Côte de Boeuf is French for beef rib. It makes the perfect sharing dish and is a real treat. Why not buy your beef from somewhere other than the supermarket for a change. Try your local butcher, farm shop, farmers’ market or order online from an organic farm. And as I always suggest, try to buy the best you can afford. This dish needs all the elements to make it work: the chunky twice-fried chips dusted with good Scottish salt; watercress for the peppery hit, roasted garlic to smear over the meat as you eat; and the juicy mushrooms that are so full of flavour. A big glass of red wine always goes well with this dish.
Images: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango
500g côte de boeuf
1 tablespoon cold-pressed rapeseed oil
2 bulbs garlic, peeled
1 bulb garlic, top 2cm removed
2 sprigs of thyme
A few flat mushrooms, whole
3 large potatoes, peeled
Oil for frying the chips
A big bunch of watercress
Good salt and pepper
A small knob of butter
Marinate the beef in the cold-pressed rapeseed oil, peeled garlic bulbs and a sprig of thyme for at least one hour.
Place the garlic bulb in a sheet of tin foil with some salt and a knob of butter. Scrunch up and roast for 45 minutes in a medium-hot oven.
Cut the potatoes into chip shapes and fry at 130°C in a fryer for 7 to 10 minutes - until just cooked. Remove the chips and turn the fryer off.
Place a griddle pan on the hob and cook the mushrooms for 5 or 7 minutes on one side, then turn them over to cook through. Keep warm.
Sear the marinated beef on an oven-proof griddle to create a criss-cross pattern. Then season and place the griddle in a moderate oven with the thyme and butter for 7 to 10 minutes for medium rare, or longer if you like it more well-cooked. The longer the cooking and grilling the more well done it will be. Allow the meat to rest on a clean plate in a warm place so it becomes more tender and easier to carve. Any resting or cooking juices can be simply drizzled over the steak as you serve.
Turn the fryer up to 190°C and submerge the chips in the hot oil and cook until golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes.
I like to serve this dish on one large wooden board with a few slices carved into the beef and all the other components scattered around. I suggest squeezing the roasted garlic over the beef and the mushrooms before you tuck in, it’s delicious!