Everyday Meals

‘Delicious’ Matt Tebbutt shares his ‘special’ Sunday roast beef and giant Yorkshire recipe

Saturday Kitchen: Matt Tebbutt talks with Ronan Keating

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Nothing says a Sunday lunch in winter like a delicious rib of roast beef. Chef and Saturday Kitchen presenter Matt Tebbutt share his recipe for the perfect  roast rib of beef with Yorkshire pudding, onion gravy and chive and black pepper butter from his new book, Weekend, with Express.co.uk. Here’s how to make it. 

Speaking about the recipe, Matt said: “Sundays are made special with a rib of beef. 

“For me, a rib is the perfect cut: a good amount of delicious fat, great marbled meat, bones you can chew – basically everything I want in a piece of meat. 

“If you’re going to the expense and effort, make sure you visit a good butcher and tell them you want a well sourced, nicely hung piece of meat on the bone. 

“Meat cooks much better on the bone, but if it comes wrapped in butcher’s string, I suggest you cut it off, because it seems to constrict the muscles too much and does nothing to help the end result.” 

Recipe from Matt’s new book, Weekend: Eating at Home: From Long Lazy Lunches to Fast Family Fixes

Serves six to eight. 


For the roast rib of beef

Four tbsp olive oil

1.5kg (3lb 5oz) rib of beef

One head of garlic, cut

in half horizontally

One small bunch of thyme

Three-and-a-half tbsp Madeira wine

30g (1oz) salted butter

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Yorkshire pudding

500g (1lb 2oz) plain (all-purpose) flour

One heaped tsp sea salt

500ml (17fl oz) medium free range eggs (this will be five to six eggs, depending on size)

500ml (17fl oz) milk

Vegetable oil/duck fat or goose fat, for cooking the Yorkshire puddings

For the onion gravy

30g (1oz) salted butter

One tbsp olive oil

Four onions, sliced

One tbsp plain (all-purpose) flour

500ml (17fl oz) red wine

One-and-a-half litres (52fl oz) beef stock

For the chive and black pepper butter

150g (5½oz) salted butter, at room temperature

One bunch chives, finely chopped

10–15g (1/4–½oz) freshly cracked black pepper


1. Right, let’s cook the beef. Season the beef well on both sides with salt and pepper – a few hours in advance if you can, otherwise not to worry. 

2. Get a large frying pan (skillet) scorching hot and add some oil (use a pan that is ovenproof). 

3. Put the beef flat-side down in the pan to colour, then turn over and do the same on the other side. This will take a good five to 10 minutes on each side. Do the same with the fatty part of the meat, holding it down on the base of the hot pan to render the fat and make it crisp. 

4. Add the garlic and thyme to the pan with the beef and transfer it to the hot oven. Cook to your preference. It will take 40–45 minutes for medium rare; add about ten to 12 minutes on for each desired level of ‘doneness’.

5. When the pan comes out the oven, add the Madeira and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from the base of the pan, then whisk in the butter. 

6. Baste the meat in these juices, then let it rest, covered, for at least 30 minutes before slicing.

7. Meanwhile, for the Yorkshire pudding, put a large roasting tin in the oven to heat up. You can use an individual bun tray, but I prefer one large single Yorkshire pudding, so it is crisp on the edges and soft in the middle.

8. Put the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre. Mix the eggs with the milk in a jug and pour slowly into the centre, whisking well to prevent lumps. If you do have lumps, just pass the mixture through a sieve (strainer) back into the bowl.

9. Season with a bit more with salt and pepper, if you like. I’ve seen mustard and herbs and all sorts of tricks added to the batter at this point, but I don’t feel the need, personally.

10. Let the batter stand and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. This is important as it allows the gluten in the flour to rest.

11. When ready to cook, pour about five millimetres (¼in) of oil or fat into the roasting tin – use duck or goose fat if that’s your thing. 

12. Shut the oven door and heat the fat up for five to 10 minutes. 

13. Now pour the batter in… it should immediately bubble and spit. This is perfect. Pour all the batter into the tin and quickly shut the oven door. Heat and speed are essential here. 

14. Now leave it alone (no opening the oven door) and watch it rise. Cook for 25–30 minutes, or until golden and risen. It’s a thing of beauty!

15. To make the onion gravy, heat the butter and oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. 

16. When hot, add the onions and cook, stirring, for 20–30 minutes until they start to brown – the longer the better, to be honest. 

17. When you’re happy, add the flour and stir into the onions. Cook for two minutes. Pour in the wine and cook, stirring, to reduce by half. Finally, add the stock and cook to reduce by half again. Taste and season. Keep warm.

18. You can make the chive and black pepper butter well ahead of time: put the ingredients in a bowl and mix well,  retaining some chives to sprinkle over when serving, if you like. 

19. Roll into a log on a piece of baking paper, wrap and chill in the fridge to firm up.

20. When everything is ready to serve, slice the rested beef and place on a warmed serving plate. 

21. If you made a single large Yorkshire pudding, cut it into pieces and place alongside. 

22. Serve with the onion gravy and slices of the chive and black pepper butter.

WEEKEND: Eating at Home: From Long Lazy Lunches to Fast Family Fixes by Matt Tebbutt (Quadrille, £22) Photography: Chris Terry

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