RIB OF BEEF WITH A WARM SUMMER TOMATO AND GRILLED COS SALD
|2||Ribs of dry-aged best quality beef, bone in Sea salt|
|1||Head of Cos lettuce|
|2kg||Mixed, ripe, heritage tomatoes|
|1||Bunch large spring onions, thinly sliced|
|½||Small loaf sourdough bread|
|Extra Virgin Olive oil|
|1tbsp||Fennel seeds, lightly toasted and crushed basil leaves|
Also known as a “côte de boeuf” in France, a rib of beef is a perfect cut to grill or barbecue. With a generous amount of marbelling as the beef cooks the fat renders to keep the meat beautifully tender. A fresh, tangy tomato and grilled lettuce salad is all that’s needed to accompany the beef to make a lovely summer lunch, hopefully outdoors!
1. A few hours before you intend to cook the beef remove it from the fridge to come up to room temperature – this will help to cook the meat evenly. Also remove the tomatoes to take the chill off them.
2. Heat your grill, or barbecue, until very hot – you want to get a nice char on your beef. Season the rib generously with cracked black pepper and sea-salt. Lightly oil the beef – not too much or it will flame on the grill and give an acrid taste – and place on the grill.
3. After a few minutes turn the beef 90c to and return to the grill to achieve that classic crosshatched look. About 8 minutes on one side should be enough. Remove the rib to a tray and allow the grill to come back up to temperature, you might need to drain off some of the excess fat that has rendered from the beef. Return the ribs to the grill and repeat on the second side. The beef is cooked when it feels just springy to the touch in the centre.
4. Remove the beef to a plate, cover with tin foil and leave to rest in a warm place for at least 15 minutes – the rule is to rest the meat for as long as it has cooked.
5. Meanwhile cut the cos lettuce lengthways into quarters, oil season and char on the grill for a few minutes. Remove the cos and cut widthways into wide strips and place in a large bowl.
6. Roughly dice the sourdough, and toast in a hot frying pan with just a little olive oil and a clove of garlic, crushed, until golden brown. When cooked add the croutons to the lettuce.
7. Rinse and roughly dice the tomatoes, pips and all, and again add to the bowl along with the thinly sliced spring onions.
8. Season generously with salt, sherry vinegar and plenty of olive oil. Sprinkle on a few crushed fennel seeds and ripped basil leaves and mix everything gently.
9. Serve the beef carved into generous slices with a little more olive oil and coarse sea-salt.
Tomatoes are at their very best in the summer months and for this salad you need them perfectly ripe. Choose tomatoes that are just yielding to the touch. Often the best tomatoes are the ugly, misshapen ones and a little light bruising is nothing to be afraid of. Most important to make this dish work is great quality beef. Look for a good butcher selling best quality, dry-aged beef with a good amount of marbling. Remember, also, that rib of beef shouldn’t be served too rare – it needs time on the grill to let the fat render and work its magic.