Slow-Roasted Rib of Beef


Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

The Food I Love

By Neil Perry

Published 2005

  • About

I can’t say enough about how fantastic this method of cooking meat is. We have had a long time to perfect it at Rockpool and you will need to do a little adjusting yourself, but the good news is that with a meat and an oven thermometer you will always be in control of the situation; it is foolproof. We slow cook at 75°C (167°F) in a combination oven that has a great deal of control – but you would certainly expect that at a cost of $40,000, and I will assume that you may not have spent quite that much. You are going to have to see how your oven performs. I have done functions at people’s homes where the oven won’t even start until around 100°C (212°F), and gas ovens tend to cut in and out at low temperatures and can be a bit flaky in terms of consistency. The most important thing to do is to check your oven temperature with an oven thermometer, a simple and inexpensive device. It doesn’t matter if the lowest your oven can go is around 90°C (194°F) – this will just vary the cooking time – as you will be able to test the meat’s core temperature with your meat thermometer, and thus remain in control. The one thing this recipe does demand is time. It will take up to three hours to cook a large 4-bone rib of beef that will feed six to eight people. The theory is quite simple. The meat’s core temperature during cooking is not far off what we want the meat’s core temperature to be after resting. This slow, gentle cooking allows the juices to set throughout the beef and not be sent rushing into the centre as the beef’s outside cells are destroyed by high heat. The browning of the meat occurs after it is taken from the oven. In this way, you achieve the best of both worlds – a delicious crust and a melting interior. I like to serve this dish rare, although it may look very rare. The texture of the meat is set all the way through so it will be meltingly tender and very moist. To do this, we want to slowly take the meat’s core cooking temperature to about 53°C (127°F) only, as it will rise to about 55°C (131°F) while resting. At this temperature, all the connective tissue will soften and the internal fat will be like jelly. If you want to take it a bit further than rare consult the temperature chart for doneness and remember to calculate in the residual cooking, especially if you are having trouble keeping your oven low.

The catch with slow roasting is that it takes up oven space for a long time. If, like me, you only have one oven at home, don’t despair! I often make a potato gratin beforehand in a lovely big casserole or roasting dish, slide it in the oven on the bottom rack with one hour to go to gently heat through. While I’m carving the meat I have Sam slide the gratin under the oven grill (broiler) with some butter and breadcrumbs on top for a nice glazed top. Sometimes I just boil potatoes, then sauté them with onions in a little duck fat. Yum. All you need then is a really good green salad.

When you have a bunch of people around, cook a full six-bone rib of beef and it will blow everyone away. The following method works no matter how big the piece of meat is.