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    Rosemary and black pepper brined wing rib of beef

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    Rosemary and black pepper brined wing rib of beef

    An overnight dry brine – heady with pepper and rosemary – combined with slow-roasting helps the beef cook evenly, giving mouthwatering results whether rare or well-done.

    • Preparation time: 45 minutes, plus overnight brining and resting
    • Cooking time: 2 hours 30 minutes
    • Total time: 3 hours 15 minutes, plus overnight brining and resting

    Serves: 8 - 10

    Ingredients

    20g pack fresh rosemary
    60g fine sea salt
    2½ tbsp black peppercorns, coarsely ground
    about 2.5kg (3-bone) No.1 dry aged beef wing rib joint (available from the meat service counter)
    3 large onions, unpeeled
    4 medium carrots
    4 celery stalks
    1 garlic bulb, halved widthways
    6 star anise
    2 x 170g packs beef bone marrow
    4 tbsp plain flour 
    250ml claret (or other full-bodied red wine)
    1 litre fresh beef stock
    1 tbsp redcurrant jelly
    1 tsp English mustard, plus extra to serve
    1 tsp Marmite

    Method

    1. The night before, dry-brine the beef. Pick and finely chop the leaves from ½ the rosemary, reserving the stalks, then mix with the salt and black pepper. Put the beef in a non-reactive baking dish and coat evenly with the salt mixture (it won’t all stick but cover as much as possible). Chill, uncovered, overnight. 

    2. Remove the beef from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking. Preheat the oven to 140˚C, gas mark 1. Roughly chop the vegetables and scatter in a large, deep roasting tin with the garlic, star anise, bone marrow and remaining rosemary, including the reserved stalks; season with 1 tsp of the beef brine. Use kitchen paper to wipe as much of the remaining brine as possible off the beef and pat dry. Place on top of the vegetables, ideally on a wire rack, and roast for 1 hour 20 minutes-1 hour 45 minutes, until the meat reaches 50˚C in the centre (use a meat thermometer to test, checking regularly for the last 30 minutes). 

    3. As soon as the centre registers 50˚C, turn the oven up to 240˚C, gas mark 9. Cook for a final 5-15 minutes, until the meat is well-browned and cooked to your liking (test again with a thermometer) – it should reach medium-rare (55˚C) after about 5 minutes, medium (60˚C) after 10 minutes and medium-well done (65˚C) after 15 minutes. Transfer the meat to a serving platter and rest, loosely covered with foil, for 45 minutes.

    4. Reserve the garlic bulb to serve alongside the beef, if liked, then make the gravy. Put the roasting tin on the hob over a high heat. Stir in the flour and cook, whisking, for 3-4 minutes, until just starting to colour. Pour in the wine and boil rapidly, scraping the base of the pan, until thickened again. Add the stock, redcurrant jelly, mustard and Marmite. Bubble, whisking, for 2-3 minutes, before straining into a saucepan, pressing to extract as much juice as possible (discard the vegetables). Add any resting juices from the beef and simmer briskly for another 20 minutes or so, until thickened to your liking; season, if needed, and keep warm. Serve the beef with the gravy and some English mustard, if liked. To carve the beef, place it on its front edge and cut along the bones to remove them, then slice the meat.

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