A quality result can only be achieved with a quality piece of meat. Make this dish a real treat by choosing the best you can find.
1 x 3-bone rib Aberdeen Angus beef (about 3kg/6lb 8oz), tips of the bones trimmed, left at room temperature for three hours prior to cooking
2 tbsp vegetable oil
600g/1lb 5oz beef trimmings or bones, cut into 4cm/1½in pieces
1 carrot, roughly chopped
2 onion, cut into eights
6 garlic cloves, whole, unpeeled
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 tsp arrowroot, diluted with a little cold water (optional)
For the beef, preheat the oven to 170C/330F/Gas 3.
Season the beef with the salt and pepper and rub in well all over.
Heat the vegetable oil in a large heavy-duty roasting pan and colour the beef trimmings, carrot, onions and garlic in the oil for 7-10 minutes, or until lightly golden-brown.
Increase the heat to high and add the thyme and 600ml/20fl oz water and bring to a boil. Remove f rom the heat.
Score the surface of the beef using a sharp knife – make 2mm gashes against the grain of the beef across the fat, then make similar slices in the opposite direction to make a diagonal pattern Place the beef, on a rack, on top of the roasted bones, vegetables and water.
Cook in the preheated oven for two hours, basting every 20 minutes with the roasting juices. You can check how the meat is cooked by testing it with a meat thermometer - rare is 50C/120F, medium-rare is 55C/130F, medium is 60C/140F, medium-well is 65C/150F and well-done is 70C/160F.
Remove from the oven, loosely cover with foil and leave to rest for at least 30 minutes and up to two hours.
At the end of cooking, if the liquid has evaporated, add 200ml/7fl oz of water to the pan. Strain the juices into a small saucepan, removing any excess fat on the surface, taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Set aside until ready to serve.
For the Yorkshire puddings, keep the oven at the same temperature and put a 12-hole Yorkshire pudding tin (or 12-hole muffin tin) on the middle shelf.
Place the flour in a large bowl and make a well in the middle.
Whisk together the milk and eggs in a bowl.
Pour half of the milk and egg mixture in the centre of the flour well and gently whisk together until thick and smooth. Add the remaining milk mixture and whisk until smooth. Season with the salt and pepper, then transfer to a jug and leave to rest for 30 minutes in the fridge.
Fill the Yorkshire pudding tray halfway up with sunflower oil in each of the 12 sections. Place in the oven for two minutes, or until the oil is smoking hot. Fill each section with the pudding mixture 5mm from the top.
Cook in the oven for 40 minutes, until puffed up and golden-brown.
Bring the reserved sauce to the boil and add the diluted arrowroot to thicken (if you wish). Pour the sauce into a jug to serve.
Carve the beef on the table in front of your guests and serve with the Yorkshire puddings and sauce alongside.
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