Try this salt and pepper côte de boeuf, then also check out our salt and pepper chicken.


  • 2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • ¼ tsp ground mace
  • 1kg rib (or 2 x 500g ribs) côte de boeuf, French-trimmed
  • olive oil

Béarnaise sauce

  • 3 shallots, finely chopped
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • 1 small bunch tarragon, stalks and leaves separated 
  • 4 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 200g unsalted butter
  • egg yolks


  • STEP 1

    Put the peppercorns, mustard seeds, fennel and mace in a mortar and crush with a pestle until finely ground. Rub all over the beef, put in a dish and leave to marinate in the fridge overnight (or up to 48 hours if you have time).

  • STEP 2

    To make the béarnaise base, put the shallots, peppercorns, tarragon stalks, vinegar and 4 tbsp water in a very small saucepan. Heat gently until just about 2 tbsp liquid remains. Keep in the fridge with the steak.

  • STEP 3

    Half an hour before you want to start cooking the steak, take out of the fridge, sprinkle with 1 tsp salt, and let it come up to room temperature. Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6.

  • STEP 4

    Heat a heavy-bottomed frying pan with 1-2 tbsp olive oil and sear the beef – starting with the fat side so the fat renders into the pan. Sear the steak on each side until nicely browned – about 8-10 minutes – then lift into a roasting tin and finish cooking in the oven for 15 minutes for medium, turning halfway. When the steak is done, leave it to rest for 10 minutes.

  • STEP 5

    Meanwhile, for the sauce, melt the butter in a pan, until bubbling. Put the egg yolks into a food processor with the shallot mixture. Whizz for 30 seconds, then, with the motor still running, very gradually drizzle in the hot butter. When all the butter has been incorporated into a smooth, thick béarnaise sauce, quickly sieve into a serving bowl, chop and stir in the tarragon and taste for seasoning. Serve the côte de boeuf on a board, alongside the sauce, and slice it at the table.


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