1 x four-bone beef rib trimmed and tied (approx 3kg in weight)
2kg large Desirée or King Edward potatoes
2 litres vegetable oil
1 bottle red wine
500ml brown chicken stock
1 small bunch thyme
15 banana shallots
200ml white chicken stock
Preheat the oven to 200˚C. When you’re cooking a large joint of meat, it’s very important that you take the meat out of the fridge at least one hour before you’re going to cook it. This is so the meat is at room temperature and relaxed, not fridge cold the meat will then cook more evenly. If the meat is taken straight out of the fridge and then cooked in the oven, you’ll get a brown ring around the outside and then a red one. The meat has to warm up before it cooks, so, by the time the centre was starting to cook, the outside would be overcooked.
Smear the beef in oil and season it very well all over with coarse sea salt and pepper. Place it into a large tray, which has a cooling wire in the bottom. This is so it will cook more evenly all over in the oven (otherwise, the bottom of the beef will be more cooked, as it is in direct heat with the metal tray). Put the beef into the oven for the first 15 to 20 minutes?this is so it seals and sears the meat on a high temperature. Your oven may get quite smoky due to all the fat dripping off the meat. Turn the oven down to 160˚C and cook the beef for approximately 1 hour 45 minutes.
The other alternative is to seal the meat on the stove in a hot pan with oil which would be the less smoky option, and is sometimes preferred among chefs as you’re sealing in the juices straight away. When you transfer the beef to the oven, cook it at a lower temperature (160˚C) this will take approx 1¾ hours to 2 hours. Both work equally well: they’re just different ways of cooking your beef.
To tell that your beef is cooked, if you want it medium rare, it should be about 42˚?45˚C, which is just above blood temperature. Stick a needle into the middle of the joint, place it onto your lower lip and it should be just a little warmer. For medium, it’s about 62˚C and well done is above 90˚C.
The reason we cook the beef at a lower temperature is so the meat is more relaxed while cooking and doesn’t tense up as it’s blasted by a hot heat.
Turn the beef over halfway through cooking, and once it’s out of the oven, it’ll need to rest on a wire rack for at least 15?20 minutes. You’ll see an amazing difference when you rest meat as all the juices stay inside so when you carve it, the juices don’t cover the whole of your board and the meat is more moist.
While the beef is cooking, braise the shallots and make the chips.
Take 12 banana shallots and peel the skin off, cutting them very close to the base so the shallot will stay intact when it’s cooking. Take a shallow sauté pan and place it onto a low-medium heat, then add 50ml vegetable oil and 20g butter. Add the peeled shallots and thyme, season lightly with salt and start to colour them all over for five minutes, before adding the sugar (this will help to caramelise the shallots). Continue to cook them for another 10 minutes, moving them around the pan so they’re coloured all over. Add 300ml red wine and turn the heat up to reduce this down by two-thirds. Then add the white chicken stock and reduce again by two-thirds.
For the sauce, peel the remaining shallots and slice them thinly; place them into a pan with the remaining thyme. Add the port and remaining red wine, then place this onto a high heat to reduce by two-thirds. Add the brown chicken stock and bring to a simmer, reduce this by half on a medium heat and add any liquor from the shallots. Pass this through a fine sieve, squeezing the shallots well, then whisk in the remaining butter. Place the cooked shallots in this sauce to reheat later.
Heat the oil to 160˚C, peel the potatoes and then cut them into 1cm square batons the length of the potato so they are the same size. Wash the starch off the potatoes very well, then place into a pan of slightly salted water and bring to a rapid simmer for 2?3 minutes. Drain them and run them under cold water in a colander to stop them cooking any further. At this point, place the beef back into the oven at 180˚C.
Dry the chips off well and plunge them into the oil to blanch them for 3?4 minutes, then drain onto kitchen paper. Heat the oil up to 180˚C, then plunge them back into the oil until they’re golden brown (approx 3?5 minutes) before seasoning with coarse sea salt.
Bring the shallots up to a simmer in the sauce and remove the beef after 10 minutes in the oven. Take the beef off the bone and slice thinly, serving it with the shallots and red wine sauce.