PREP 15mins plus resting
COOK 3hrs 40mins
1.5kg aged beef standing rib roast (3-bone rib)
1/3 cup (80ml) olive oil, plus extra to brush
4 thyme sprigs, leaves only
5 eschalots, unpeeled
1 garlic bulb, broken into cloves, unpeeled
2 bunches golden baby beetroots, tops trimmed to 1cm
10cm piece fresh horseradish
2 tsp champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
150g crème fraîche or sour cream
1/4 cup (60ml) dry white or red wine
100ml good quality beef stock
rocket, halved cherry tomatoes, to serve
1 Preheat oven to 100C or 80C fan. Tie beef rib with string to help keep it in shape during cooking. Rub with half of olive oil and season with salt, ground black pepper and thyme. Place prepared beef in a heavy-based roasting pan or a large ovenproof frying pan on high heat.
2 Cook beef, turning, for 5-6 mins, to form a crust. Add eschalots and 2 garlic cloves and cook in oven, brushing with extra oil halfway through cooking, for 31/2-4 hrs, until medium-rare and internal temperature is 58C. Remove beef from pan. Rest for 15 mins.
3 Meanwhile, thoroughly wash beetroot. Drain and dry well. Place a sheet of foil in a clean ovenproof pan and place beets and remaining garlic on top. Drizzle with remaining olive oil and season. Firmly enclose vegetables in foil and set aside.
4 At 11/2 hrs into beef’s cooking time, place pan with beetroot and garlic parcel in oven. Cook for 11/2-2 hrs, until very tender. Grate horseradish and mix into vinegar. Stand for 5 mins. Mix into crème fraîche. Chill.
5 Heat roasting pan on high. Use a fork to crush garlic and eschalots. Add wine and stock and simmer for 2 mins, until reduced. Cut away bones. Slice beef. Serve with pan juices, beetroot, horseradish mixture and salad.
• This method takes a little more planning but is well worth the effort. The secret is temperature. If you want to make this dish perfectly, you need a thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meat. It will read 58C-62C for medium-rare to medium when cooked slowly in this way.
• Cooking at a low temperature for four hours is so convenient at Christmas – put the beef in the oven at breakfast and it’ll be ready for lunch.
• Slow-roasting has become a norm in the restaurant industry because there is far less shrinkage and the meat is beautifully tender and evenly cooked.