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Prime Rib


Bella S.F.
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I know that many threads have mentioned prime rib, (Marlene, if I remember correctly, you make a real beauty.) but I can't seem to find what I am looking for in this forum.

I want to make a prime rib for Christmas. Last year was the first time in years that we had decided to make one, so I wasn't thoroughly sure that I knew what to do. We went to one of the upscale butcher shops here in the city. We figured, why not... let's get a really good piece of meat. The fellow who waited on us told us how to roast the meat to a perfect medium rare. Something about what he said did not make sense, but we figured that he must know what he is talking about. Well, he didn't. Thankfully, we did not leave it in for as long as he had told us to. However, it was just not what we had been hoping for. It was not pink enough and it was not really tender, juicy, or flavorful.

I want the perfect prime rib this year. (Or as near to as one can get.) I want "melt in your mouth" tender. I rember seeing some beautiful examples on this thread all the time. We will probably get a 2 rib roast. (It's for two people. Shouldn't two be enough with some leftovers? We were told two people per rib.) What should I do? How should I treat the meat even before getting it close to the oven. And then... what?

I thank you for helping.

HO HO HO ! Merry Christmas!!!

"My only regret in life is that I did not drink more Champagne."

John Maynard Keynes

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It depends on how much leftovers you want. A two rib will yield some but not a lot. I rarely roast anything smaller than a three rib for even just the two of us. That yields decent leftovers.

I brush my roast with olive oil and salt and pepper it. I use a 300 degree convection oven, 325 if you don't have convection.

I pull it at 118 and let it rest for 10-15 minutes. That will yield a reasonably rare, but not raw roast. If you want it a little more well done, pull it at 122 and don't let it sit for more than 10 minutes.

If you are making yorkies and you only have one oven and you want the roast med rare, pull it at 118 because it's going to rest for at least 20-25 minutes while the oven temp comes up for the yorkies and then they bake.

That's it, that's all I ever do. Lots of people will tell you roast it low and slow. I can't say I've ever noticed a lot of difference when I've done it that way. :smile:

Edited by Marlene (log)

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Just to state the obvious: melt-in-the-mouth tender is a result of product quality as much as preparation; a thermometer is useful to figure out the doneness you want.

Theories on prime rib vary from low n slow after a good hard blast (Marlene's got that covered) to a Barbara Kafka-esque 500F with a calming rest after release from the hellish oven. Pick 'em, I'm afraid.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Chris is correct. You'll get the most tenderness with a USDA Prime roast rather than a Choice for example. All the variations won't matter much if you don't start with the best cut available to you. And I never roast without a thermometer!

Oh, and one other thing. Choose a roast with the best fat cap you can find. :smile:

Edited by Marlene (log)

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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It's too bad you can't find the thread - you'll find tons of people disagreeing with each other completely on how to do this.

I find that a 2 bone roast is almost impossible to do correctly, because I like the outsides crispy and the inside really rare. So for anything smaller than the entire 7 bones, I start by rendering some fat that I cut off the roast (or ask the butcher for extra) in a skillet, and then I plunk one end of the roast in a sizzling pan of melted fat until it crisps really nicely (like it would do if the roast were so large that it would have to sit in the oven for hours and hours), and then I flip it and sear the other side to an equally satisfying crisp.

Then I put it in a preheated 550 oven, which I turn down to 325 after a few minutes depending on the size of the roast - for 2 ribs, I'd turn it down after a moment.

The key is a temperature probe - get it out of the oven by 118 indeed as suggested above, and if you can (if you have a second oven), put it somewhere warm to rest for at least 20 minutes - this is crucial - I use another oven set to 120.

The tricks are getting as fatty and marbled a roast as you can, searing the outsides, and letting it rest somewhere warm once it's done cooking.

Here are photos of some of my rib roasts.

Several of them are Australian grass-fed beef because it's leaner (a necessity, not a desire), but it overcooks on me, and it's chewy as opposed to tender, though it has a nice flavor. But unless you have health concerns that forbid fatty meat, I'd say that the more beef fat involved, the better.

Edited by markk (log)

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

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It's too bad you can't find the thread - you'll find tons of people disagreeing with each other completely on how to do this.

I find that a 2 bone roast is almost impossible to do correctly, because I like the outsides crispy and the inside really rare. 

Hi,

Sear the outside of the roast on the cooktop to the desired color. Then place the roast in a 200 degree oven until the temp gets to 118.

With this method, it is not crucial to let it rest.

