Saturday, December 29, 2012

My Holiday Adventure with a Prime Rib.

Enjoying a finely roasted slice of Prime Rib Roast is not something new to me. I have eaten them at many a wedding reception, or on a special occasion at a restaurant. However, I was not brave enough to consider making it on my own; it's an expensive cut of beef, I was so afraid of messing it up or that it would be too difficult. That was then, this is now and I'm a lot braver than I used to be, especially in the kitchen. Since the winter holidays were upon us, what better way to show off my bravery, but then to make a Prime Rib Roast. I shopped around and found lovely specimens of this beef type; one to make for me and my hubby; one for his mother and brother to enjoy. Now the big question was, what do I do with them? To the internet!!!

Into my Google search box I typed, "how to roast a prime rib?" and thousands and thousands of sites popped up; I stuck to the first 10 on the first page.  I could not believe I actually found a forum set up for discussing prime rib and almost each person had their own way of doing it.  Of course each person also stated that their way was the perfect way, and no other method could compare.  In an hour I had come up with my own cooking and seasoning methods.  How you ask?  I used averages and majority rule; I averaged out the cooking temperatures and times; figured out which seasonings people used the most and threw in my own touches to make it all mine.  Ok, here comes the bragging.....out of all the prime rib dinners I have eaten in my lifetime; mine is the absolute best I've ever had.  There, I've said it and will say it again; my prime rib is the absolute best!!!

So lets get to the perfection...

How to Make a Prime Rib Roast
Normally a prime rib roast comes with the bones attached.  You can do several things with the bones once removed; use them as a rack for the roast to rest on while roasting; cook them separately to eat later on; use them to make beef stock.  Or you can ask your butcher to remove them for you and not deal with them at all; to me, that's a complete waste.  Prime rib usually comes with a thick fat cap also; I removed a good portion of it so I could get the seasoning rub onto the meat itself, but left enough fat so the meat could self baste while roasting.

1 (14.5 oz) can beef broth
1/2 can of water
4 large shallots, peeled and split into sections
2 tsp dried rosemary
3 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp coarse sea salt
2 Tbsp olive oil
8 lb prime rib; bones removed


Preheat oven to 400F.  Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil; pour the beef broth and water in.  Place the shallot sections in the pan so that the prime rib will be located over them.  Spray the rack with nonstick spray and place into the pan; be careful not to tear the foil.

Mix together the rosemary, thyme, garlic and onion powders, black pepper and salt.

Brush olive oil over top of the prime rib; spread seasoning rub onto it.

Place the roast onto the center of the rack; make sure it it over the shallots.  Roast the beef for 45 minutes at the 400F temperature; turn the temperature down to 300F and roast to desired doneness.  A meat thermometer is going to be your best friend with this process as it will tell you the internal temperature and, therefore, how you like your meat cooked.  125F is rare, 135F is medium-rare, 145F is medium and 155F is well; anything over that, in my opinion of course, is shoe leather. In the words of Doctor Who, it's a "wibbley wobbley, timey wimey" process.

Once you have the roast at the desired doneness, pull the entire pan out of the oven and let it all rest for 30 minutes.  This lets the juices from the roast redistribute back throughout itself; then place the roast on a cutting board and cut one inch slices.

You're probably wondering about the beef broth, water and shallots?  This is what you'll use to make either an au jus or a gravy; first remove the shallots with a slotted spoon.  Then pour all the remaining liquids and solids into a freezer safe plastic bowl; put the bowl into the freezer for 45 minutes; the fat will rise to the surface, solidify and you can just remove it easily with a spoon.  Pour the fat free liquid through a strainer to remove any bits of missed solid fat or herbs.  That will give you a lovely clear, herbal flavored au jus; or you can put the liquid into a saucepan, add a tablespoon of corn starch, bring it to a boil and make a gravy.  The shallots?  I chopped them up finely and added them to the au jus, but they could just as well be served on the side of the prime rib slice.

Now what did I do with those rib bones?  Glad you asked. 

I seasoned them up a bit differently by using my all purpose seasoning rub .  After the prime rib was done, I popped them into the 300F oven, sitting on an aluminum foil covered rack in a pan; I let them roast for 3 hours.

They made a good snack for my hubby later on.

In essence, fear is the appetite killer; take the plunge and make something that you thought could only be found at a good restaurant or a banquet hall.  New Year's Day is just around the corner, so make the resolution to treat yourself well and keep it.

Happy Holidays!!!

Mary Cokenour

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