14 March 2014

Côte de bœuf au barbecue

A côte is a rib, and a côte de bœuf is a rib of beef, a rib steak, or a rib roast. It's thicker than your average steak, but smaller and thinner than a full roast. In France,the côte de bœuf is generally a single rib, unlike American prime rib, which is several ribs cut to be cooked as a roast in the oven.

We cooked a côte de bœuf on our new gas barbecue grill yesterday. It was a big success. Delicious. It's not something we eat often. But Walt has mastered the new grill already. He seared the meat on both sides on a very hot grill. Then he turned the heat down and let the meat cook for 10 or 15 minutes. After that, it went on the warming rack under the domed lid of the grill with the burners turned off and it rested for as long as it had cooked, about 25 minutes.

This côte de bœuf was 2 inches (5 cm) thick and weighed about 800 grams, or about 1¾ lbs. It cost just less than ten euros. I removed the bone with the idea of cutting the beef into two steaks, each one inch thick. I dropped that idea, though, and decided to pound the boneless steak with a batte / attendrisseur à viande to tenderize it and flatten it a little, for quicker cooking.

Some people from other countries tell me they aren't crazy about French beef, but I don't understand why. It might not be as fatty and tender as American beef, but it is tasty cooked either fairly rare or slow-cooked (braised, boiled) until it's nearly falling apart. American beef can't be imported into France because the French authorities object to the growth hormones that beef cattle are treated with. French cattle are grass-fed rather than fattened on so much corn, so the meat is leaner and has a different appearance and taste.


  1. beef with hormones is not forbidden only in France but in all EU countries too.

  2. We can now buy beef that is
    specifically labeled "grass
    fed." It's from Minnesota, but
    I think some Texas ranchers
    are now doing the same. People
    are clamoring for pasteured food
    including dairy products and
    poultry, eggs.

  3. Ken, the cuts are different for steaks fromm the English cuts...
    the nearest to an English style, across the grain cut of steak is "bas côté"...
    otherwise they are all "long grain" cuts....
    and that seems tougher to a lot of people...
    but, personally, the meat that is race "Viande" is better than most UK beef.
    And it has been hung correctly...
    as well as being nice and dark.
    The meat marked rave "Lait" or "Laitier" [depending on store] is as tough as old boots and is perfect for a very long slow-cooked meat dish....
    In Intermarché the type is clearly marked on the label...
    albeit in 4 point type or smaller!!
    Your hunk has triggered olfactory memory...
    so I'll have a Bovril sandwich!!

  4. i like the taste of French beef so much better than ours in the US....and that steak looks perfect

  5. that looks beautiful. i need a cow.

  6. Not sure if I'm right, but that piece of meat looks very much like what we call a ribeye steak in the U.S. They rarely come 2 inches thick, however.

  7. Bob, maybe it's entrecôte when the bone is taken out and côte de bœuf when the rib bone is left in -- in France. But yes, ribeye, or delmonico. He one we had really was 2" thick before I pounded it. I remember how good the steak we ate at your house in May 2012 was.

  8. Tim, I don't really know what Bovril is. It must be some kind of beef extract, like Viandox. I don't think we have Bovril in France or in the U.S.

  9. Oooooh, I love a good grilled sirloin :) We like ours to be about 1-1/2 inches thick, and then we cook it pretty much like you did this one. Medium rare, sizzled on the outside, juicy, yummmm :)

    What French cut is similar to a sirloin, Ken?


  10. You all know my opinion......hehe

  11. Sirloin is like faux-filet, I think, Judy.


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