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Apr 26, 2010 12:40 AM

24 Hour cooked Rib of Beef (50oC) - Tips


I have a stag do this weekend and the first night is going to be cooking a two rib of beef at 50oC for 24 hours, a la Heston. We are operating on a very tight time frame however and was wondering whether anyone had any tips on whether once the cooking has been completed the beef can then be left to cool completely and be stored in any way?

Previously we have always cooked, rested and subsequently fried steaks all within the same process, I was wondering if we prepared the beef (the 24 hour cooking part) in advance we could maybe leave overnight and then cut the steaks and so on when required, or does this just increase the opportunity for bugs to develop agian and so on?

Thanks for any help in advance

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  1. Stanley, I am making the assumption 50C = 125F? Don't know what a la Heston means. My oven doesn't even have a setting that low! Another assumption, 2 rib beef will be about 4-6 lbs?

    However, anything left at room temp for a long time (8-12 hours) is going to have a HUGE opportunity to go bad. I wouldn't recommend cooking in advance and leaving out overnight. To me, roast beef is best fresh, straight from the oven. If that isn't possible, I suppose you could roast in advance, undercook it a little, rest it, refrigerate it and re-heat. However, the disclaimer is that this will be a poor substitute for fresh.

    1. I am not sure I'm following your plan - do you mean to chill the beef rib after you're done and then reheat and serve later? Or leave it at 50 C for an extra overnight period beyond the original 20 hours? Or leave it sitting out lukewarm overnight?

      Keep in mind that 50 c/122 f is not hot enough to pasteurize in the first place, so you're already taking some risks - risks that could be mitigated by exposing the outside of the rib briefly to high heat, especially if you do it before the long cooking process. I'd say that a rapid chilling of the meat to just above freezing (perhaps put it in a plastic bag and then dunk it in ice water) would probably be the safest way to store the meat overnight, only slightly more chance for bugs to develop than in the 24 hour cooking time alone. Leaving it at 50 c overnight is probably not much worse, though I've heard that some common food bugs can continue to reproduce as high as 127 f. Leaving it out lukewarm is begging for problems.

      3 Replies
      1. re: cowboyardee

        Many thanks both. The process begins with high heat frying the outside before placing in oven at 55oC for 20 hours, the idea is that this basically increases the ageing process as I understand it, it is then rested, the hard cooked edges cut off and the remaining beef cut into steaks and fried

        a la Heston, as in the way Heston Blumenthal (Fat Duck) did in a recipe. I will consider the idea of a quick chilling process, however I think I may have to find a way to work at home, or finish early and stick with the way of doing it as before

        1. re: stanleyk

          If you're frying the steaks afterward anyway as a part of the recipe, wouldn't you get the best results by chilling them before dipping em in the fryer? That way you don't raise the internal temp past rare/medium rare as you brown the outside. Or maybe I'm thinking about this wrong - how thick are the steaks that you cut?

          How have you done this before?

          1. re: stanleyk

            This is from the "In Search of Perfection" series/cookbook. The recipe is staggered over a 48 hour period and apparently produces enough to feed four "very hungry" people.

            The piece of steak in question is a two-rib wide piece of dry-aged "fore rib", so using his measure approximately 10 cm (4") wide. I'm thinking that's around 2 kg of cow.

            The recipe doesn't start with high-heat frying - he blowtorches the cow before sticking it in the 50ÂșC oven for a stated 24 hours. This has nothing to do with enhancing the ageing process; it was to 1) create a crust and 2) kill bacteria. He states that the superlow roasting temperature will enhance the Maillard reaction.

            The meat is then tented and rested for 2-4 hours before being cut off the bone, trimmed of its exterior and sliced into two 5 cm (2") steaks. These are then coated in salt/cracked pepper and seared in a pan with peanut oil for 4 minutes ("flipping every 30 seconds").

            Service with iceberg lettuce and tomato salad and a mushroom ketchup using a recipe dating from the 1800s.

            I've actually wasted a two-rib slab just to see what his method would produce and this is definitely not the method that will create the best steak that you've ever eaten: results were "meh" as it was closer to what is expected for rare roast beef and not steak in the North American context.

            Not sure how many people you're supposed to be feeding at this stag, but unless you're going to Robert's afterward for the floorshow, you may be better off using a pan, butter and moderate heat (or a grill).

            Make Blumenburgers - you'll have more fun.

        2. well, i'm not sure i'm following all this but---

          if you cook a fairly small rib roast at 50/122 for 20 hrs. it'll be done, although bright rare uniformly throughout the piece--right up to the crispy edge, i'd guess. the low heat will generate uniform doneness to the set temp. if you're going to sear/fry it again, i don't see anything wrong with refrigerating it in between. it'd be good to get it unchilled before frying, though because, i assume, you don't want to cook it lots and lots more.

          a 2-bone roast won't yield very many guy-size steaks.

          1 Reply
          1. re: silverhawk

            Thanks Wattaceti, most useful. I think we have 3kg of beef for 7 of us, so hopefully this should suffice, even after the trimming off rib and outside parts. The quick frying is because of no access to blowtorch, basically a replacement to sear the outside. I should think we'll cut just two steaks, maybe three, from the rib and fry them as described.

            Thanks also to Silverhawk for thoughts on refridgerating, I guess as you say if cooking again after then all should be fine.

            Will hopefully be in some sort of state following the stag to feedback my findings