Herb-crusted roast beef

Herb-crusted roast beef

At Home with Ben
Mark Roper

Roast beef is one of those dishes that can warm the soul at the mere mention of the words. Though it’s much more of an English tradition, it’s something I grew up on as a child. Every Sunday there’d be roast beef for dinner, The Winners on the ABC and Yorkshire puddings to accompany the beef.

I have left the Yorkies out of this recipe but included the best beef accompaniment in the world, and the first I learnt to master as a young chef – béarnaise sauce! This method is easy and reduces the labour of whisking, though it’s a little more in-depth than the version that accompanies Bender’s Beef Burger. It’s exactly like making mayo, the proper way to make it, as I learnt when I was a kitchen hand on Rottnest Island 23 years ago!


Quantity Ingredient
1 x 2.5kg rib-eye beef, (grass-fed if possible)
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
bunch thyme
bunch rosemary
bunch sage
100g soft butter
fine rock salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 large onion
1 head garlic

Béarnaise sauce

Quantity Ingredient
300ml Clarified butter
3 french shallots, finely diced
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped tarragon leaves, plus stems
5 black peppercorns
3 egg yolks
freshly ground black pepper


  1. Take the beef out of the fridge about 1–1½ hours before cooking.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  3. In a heavy-bottomed pan, heat the sunflower oil until hot. Pan sear the rib-eye well on all sides until evenly coloured. Remove from the pan and place on a plate or baking tray to rest.
  4. Wash the herbs well and drain. Spread out a piece of butchers twine on your bench or board; it needs to be long enough to wrap and tie around the beef. Place the moist herbs along the length of twine.
  5. Smear the beef with the butter and season well with rock salt and pepper. Place the beef on the herbs and tie the twine around it so the herbs encase the meat. Secure any remaining herbs to the beef with more pieces of twine.
  6. Wash and slice the onion, skin and all, and place it in a roasting tin, along with the broken-up and lightly squashed head of garlic. Place the herb-wrapped beef on top and roast in the oven for 60 minutes.
  7. While the beef is cooking, prepare the béarnaise sauce. First, make the clarified butter. Pour the clarified butter into a small saucepan and keep hot on a very low heat.
  8. Place the shallots, wine, vinegar, tarragon stems and peppercorns in a saucepan and simmer until reduced by two-thirds. Strain, then keep the reduction hot.
  9. Place the egg yolks in a jug. Using a hand-held blender, blend the eggs with the hot reduction until foaming and light in colour. Slowly pour in the hot clarified butter, until a thick, creamy sauce develops. Season with salt and pepper and add the chopped tarragon leaves. Reserve and keep warm to serve with the sliced roast beef.
  10. After the beef has been cooking for 60 minutes, check the internal temperature; for medium–rare it should be about 50°C. If the temperature is below 50°C, check after 5 minutes until the desired temperature is reached.
  11. Once cooked to your liking, remove the beef from the oven and leave to rest in a draught-free place for 20–30 minutes. Serve with the béarnaise sauce.
At Home with Ben
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