Pepper-Crusted Rib of Beef with Mulled Wine Gravy


A Christmas centre-piece rib of beef coated in crushed peppercorns served with mulled wine gravy


A 2.5-2.7 kg fore rib of beef

6 medium red onions, peeled and quartered


For the pepper crust:

2tsp whole allspice berries, crushed

2tbsp pink peppercorns, optional, lightly crushed

2tbsp green or black peppercorns, lightly crushed

25g unsalted butter

25g Demerara sugar

1tbsp English mustard powder


For the mulled wine gravy:

1tbsp plain flour

300ml mulled wine

300ml good, hot beef stock

Cooking Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to Gas mark 4-5, 180-190°C or 160-170°C  for fan ovens
  2. Prepare the pepper crust by mixing all the allspice berries, peppercorns, butter, sugar and mustard powder together in a small bowl to form a paste
  3. Place the joint on a chopping board, season well with salt and coat on both sides with the pepper crust. Place the joint on a rack in a roasting tin and roast for the preferred, calculated cooking time (see end of recipe). Cover the bones with foil if browning too quickly
  4. 40 minutes before the end of the cooking time remove the joint from the rack and add the onions. Position the joint on top of the onions and return to the oven
  5. Remove the beef from the oven, cover and leave to rest for 15-20 minutes
  6. Meanwhile, make the gravy: Spoon off any excess fat from the roasting tin and discard. Place the roasting tin over a medium heat and sprinkle over the flour. Stir well with a small whisk or spoon, add a little stock and stir again, scraping the base of the pan to release any rich, beefy sediment.
  7. Add the remaining stock, mulled wine and any meat juices from the platter, adjust the seasoning, if required and simmer for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally or until reduced to a well-flavoured gravy. Strain before serving
  8. Garnish the beef with fresh bay leaves and serve with seasonal vegetables and the mulled wine gravy.

Cooking Times for Beef on the Bone:

Rare: 20 minutes per 450g/1lb plus 20 minutes

Medium: 25 minutes per 450g/1lb plus 25 minutes

Well Done: 30 minutes per 450g/1lb plus 30 minutes