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Prime Rib Roast


Jmahl
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Over the past couple of months I’ve been trying out v. low temperature roasts basically following the instructions in Heston Blumenthal’s ‘In Search of Perfection’.

In sort, the method is brown the outside of the roast with a blowtorch. Put in oven at 50C (122F) for 18 hours.

As controlling my home oven to this temperature is almost impossible, I have also tried a rib roast cooked sous vide. Same approach.

Overall, I’m not impressed with this method. The meat seems more sandy than succulent, even though it is clearly medium-rare (I aim for an internal temperature of less than 52C/126F). Perhaps this is because the collagen leaches out of the meat with the long times.

On the other hand, roasting in a hot oven of 200C (302F) gives a much better caramelization and a more interesting taste to the fat. But, the ring of overcooked meat is significant extending a full inch into the meat.

The problem with higher temperatures is simply knowing how long to leave the roast in the oven. What internal temperature do you have to reach so that, during resting, the temp gently arrives at the ideal?

I’m working on some charts to help me predict the overshoot, but I don’t know if anyone else would agree with my conclusion, that the very low temperature approach is too much trouble for no appreciable gain?

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Over the past couple of months I’ve been trying out v. low temperature roasts basically following the instructions in Heston Blumenthal’s ‘In Search of Perfection’.

In sort, the method is brown the outside of the roast with a blowtorch.  Put in oven at 50C (122F) for 18 hours.

As controlling my home oven to this temperature is almost impossible, I have also tried a rib roast cooked sous vide.  Same approach.

Overall, I’m not impressed with this method.  The meat seems more sandy than succulent, even though it is clearly medium-rare (I aim for an internal temperature of less than 52C/126F).  Perhaps this is because the collagen leaches out of the meat with the long times.

On the other hand, roasting in a hot oven of 200C (302F) gives a much better caramelization and a more interesting taste to the fat.  But, the ring of overcooked meat is significant extending a full inch into the meat.

The problem with higher temperatures is simply knowing how long to leave the roast in the oven.  What internal temperature do you have to reach so that, during resting, the temp gently arrives at the ideal?

I’m working on some charts to help me predict the overshoot, but I don’t know if anyone else would agree with my conclusion, that the very low temperature approach is too much trouble for no appreciable gain?

:wacko::wacko:

I just can't believe how individuals can make such a simple thing so complicated. Just season, brown in hot oven and then roast at 350F until internal temp is 100F. Let rest for at least one hour for full rib roast. Works EVERY TIME!-Dick

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I just can't believe how individuals can make such a simple thing so complicated. Just season, brown in hot oven and then roast at 350F until internal temp is 100F. Let rest for at least one hour for full rib roast. Works EVERY TIME!-Dick

Well, that's lovely to say, but do you get an end-cut that looks like this...

gallery_11181_3769_109144.jpg

or like this...?

gallery_11181_3769_73502.jpg

...both being roasts I cooked, but the second being one whose end-cut I was not satisfied with.

Or do you just not care about the crispiness of the end-cut?

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:wacko:  :wacko:

I just can't believe how individuals can make such a simple thing so complicated. Just season, brown in hot oven and then roast at 350F until internal temp is 100F. Let rest for at least one hour for full rib roast. Works EVERY TIME!-Dick

100F? That's barely above body temperature!

PS: I am a guy.

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markk - I’m still in the stage of collecting data, but looking at budrichard’s commentary, I think he’s on the button for this one.

Assuming the typical thickness of a prime rib is just over 3” then the temperature overshoot is around 25F, although I have been using a slightly higher oven temperature of 390F (200C). This means that to get a medium rare interior (around 125F), internal temperature would be 100F.

I can add two key points. First, resting time should be around 25-30 minutes to give the roast time to get up to temperature. Second, the actual temperature overshoot is VERY dependent on the thickness of the meat. This second point is critical, as the overshoot for a 3.5” thick roast is 35F, compared to around 25C for a 3” roast. This is around 70% predictable, so better than the weather forecast (where the accuracy no better than 60%).

As an aside and whilst all this complication can seem like a step too far, budrichard, I heard that Heston Blumenthal is making a pretty good living out of doing this sort of stuff.

Besides there is a very practical reason. With low temperature cooking there is low/no possibility of ending up with a medium done piece of beef, when you were aiming for a medium rare. To be absolutely guaranteed at getting doneness to within the required 5F range, you would have to get your suppliers to deliver roasts of precise size. Which means supermarket standards (for size and quality). If the roasting method allows you more control, then you can take meat from other suppliers with greater variation in size, but more focus on flavour.

And when you’re roasting to ‘best in class’ like a world leading chef has to do, flavour and precision are what gets you and keeps you at the top. Hence the economic rationale for doing some strange stuff in the laboratory – sorry, meant kitchen!

Edited by Baggy (log)
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Baggy, you sound like a Mechanical Engineer to me!