Tim

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I agree with Tim. I'm a "sear on the stovetop and roast low and slow" kinda gal! I've even done some very thick (4-5 inches) boneless rib eye steaks this way, searing them on the stove and then placing in a 200 degree F oven until reaching 120 degrees or so internal temp. They were mouth wateringly good, pink all the way through!!!! I think you could easily do a 2 bone rib eye roast this way. Once the desired temp is reached (if it is too early to serve), just turn the oven temp down to 150 degrees and it should hold the meat at the temp you want.

Donna

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I agree with Tim.  I'm a "sear on the stovetop and roast low and slow" kinda gal!  I've even done some very thick (4-5 inches) boneless rib eye steaks this way, searing them on the stove and then placing in a 200 degree F oven until reaching 120 degrees or so internal temp.  They were mouth wateringly good, pink all the way through!!!!  I think you could easily do a 2 bone rib eye roast this way.  Once the desired temp is reached (if it is too early to serve), just turn the oven temp down to 150 degrees and it should hold the meat at the temp you want.

Actually that's my method for a thick (like 2") rib steak, although when I'm done with the pan charring, they really only need a resting oven (120 degrees) to come to rare for me. So I'd go for this as well. But I'd advise that you be real sure to get the same crisp in the pan that your end cut would get if it roasted all afternoon in the oven - which is to say, don't take it out of the pan too soon, because no crisping is going to happen in the oven.

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

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The Craig Claiborne, New York Times Cookbook has a recipe I've used for years, with great success. It accomodates 2 rib roasts, or more, but requires an oven capable of 500 degrees. The technique involves heating the oven to 500 degrees, roasting at this for a short period of time then, turning off the oven and leaving the roast in the oven for a period of time, w/o opening the oven. If you are interested in this method and do not have access to the book, let me know and I'll post it here or in a pm to you. Don't you just love holidays and the smell of that rib roast in the oven!

"I drink to make other people interesting".

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I had really good luck last year with putting the roast on the grill to sear and then in a 250 degree oven to about 115.  Pull and rest.

The opposite is very tasty as well. Low and slow, rest, slice in thick slabs, char quickly on very hot grill.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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The opposite is very tasty as well. Low and slow, rest, slice in thick slabs, char quickly on very hot grill.

The advantage to this method is that you'll get a crisper char, because the surface won't spend time in the warm oven getting steamed by the underlying meat.

The advantages to browning first are that it's easier, and that it kills bacteria on the surface of the roast, so you don't have to worry as much about them if you go really low and really slow. One low and slow approach is to sear first, and then put the roast in a cold oven set to 200 or 250 degrees. This allows the meat to spend a lot of time in the 70 to 140 degree range where the meat's enzyme activity is highest. Time spent in this range accomplishes many of the same effects on flavor and texture as aging, but very rapidly. It's also a favorite temperature range for pathogens, so it could be unwise to go this slow with meat that hasn't been sanitized first on the stovetop.

Notes from the underbelly

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sear. roast. sear. kill bacteria, cook perfectly, and get some carmelized goodness.

different? yea. i remember searing then roasting but didn't cook it well enough and decided to just pretend it was a regular steak, pan-seared it again and it was perfect for me atleast.

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Geez, I thought we went through this before!

Anyway, as mentioned USDA Prime is the first requirement and dry aged if possible.

Cannot be done correctly with at least greater than 1/2 a full rib primal.

Object is to transfer heat into roast so it slowly makes it way into interior and results in an even temperature distribution through as much of the rib as possible.

For the non-technical, heat transfer requires a heat gradient to work so obviously the outside will be cooked more than the interior. How to accomplish is endless number of way but why not do it the simpilest?

Start at 450F or so to get a nice crust, after crust(about 45 min) turn down to 350F until interior gets to 100f to 105F. Remove from oven, tent with foil and rest for at least 45 min. guaranteed perfect, simple whatever.

Pepin has a nice seasoning that includes paprika, tyme, salt and pepper that enhances the browning.

Goof luck.-Dick

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Geez, I thought we went through this before!

Anyway, as mentioned USDA Prime is the first requirement and dry aged if possible.

Cannot be done correctly with at least greater than 1/2 a full rib primal.

Object is to transfer heat into roast so it slowly makes it way into interior and results in an even temperature distribution through as much of the rib as possible.

For the non-technical, heat transfer requires a heat gradient to work so obviously the outside will be cooked more than the interior. How to accomplish is endless number of way but why not do it the simpilest?

Start at 450F or so to get a nice crust, after crust(about 45 min) turn down to 350F until interior gets to 100f to 105F. Remove from oven, tent with foil and rest for at least 45 min. guaranteed perfect, simple whatever.

Pepin has a nice seasoning that includes paprika, tyme, salt and pepper that enhances the browning.

