The beer gives this dish a mouth-watering astringency, which is enhanced if you baste it regularly while cooking. It’s better to smother the beef with the heady-flavoured paste a couple of hours (or even a day) ahead for maximum flavour, but it’s nearly as good when done just an hour prior to roasting.
2.5 kg (about 5 ribs) standing beef rib roast, French-trimmed
2 sprigs rosemary, leaves picked
8 garlic cloves
70 g (¼ cup) wholegrain mustard
1 tsp black peppercorns
375 ml (1½ cups) medium-bodied ale
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Remove beef from the fridge 1 hour before cooking to bring it to room temperature. Trim off the excess fat, leaving about 1 cm of fat on the outside, then lightly score the meat at 2 cm intervals.
Using a mortar and pestle, grind rosemary, garlic, mustard, peppercorns and 3 tsp salt to a coarse paste. Add 60 ml ale and stir until combined.
Place beef in a greased roasting pan. Rub paste all over beef and massage well. Place in the fridge to marinate for 1 hour or overnight.
Preheat oven to 220°C. Pour remaining 315 ml ale into the base of the pan. Place beef in the centre of the oven and roast for 20 minutes, then baste with pan juices.
Reduce heat to 180°C and roast, basting regularly, for 1 hour or until the internal temperature reaches 55°C for medium-rare, or until cooked to your liking.
Remove from oven, cover beef with foil and rest for 20 minutes before carving. You can drain off the juices and skim off the fat (use this for the Yorkshire pudding, recipe opposite) and serve the juices as a light jus, with the broccoli and Yorkshire pudding.
Drink 2010 Château de Saint Cosme Côtes-du-Rhône 2010, Rhône Valley, France ($20)
As seen in Feast Magazine, Issue 13, pg32.
Photography by Alan Benson