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12 Days of Christmas: Rib of Beef

Before the Blackwells Free Range Bronze Turkey reigned supreme, your Christmas dinner might have been a goose (Blackwells Goose, obviously), wild boar or for the smarter amongst you, a peacock.  In the absence of a Free Range Blackwells Peacock, we recommend Hawksmoor’s Executive Chef Matt Brown’s phenomenal recipe for Porcini-Rubbed Rib of Beef.

The Rare Breed Meat Company here at Blackwells supply fantastic grass-fed beef to the Hawksmoor Restaurants in London.   Whether you’re looking for an alternative for Christmas Day, a New Year Feast or to game-up your Sunday roast, this recipe is deceptively simple with stunning results.

Matt suggests accompaniments of bone marrow stuffing, umami gravy (recipes below) and sautéed wild mushrooms.  And his top tip for Chrismas and beyond: “As all ovens vary slightly, when cooking a cut of meat like this, it’s well worth investing in a meat thermometer to ensure it’s cooked perfectly.”

Order a Rib of Beef →


“With lots of umami flavours, this rib of beef not only delivers on taste, it’s simple to cook too.  Rubbing in the porcini powder and salt 24 hours before cooking allows it to penetrate the meat, so don’t skip that step.” Matt Brown

Serves 6 · PREP: 35 mins plus 24hrs chilling · COOK: 1hr 45mins
30g dried porcini mushrooms
3kg grass-fed rib of beef (3 bones)
1tbsp smoked sea salt

  1. Tip the porcini mushrooms into a food processor and blitz to a powder. Put the beef in a roasting tin and rub all over with the porcini powder, smoked salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper, do this at least 24 hrs before cooking. Cover loosely and place in the fridge overnight.
  2. Remove the beef from the fridge at least 3 hrs before you want to cook it. Heat oven to 140C/120C fan/gas 2. Uncover the beef and cook for 1 hr 20 mins.
  3. Turn the oven up to 220C/200C fan/gas 7 and cook for another 25 mins for medium rare until the fat is blistered and browned. If you have a meat thermometer, the core temperature should be 55C for rare, 65C for medium and 75C for well done (bear in mind that the beef will keep cooking and the temperature will continue to rise slightly as it sits). Leave to rest under a piece of foil for at least 20 mins.  Serve with bone marrow stuffing, umami gravy (see recipes, below) and sautéed wild mushrooms.


Bone marrow stuffing

“Ask at the Blackwells butchery for bone marrow.  You’ll have to scoop out the marrow for this recipe – the bone makes a great treat for the dog.  You’ll need about four 15cm pieces for 200g marrow. “ Matt Brown

Serves 6 · PREP: 2 mins · COOK: 30 mins
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
200g dried white breadcrumbs
200g bone marrow meat cut into 2cm cubes
small bunch thyme, leaves finely chopped
smal; bunch parsely, roughly chopped

  1. Heat the oil in a pan. Fry the onion for 8-10 mins until softened, tip out into a bowl and leave to cool. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients to the onions along with some seasoning, and mix well. Spoon into an ovenproof serving dish, about 22 x 12cm. This is a fairly loose stuffing, so press it down with the back of a spoon if you want a closer texture. Cook for 35 mins until the stuffing is dark golden brown with crisp bits on top.


Umami gravy

Serves 6 · PREP: 20 mins · COOK: 35 mins
10g unsalted butter
20g salted anchovies, chopped
400ml beef stock
20ml sherry vinegar

  1. Melt the butter in a pan over a high heat. Bubble, swirling the pan until it turns a nut brown colour. Add the anchovies, and sizzle for 1-2 mins until they dissolve.
  2. Add the stock and vinegar. Bring to the boil and reduce for around 20 mins to the desired consistency. Sieve and serve.


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