Stunning and indulgent; the Rolls-Royce of beef

There’s nothing better than cooking a roast rib of beef for a special occasion.

PREP TIME: 5 mins
APPROX. 2.5 hours depending on the size of the rib of beef
special occasion, Christmas, dinner party,

Rib of beef

Sometimes called a bone-in-forerib. 

Whatever you like to call it, a rib of beef is an incredible cut for a special occasion.

The meat is rich and textured, and most importantly, unbelievably tasty.

The ribs help protect the meat from the harsh heat of the oven and stops some shrinkage as it’s being cooked.

They also make for a bit of a show piece once you present it on the table.

How to prepare your rib of beef for roasting

Once you take it out of the fridge, remove all the packaging and give the meat a good dry. 

  1. Leave it to dry uncovered while the meat comes to room temperature.
  2. Bringing the meat temperature is very important if you want to get the best out of your beef so don’t rush this step.
  3. Next, preheat a (fan assisted) oven to 220°C.
  4. Season the rib generously with good quality sea salt and cracked black pepper. 
  5. Place into a roasting dish with the ribs pointing up and pop it in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
  6. This really gets the browning process started and the caramelisation of the surface on its way.
  7. Turn down the oven to 170°C and roast for 15 mins per 500g (or 30 mins per kg).
  8. Rest for 20 minutes in a warm place before carving.
Roast rib of beef

Calculate cooking times

An average size two bone rib of beef is approx 2.5kg so you could use the timings below for this size.

  • RARE: 15 mins per 500g
  • MEDIUM-RARE: 17 mins per 500g
  • MEDIUM: 20 mins per 500g

Internal temperature

If you have a meat thermometer, which I highly recommend owning, insert into the centre and aim for: 

  • RARE: 50°C
  • MEDIUM – RARE: 54°C
  • MEDIUM: 58°C

Without a meat thermometer

Check to see if the meat is cooked the way you like approx. 20-30 minutes before the end of the cooking time. 

A check I read about from Great British Meat, says you can push a skewer through the thickest part of the joint and leave it for 10 seconds. 

Take the skewer out and touch it to your inner wrist

  • it will be just warm for rare, 
  • warm for medium-rare
  • hot for medium 

Checking the meat juices

Also, the colour of the juices from inserting the skewer can help you know;

  • the redder the juices, the rarer the meat. 
  • The clearer the juices mixed with a little pinkish blood mean it’s medium.

To the touch

And to touch, press both sides.

  • the more spring in it, the rarer it is.
  • the perfect medium joint will feel quite taut, with just a small amount of spring from right in the centre. 

Don’t forget that the meat will continue to cook as it rests, and the juices will also become more evenly distributed, so don’t leave it cooking too long.

How to carve a rib of beef

A rib of beef is best when carved reasonably thin;

  • When the rib of beef is cooked and rested, stand the joint so the ribs are pointing upwards
  • Position a sharp carving knife between the top of the ribs and the meat
  • Keeping the knife pushed against the ribs, gradually cut along the bones to release the meat from the ribs
  • Keep going until the ribs are released and removed. You can use the ribs to add flavour to gravy or stock if you are making some.
  • Hold the meat with one hand, and thinly slice the meat as thinly as you can across the grain.
  • It is generally better to only carve what is needed as the beef will keep better for leftovers as a single piece.

Grass-fed rib of beef

Buying a rib of beef is usually going to be for a special occasion such as Christmas.

It’s not called the Rolls-Royce cut of beef for no reason.

So, if you’re investing in this stunning piece of beef.

Then make sure you’re investing in the best quality production, high-welfare, locally-sourced (as you can get) beef.

It does cost more but when we’re talking about the care of animals and caring for the planet, then grass-fed beef is an important step in the right direction.

For a quick overview of what this means, visit here.


Great British Meat