Côte de boeuf with béarnaise sauce

Côte de boeuf with béarnaise sauce

More Home Comforts
Peter Cassidy

A dish for a legend. When Sir Stirling Moss wanted to learn how to make béarnaise sauce, who was I to say otherwise? And with a côte de boeuf – which is one of the best cuts of meat out there – it creates the best-tasting plate of food there is. Purists will say that the shallots should be strained out, but I like to keep them in. While working for some of the greatest chefs in the world, I saw that they kept the shallots in, and I agree.


Quantity Ingredient
1.8kg cote de boeuf
4 large chipping potatoes, peeled and cut into 1cm thick batons
vegetable oil or dripping, for deep-frying
300g unsalted butter
1 small banana shallot, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon white peppercorns
3 tablespoons tarragon vinegar
2 egg yolks
1 small bunch tarragon, leaves picked and finely chopped
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch watercress, picked


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place the beef on an oven tray and roast for 30–40 minutes until cooked to your liking.
  2. While the beef is cooking, prepare the chips. Heat a deep-fat fryer to 140°C, or heat the oil for deep-frying in a deep heavy-based frying pan until a breadcrumb sizzles and turns just a very pale gold when dropped into it. (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.) Carefully place the chips in the oil in batches and fry for 4–5 minutes until pale but tender. Remove and drain on kitchen paper. When the beef is nearly ready, turn the oil up to 190°C.
  3. Remove the beef from the oven and let it rest for 5–10 minutes.
  4. Heat a large frying pan until hot and add 50g of the butter. When it’s foaming, add the beef and sear on each side for 1 minute until browned, spooning the butter over the top. Remove from the pan and let it rest on a plate while you make the béarnaise.
  5. Place the rest of the butter in a pan and heat until melted, then skim off any foam. Place the shallot, peppercorns and vinegar in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer over a low heat for a few minutes until the liquid has evaporated and there is only 1 tablespoon left.
  6. Put the egg yolks into a bowl and whisk together. Whisk in the melted butter, a little at a time initially, then in a thin constant stream, whisking all the time – you want the mixture to emulsify and thicken slightly. Don’t add the solids at the bottom of the melted butter – discard them. When all the butter has been added, spoon in the shallot and any liquid, add the chopped tarragon, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. When ready to serve, return the chips to the hot oil and cook for 3–4 minutes until golden and crispy. Drain on kitchen paper, sprinkle with salt and serve immediately.
  8. Carve the beef and lay the slices on a plate. Pile the chips alongside, and finish with a dollop of béarnaise and the watercress.
Home Comforts
British food
classic recipes
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