrigerator, remove any packaging, pat dry with kitchen towel and allow to reach room temperature.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4 (if opting to oven roast, otherwise omit this step) and heat a griddle or heavy-based frying pan on the hob until it’s just starting to smoke.
  3. Rub oil all over the beef and season generously with salt and pepper before popping it into the pan.
  4. Sear initially fat side down, rotating the steak, so all areas of the fat have a chance to render. This will take 2-3 minutes.
  5. Turn the cote de boeuf on its side, and sear for 3-4 minutes to develop a lovely and dark caramelised exterior. Turn the steak and repeat.
  6. Turn the heat down to medium-high and continue to cook, flipping every 30-40 seconds. This will take 12-14 minutes in total for a medium-rare steak. An internal temperature of 53-55°C is ideal.
  7. Alternatively, you can transfer the meat into a preheated oven at 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 6 for 8-10 minutes after the initial high heat sear (again for medium-rare doneness). Again, 53-55°C internally is ideal.
  8. Optionally, finish by loading the pan with plenty of butter, garlic, and thyme, basting the meat as it foams. Leave to rest in a warm place for 8-10 minutes before serving.

Low temperature roasting technique

  1. Take your cote de boeuf out of the refrigerator, remove any packaging, pat dry with kitchen towel and allow to reach room temperature.
  2. Set your oven to 60°C – this is very low and, if gas, the pilot light may be sufficient. It will almost certainly be as low as your oven will go – even if marginally hotter than 60°C, this technique will still work well.
  3. Place your beef on a baking tray and rub the beef with a little oil, and season generously with sea salt and black pepper.
  4. Roasting can take up to 3 hours. Use your thermometer to check for a temperature of 52-53°C at this stage, with a final temperature of 53-55°C after the next step – this will result in a medium-rare finish.
  5. Heat a heavy griddle pan, non-stick pan or bbq until smoking hot/white hot coals for a bbq.
  6. Sear the côte de boeuf over intense heat for around 1-2 minutes on each side – the object here is to achieve rich caramelisation as the steak will appear pale, having cooked at a low temperature.
  7. Rest for 5 minutes loosely covered in foil (resting time is reduced due to the low temperature in the oven) before carving into ½-inch sections.

Top tips

  • To gauge how done your meat is while cooking, you can carry out a quick and reliable finger test to ensure it is medium-rare. Gently press the tip of your middle finger to the tip of your thumb. Feel the palm of your hand just below your thumb – this is medium-rare. It should feel like your cheek: tender and soft but still fleshy.

Cote de boeuf recipe

If you want to bring the “wow” factor to the dinner table, then have a go at Valentine Warner’s cote de boeuf with marjoram salmoriglio recipe.