Goof luck.-Dick

What would be the rested temp here? Are you saying to do atleast a 4 bone roast?

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Sticking in my mind like a mantra from cooking school is "Never cook less than a 4-rib roast." I like the high-heat blast/reduce and finish method, although the Craig Claiborne is very good--I just once forgot it (really). The method suggested that is akin to cooking it like a steak (stovetop then oven) would be the only thing I would try for less than 4 ribs. As others have stated, the meat is crucial. Buy the best. And don't forget the Yorkshire pudding.

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Every time I try the roast on high and then turn down method, the drippings in the pan burn and I fill the house with acrid smoke and all the smoke alarms go off. It isn't terribly festive. Any ideas on how to avoid that this year?

And in the interest of planning timing, if anyone has an alternate method, could you give an idea of how many minutes per pound the beef will need to be in the oven?

I like the idea of the sear it on the stove and roast at 250 plan, but I have no idea how long that might take....

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Every time I try the roast on high and then turn down method, the drippings in the pan burn and I fill the house with acrid smoke and all the smoke alarms go off.  It isn't terribly festive.  Any ideas on how to avoid that this year?

And in the interest of planning timing, if anyone has an alternate method, could you give an idea of how many minutes per pound the beef will need to be in the oven?

I like the idea of the sear it on the stove and roast at 250 plan, but I have no idea how long that might take....

Put liquid and mire poix in the pan while cooking and let the sauce make itself.

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Every time I try the roast on high and then turn down method, the drippings in the pan burn and I fill the house with acrid smoke and all the smoke alarms go off.  It isn't terribly festive.  Any ideas on how to avoid that this year?

And in the interest of planning timing, if anyone has an alternate method, could you give an idea of how many minutes per pound the beef will need to be in the oven?

I like the idea of the sear it on the stove and roast at 250 plan, but I have no idea how long that might take....

For a regular roasting method as above, I calculate the cooking time at 18 minutes per lb.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Aha! Finally something I've learned that I can pass on about the timing - - in the grand scope of planning your dinner time, it isn't crucial, because the roast will benefit from a nice, long rest, as long as you have someplace that can approximate 120 degrees (max) - and it will hold at that temp for more than an hour or two and just get better.

So not only should you figure on around 18 minutes to the pound for the internal temperature of the roast to reach the 115-118 mark, if you have any kind of a second oven, or an oven you can cool down to not above 120, you can plan on the roast being done 90 minutes (or longer) before you need it and have it sitting in a "holding" oven. At that temperature, the meat won't keep cooking past rare, but the fatty cap that surrounds the eye of the roast will just get more and more meltingly tender.

So anything that you can improvise for a holding oven (even an outdoor grill that you can get to 120 to stash the roast in for an hour or two) will buy you leeway with the timing and improve the roast as well.

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

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Well, I have been reading over everyone's responses and now I am a bit more confused than before. It seems that there are strong opinions from all camps.

alanamoana, thank you for finding the link to the other thread about cooking prime rib. I have not had a chance to read through that one yet, but it is on the top of the list of things to look at after I get through with the "things that must get done " list.

I had mentioned that we spent far too much money last year buying a top-notch 3 rib roast from a butcher where we were given horrible instructions on how to cook it. I never kept the directions we were given because they were dreadful. All I remember was that we started the roast in a VERY HOT oven. I cannot remember anything else, except for the fact that if we had kept the roast in for the whole time the butcher had told us to, we would have anded up with a lump of coal.

Raoul, I am not familiar with the Craig Claiborne method. It sounds like you just have to go on blind faith that the roast will continue to cook in an oven that will definitely cool down pretty quickly.

I am leaning toward searing the outside in a pan (cast iron??) and then putting it on a rack in the oven. I have been told to salt and not to salt. I know people who swear that the meat will be tough if you salt it ahead of time. I do not think that I have found that to be true.

One more question. This may get me stoned, but , has anyone ever bought a rib roast from Costco? I remember reading somewhere that Julia Child loved the meat at Costco. I was there this morning and completely forgot to ask about the grade of the rib roasts. Someone also told me that Safeway has a new "Rancher's Cut", I think it is called. Then there is always "Whole Paycheck".

Looks like I better make a decision.

"My only regret in life is that I did not drink more Champagne."

John Maynard Keynes

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I don't know what American Costcos are like, but I've had great success with Prime Ribs from Costco in canada. My biggest problem with them now, is they seem to package them upside down now, so you can't see the fat cap, which is a critical component.

And if you've got ribs in your roast, you don't need a rack. They form a natural rack on their own.

Edited by Marlene (log)

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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