Few people can resist a roast rib of beef with horseradish sauce, Yorkshire pudding, lots of gravy, and crusty roast potatoes. Choose the meat carefully. Always buy beef on the bone for roasting; it will have much more flavor and it isn't difficult to carve. Ask your butcher for a traditional breed as these have the best flavor.
Ask your butcher to saw through the upper chine bone so that the "feather bones" will be
easy to remove before carving. Weigh the joint and calculate the cooking time (see below).
Preheat the oven to 475°F (250°C). Score the fat and season with salt and pepper. Place the meat in a flameproof roasting pan with the fat side uppermost. As the fat renders in the heat of the oven, it will baste the meat. The bones provide a natural rack to hold the meat clear of the fat in the roasting pan. Put the meat into a fully preheated oven; after 15 minutes turn down the heat to moderate, 350°F (180°C), until the meat is cooked to your taste.
When the meat is cooked, it should be allowed to rest on a plate in a cool oven for 15 to 30 minutes before carving, depending on the size of the roast. A platewarming oven would be perfect. The internal temperature of the meat will continue to rise by as much as 5°F (2 to 3°C), so remove the roast from the oven while it is still slightly underdone.
Carve the beef at the table and serve with horseradish sauce, Yorkshire pudding, gravy, and lots of crusty roast potatoes
Yield: Serves 8 to 10
Since ovens vary enormously in efficiency, thermostats are not always accurate and some joints of meat are much thicker than others, these figures must be treated as guidelines rather than rules. The times below include the 15 minute searing time at a high heat.
Beef on the bone Rare 10 to 12 minutes per pound (450g)
Medium 12 to 15 minutes per pound (450g)
Well-done 18 to 20 minutes per pound (450g)
Beef off the bone Rare 8 to 10 minutes per pound (450g)
Medium 10 to 12 minutes per pound (450g)
Welldone 15 to 18 minutes per pound (450g)
How do I know when the meat is cooked? There are various ways of checking. I usually put a skewer into the thickest part of the joint, leave it there for about 30 to 45 seconds, and then put it against the back of my hand: if it still feels cool, the meat is rare; if it is warm, it is medium rare; if it's hotter, it's medium; and if you can't keep the skewer against your hand for more than a second, then you can bet it is well done. Also, if you check the color of the juices, you will find they are clear as opposed to red or pink for rare or medium.
If you own a meat thermometer, that will eliminate guesswork altogether but make sure the thermometer is not touching a bone when you are testing.
Beef is rare at an internal temperature of 140°F (60°C), medium at 155°F (70°C), and well-done at 165°F (75°C).
To make a roux, melt the butter, add the flour, combine, and cook for 2 minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally.
Tilt the roasting pan to the side and spoon off as much of the fat as possible. Pour the cold stock into the cooking juices remaining in the pan. The last globules of fat will solidify. Quickly remove them with a spoon, bring to a boil, stirring and scraping the pan well to dissolve the caramelized meat juices (I find a small whisk ideal for this). Thicken very slightly with a little roux if you like. Taste, and add salt and pepper if necessary. Strain and serve in a warm gravy boat.