Roast Rib of McGrath's Hereford Beef with Béarnaise Sauce, Roast Potatoes and Buttered Leeks
Roast Rib of McGrath’s Hereford Beef with Béarnaise Sauce, Roast Potatoes and Buttered Leeks
This classic recipe is taken from the new revised edition of Irish Country House Cooking – The Blue Book Collection; it’s perfect for the colder months and is one of the most popular dishes on the menu at the Green family’s gracious mansion, Ballyvolane House, near Fermoy in Co Cork. Ballyvolane is surrounded by its own farmland, magnificent wooded grounds, a trout lake and formal terraced gardens - and makes an excellent base for a peaceful and very relaxing break at any time of year.
Their beef is supplied by the renowned butcher Michael McGrath, whose meat is prepared as it always has been in his traditional shop on the main street in Lismore, in West Waterford. Ask your own butcher to saw through the chine bone of the joint for easier carving.
olive oil, for cooking
8 lb/3.6kg rib of beef on the bone (preferably well hung Hereford or a similar breed)
12 large potatoes (such as Roosters)
2 large leeks, trimmed & washed well
4 oz/115g/1 stick of butter
For the Béarnaise:
2 small shallots, finely chopped
2 tsp tarragon vinegar or white wine vinegar
1 fresh tarragon sprig
12 oz/350g/ 3 sticks of butter, cut into cubes
4 egg yolks (free range if possible)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7. Rub olive oil lightly into the beef and season to taste. Place in a roasting tin and cook for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 170C/325F/Gas 3 and roast the beef for another 1 hour and 30 minutes for rare. (Cook longer to your taste if you prefer your beef medium or well done.) Remove from the oven and wrap in foil, then leave to rest for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, chop the potatoes into even-sized pieces and place in a roasting tin. Toss in a little olive oil and season to taste. Roast on the top shelf of the oven for 1 hour until crispy and golden brown, turning them occasionally to ensure they cook evenly.
Cut the leeks on the diagonal and place in a pan with a lid. Add the butter and four tablespoons of water. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, then strain and season to taste. Keep warm, or leave to cool and reheat as necessary. Strain, then season with salt and pepper.
To make the béarnaise sauce: place the shallots in a small pan with the vinegar. Strip the leaves from the tarragon sprig and chop finely, then set aside. Add the tarragon stalk to the pan and reduce over low heat until there is almost nothing left. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then remove the tarragon sprig. To finish the béarnaise sauce, place the reduced shallot mixture back on a very low heat and whisk in the egg yolks, then very slowly add the butter piece by piece until the sauce thickens. If the sauce curdles, whisk in one teaspoon of cold water. Add the reserved chopped tarragon and season to taste. Use immediately, or decant to a thermos flask to keep the sauce warm.
Carve the beef into slices and arrange on warmed plates with the roasted potatoes, buttered leeks and a dollop of the béarnaise sauce.