Back to the Recipes Index

Côte de Boeuf au Gros Sel

Back to the Beef Index

This is what the French like to do for a steak. This is beef at its simplest and best. The best part of a prime rib is the small end, and you want just one rib off that end for this classic take on steak. Do take the beef out of the fridge an hour before you want to cook it, or it won't cook properly at all.

Put a shelf in the lower third of your oven and pre-heat the oven to 500F.

Spread the coarse sea salt in a thin, even layer on a baking sheet. Brush the beef with just a little olive oil and place it, fatter side up, on the salt. Put the sheet on the low shelf in the oven.

Roast it for about 18 minutes for a 2 lb. piece; if it's bigger it'll need a little longer. Don't guess. Have an instant-read thermometer and stick it into the thickest part of the beef for 10 seconds or so, until it stops rising. If you want it rare, it's done at 120F; if you want it more well-done, it'll turn out medium-rare at 125F and medium at 130F.

Take the baking sheet out of the oven, take the beef off its bed of salt and place it on a rack over a platter which will catch the dripping juices. Season the beef with a few grinds of salt and pepper, then tent it with foil and put it somewhere warm and where the dog won't get it for 15 minutes.

Cut the meat off the bone and slice it thickly. Pour the juices in the platter into a gravy boat. Serve with potatoes (roasted or baked work well with this) and a vegetable.