A round of applause for the ultimate star of the show ...

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A forerib of beef is the star of any dinner party.

Just take a look at the picture of this joint cooked by Rachel Berry and Alastair Nunn for the concluding part of their alternative Christmas meal menu.

Last week the couple, who run Halifax-based catering company RachAls Kitchen, showed us how to make a deep, rich cauliflower and cheese soup.

This week they turn their attention forerib, an expensive joint but one which is perfect for celebratory occasions.

Forerib is a fabulous joint, drawing flavour from the rib bones making the meat even tastier.

The bones are also a perfect heat conductor which means the joint will cook more evenly.

There are a few little twists and turns in this recipe, the addition of rosemary and garlic and that perfect accompaniment - English mustard.

And of course a robust red wine would go well with the beef - perhaps a luscious red Bordeaux or maybe a Rioja?

A two-bone rib like the one cooked here will have ample meat to feed the whole family and a good propertion left over for sublime beef and onion sandwiches on Boxing Day.

All that needs to be made then are the various trimmings, roast potatoes and a variety of vegetables.

To finish off with, the pair have plumped for a lighter dish of lemon posset with a shortbread stack.

The joy of this is that it will not add to the strain on your trouser belt and will also help cleanse the palette.

And of course, should you still be in the race, there’s room left for a plate of cheese and biscuit and a glass or two of vintage port or maybe dessert wine.

First we start with the beef recipe and at the bottom of the page is how to make the posset.

Ingredients

1 x 2.50 kg (approx.) forerib of beef (with 2 bones)

1 bulb of garlic

4/5 Stalks of rosemary (leaves picked)

English mustard

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Olive oil

Knob of butter

How to make

lFirstly take the beef out of the fridge approx. 30 minutes before you want to cook it as this allows it to come up to room temperature and then set the oven to 220C/475°F/Gas Mark 9 and place a large roasting tray in the oven to heat up.

lSmear the English mustard all over the beef and then, on a chopping board chop 3/4 garlic cloves along with most of the the rosemary leaves a pinch of sea salt.

lPlace in a bowl with a lug of olive oil, mix and then massage this mixture over the beef.

lCrush the remaining unpeeled garlic cloves and add to the hot roasting tray along with the beef and remaining rosemary stalks. Season the meat and then pop straight in the oven and roast for around 50 minutes, basting occasionally with the juices from the tray.

lAfter 50 mins reduce the temperature to 190°C/375°F/gas 5 for around 10/15 minutes, or until the beef is beautifully golden brown (and pink in the middle). Leave in for longer if you prefer your beef well done.

lCarefully transfer the beef to a platter, dot with butter, cover with a double layer of tin foil and leave to rest for approx. 20 minutes.

lServe the beef with the resting juices drizzled over the top and your favourite Christmas accompaniments.