This is a great festive joint for a treat or a party.
Get your butcher to remove the rib bones, sinews and backstrap from the meat, and have it tied into a roll. Keep the bones, and place them on the bottom of a roasting tin with the beef sitting on top. Season very well with salt and pepper. Roast in a preheated oven at 180-190°C/350-375°F/Gas 4-5, allowing 15 minutes to each 450g/llb and 15 minutes more for really rare meat (more time can, of course, be added to suit your taste). After cooking, let it rest on top of the stove for at least 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook and colour the shallots in a little butter. Add the vinegar and two-thirds of the wine. Stew this brew with the lid off until it has reduced by half.
When you remove the meat and bones from the roasting tin, deglaze the tin with the remainder of the wine. Add any juices from the joint while it has been resting on some great warmed charger. Strain into the shallot and wine mixture and season to taste.
Serve thick slices of the roast covered with the sauce, with crisp roast potatoes, broccoli or french beans and buttered carrots. Magnificent.
© 1996 Jennifer Paterson and Clarissa Dickson Wright estate. All rights reserved.