Christmas Rib of beef
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Christmas Rib of Beef

There are few things more grand and ceremonial than a magnificent rib of roast beef with a dark crust and oozing with meaty juices.

If there is one perennial contender to overthrow the turkey at Christmas it is the rib of beef, and it is for good reason.

Firstly it is cooked on the bone which ensures strong flavour within the meat and the meat juices.

Secondly the fatty crust that greets the carver is mouth-watering and instantly has you wanting to steal an offcut while no-one is looking.

And thirdly, and most importantly, the beef itself retains is tenderness and can be cooked to cater for all tastes. The edge meat is usually cooked enough for those who like their beef well done and as you go towards the middle you find the cuts to suit those who like theirs varying shades of pink.

All you have to do is decide how big a joint you need, remembering of course that beef retains its flavour when cold and is great for picking at in the days after.

According to Delia Smith’s ‘How to roast beef’, if you want to serve 6-8 people and have some left over, you’ll need a piece weighing approximately 5-6 lb (2.25-2.75 kg) – this would be 3 ribs.

It really is an amazing joint of meat, and is special without doing too much to it. You can however flavour the fat to give it a real taste sensation of a crust.

We have again looked for recipes from top chefs to inspire you, this time Jamie Oliver roasts a fore rib of beef with beetroot and horseradish, James Martin adds a herb and pepper crust to his rib of beef and Tom Kerridge’s Rib of beef has a winter rub and dark ale gravy.