A roasted rib of beef adorning the centre of your table is a sight that is sure to send your saliva glands into overdrive. Slow roasted on the bone to a perfect medium-rare, the flesh inside a striking shade of deep pink, this is surely the king of roasting joints.
Roasting a rib needs great care and patience to achieve best results, so take your time and do it justice. For those looking to eschew the more traditional roast dinner garnishes, here is a dish of great elegance and self-assurance. A marriage of very delicious things which sings to the heart of a chef and brings joy to the faces of those who eat it. A little overdramatic? Just wait until you try it…
Roast rib of beef w/ baked onions in parmesan & cream
2 bunches of watercress
2 tsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp moscatel (or similar good quality white wine vinegar)
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- For the onions
10 roscoff onions
500ml double cream
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
10 sprigs of thyme
- For the beef:
- Your first port of call is getting the beef going.
- Remove the rib of beef from the fridge at least 3 hours before you plan to cook it to allow it to come up to room temperature. Take out of the vacuum packaging and pat dry any moisture.
- Preheat your oven to 200°C.
- Season the beef well with salt and rub with a little extra virgin olive oil.
- Place the rib of beef on a roasting tray and then put in the oven.
- After 15 minutes, turn the oven down to 130-140°C. And then cook for a further 3 hours, or roughly 18 minutes for every 500g of meat.
- Take out from the oven and baste the joint with its own fat every half an hour.
- After three hours, or so, take the beef out of the oven and leave it somewhere warm to rest for at least one hour. This may sound a little excessive, but it is so necessary if you want the best from this majestic joint of beef.
- For the onions:
- Meanwhile, begin with the onions.
- Bring a large pan of well-seasoned water to the boil.
- Carefully place the onions, in their skins, into the pot and allow them to simmer with a lid on for 15 minutes.
- Remove the onions from the water and set them to one side to cool.
- Pour the cream into a pan and add the garlic, thyme, black pepper and a good grating of nutmeg. Set the pan over a low heat and allow the flavours to infuse into the cream.
- Remove the cream from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
- Once the onions have cooled, peel off the skin and cut in half horizontally. Lay them out in an ovenproof dish that is big enough to house them all on a single layer.
- Using a fine grater, season up the cream with grated parmesan and sea salt. Reserve a little bit of parmesan to grate over the top of the onions before they go in the oven.
- If you are happy with the seasoning of the cream, then pour it over the onions. The cream should come about two-thirds of the way up the onions — they should not be fully submerged. Depending on the size of your oven dish, you may not require all of the cream.
- Grate a little more parmesan over the top and then place the dish in the oven at 180°C for 30 minutes.
- For the salad:
- Wash and trim the watercress and then drain well.
- In a small bowl add the Dijon, vinegar, and a pinch of salt. Whisk together thoroughly.
- Continue whisking whilst you dribble in the olive oil so that the dressing emulsifies.
- Check the seasoning and adjust as required before dressing the watercress.
- You are ready to serve!