My specifed method and temps was for a full rib roast which is about 17#'s or so after trimming. i only use USDA Prime but Choice will work. I season (Pepin has a great recipe for the seasoning mix) and put into my oven at 500F with the convection on until its as crisp as i want, no problems acheving whats in the Posted pictures. Then dial it down to 350 or so. The roast is so large that as correctly stated the overshoot is 25F.

Remember that the 100F is at the interior of the roast and there is a temperature gradient to the outside of the roast to oven temp(350F. What you are doing is getting enough Heat Calories into the roast so that when you rest the roast, the temperature profile will flatten out as the heat flow transfers heat from the outside of the roast to the inside. If you cook your roast without resting to 100F, you get raw meat internally and a done outer layer. The smaller the roast the less resting time and the more difficult to get an internal correct rare. I having been doing this for at least 20 years and I do at least one of these every year with absolutely no problems.

I guess it the Nuclear Engineer in me but I understand heat transfer very well and that's all it is, elementary heat transfer. Whether you crisp at the beginning, in the middle of cooking or at the end, the result should be equal if you get the same number of Heat Calories into the roast and then let the temperature profile flatten while the heat flow obeys the Second Law of Thermodynamics.. That's why i can't believe all the :wacko: ways outlined to accomplish what is essentially a very simple process. -Dick

Edited by budrichard (log)
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Fabulous – I’m not an engineer and I really appreciate you simplifying (even further) the whole process to energy transfer. If I understood your figure of 17 (the units came out strange on my screen), that’s probably the length. For my approach, I have been using the typical breadth of the roast. I assumed that the heat gradient would be steepest at the narrowest point and, therefore, this is the rate determining factor in deciding when it was cooked to perfection.

But to follow your argument, I’m not sure how I can measure/predict total heat transfer into the roast? I have a reasonably stable oven, oven thermometer and probe thermometer and a micrometer to measure dimensions. Do I need anything else?

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17 weight pounds, the size of a full rib roast. If one had temp instrumentation hooked up to a computer with the appropriate heat transfer formulas and a Specific Heat Capacity for beef, then one would be able to predict when to turn off the heat calories. Since we don't usually have that degree of instrumentation, then a simple temp probe will suffice. As I said through trial and error I have arrived at 100F internal for my roasts but the temp may be different for others by a few degrees. What really matters is understanding what is occuring. After resting for an hour I usually make a cut into the middle of the roast to determine if Ok or maybe a little more heat. Generally what happens is the Medium folks take the end slices and then the rare folks get thier slices and the middle if any is left over is good to reheat! Hope that helps. -Dick

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  • 8 years later...

Have not been back here since 06. This is a boneless Prime ribeye roast of a little less than 6 lbs. I  dry aged it in the frig for 8 days. Took it out about 2 hrs., before l planned to place it in a 200 degree oven. I used a dry rub. At the time of placing the roast in the oven its internal temp was 47.5 degrees. It roasted a lot quicker then I anticipate so I reduced the temp to 165. Took 2.5 hrs., to reach 130 when the signal sounded. Kept the roast warm on my oven's warm cycle.  Served with popovers, root vegetables, black eyed peas, a good California red and reduced red wine sauce. I think after this I will be back more often.

image.jpeg

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That's a nice looking piece of beef! What was in the dry rub?  I think I see seeds, or are they peppercorns?

 

Welcome back, Jmahl.  Keep the posts coming.

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Cumin, coriander, mustard seeds, paprika, red and black pepper, salt, and brown sugar. 

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The Philip Mahl Community teaching kitchen is now open. Check it out. "Philip Mahl Memorial Kitchen" on Facebook. Website coming soon.

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  • 2 months later...

Prime rib cap off AAA or better on sale for $4.98/lb. Grabbed 3 two rib pieces to sous vide for steak and this 4.2 kg roast. People were crowded around the bunker - complaining about how much fat had been left on - while I searched for the fattiest, best marbled one.

 

Salted well, left uncovered in the downstairs fridge for a couple of days.

 

IMG_1950.jpg

 

Oiled, salt, pepper, 200 F until 125 F. Tented with foil until everything organized - nuked hubbies slice til it stopped bleeding.

 

IMG_1956.jpg

 

IMG_1959.jpg

 

 

Edited by Kerry Beal (log)
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@Kerry Beal

 

That whole plate is a thing of beauty!

 

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1 hour ago, IndyRob said:

$4.98?! Ohmygezzus.  I just read a news story about how beef prices are falling.  Well, not for long.  I'm going to eat it all.

 

You'll have to get past me to do it.

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*Sigh* I just paid that for ground chuck today, but glad to hear that beef prices will be coming down. Prime rib/rib eye is my most favorite meat of all, and it looks like Kerry scored some glorious specimens. And, yes, I also abhor over trimming of this cut. Sacrilege.

> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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I too use the 'low and slow' method to roast any meat. 200F oven until the turkey/chicken/elk/venison/beef etc internal temp. is what I want. Then a long 'rest' out of the oven. Then back into a screaming hot oven to brown/sear the outside then carve and serve.

A couple of years ago a young man, (friend of the family) told me he had been nominated to roast the Christmas turkey (about 25 Ibs). He said he had never roasted anything and asked my advice.

I wrote out the instructions for the low and slow method. He looked dubious. I said "trust me and follow the instructions to the letter".

He did. He later told me that his family raved about the roast turkey and that from then on for all time he was going to be the 'designated turkey roaster'.

He subsequently showed the method to a few of his family members.

The 'word' is spreading. LOL

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  • 1 year later...
On 12/17/2006 at 9:09 PM, Mikeb19 said:

Even in all the restaurants I've worked in, I've never seen a cryovac machine or bags large enough to hold a whole rib roast.

I often do hams in oven cooking bags. leave the top of the bag open. Lower it into the water to displace the air. I just use a clamp, a clothes pin would do, to hold the end of the bag out of the water.

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On 2/25/2007 at 2:18 PM, Baggy said:

Over the past couple of months I’ve been trying out v. low temperature roasts basically following the instructions in Heston Blumenthal’s ‘In Search of Perfection’.

In sort, the method is brown the outside of the roast with a blowtorch. Put in oven at 50C (122F) for 18 hours.

As controlling my home oven to this temperature is almost impossible, I have also tried a rib roast cooked sous vide. Same approach.

Overall, I’m not impressed with this method. The meat seems more sandy than succulent, even though it is clearly medium-rare (I aim for an internal temperature of less than 52C/126F). Perhaps this is because the collagen leaches out of the meat with the long times.

On the other hand, roasting in a hot oven of 200C (302F) gives a much better caramelization and a more interesting taste to the fat. But, the ring of overcooked meat is significant extending a full inch into the meat.

The problem with higher temperatures is simply knowing how long to leave the roast in the oven. What internal temperature do you have to reach so that, during resting, the temp gently arrives at the ideal?

I’m working on some charts to help me predict the overshoot, but I don’t know if anyone else would agree with my conclusion, that the very low temperature approach is too much trouble for no appreciable gain?

 

I'm not generally one to argue with Mr. Blumenthal, but the method you're describing here takes a good idea way too far. Yeah, you want to brown the outside with high heat, and yeah you want to cook the meat through slowly with low heat to get a get as little gradient as possible. But a torch is much too hot, and 50C / 18 hours is much too low and slow. 

 

A torch is a poor instrument for browning meat, because it's too hot to crisp up the exterior. Part of the browning process involves dehydrating the surface, which allows it to get crisp. A torch will burn the outside before this happens, so you'll never get a crisp crust or any deep browning. 

 

And 18 hours is much too long a cook for a prime rib, or any tender cut. Are you sure this is the cut Blumnthal is talking about? 18 hours gets you well into tenderization territory, where you're using heat and time to break down collagen. A prime rib has precious little collagen to begin with; if you break it down you end up with mush. You also loose moisture over the course of that long cook—not plain water, which you lose while dry-aging (which concentrates flavors) but full-on meat juices. So you end up with a dry and yet over-tenderized mushy / grainy piece of meat. 

 

Another problem is that unless you have a steam oven / c-vap / combi oven, your oven cannot maintain 50C with any kind of accuracy, and it cannot produce the kind of humid environment necessary to reliably heat the meat. So the oven is going to be functioning like a quite unpredictable dehydrator. 

 

I also think most people find that they get better results if they brown the meat after cooking it through, rather than before. Some call this reverse-searing or post-searing. The idea is that the crust you create will not have a chance to get soggy during any any subsequent low-temp cooking. 

 

Here's an approach that's pretty foolproof. I recommend a remote probe thermometer so you don't have to think too much.

 

-Preheating oven is optional. Set oven to 200°F (warmer if your oven is untrustworthy at this temp). be sure to have tested oven for accuracy and stablility.
-roast until internal temp reaches 118°F. very roughly 20-25 minutes/lb.
-put on a room temperature sheet pan; tent with foil; move to a warm (not hot) place to rest for at least 30 minutes. meat can rest for up to an hour or so to fit timing of meal. keep thermometer probe inserted.

-preheat oven to 500°F.
-put roasting pan in the oven to preheat
-about an hour before serving, after oven has thoroughly preheated, place roast on hot roasting pan
-put back in oven
-remove from oven when internal temperature at center is around 7°F below your target temperature. about 15 to 30 minutes, depending on how much the meat has cooled in the middle—watch closely; it goes fast. aiming for a final temp in the the middle to high end of rare to medium-rare (between 131 and 133 after resting) makes sense with this cut, to ensure that the marbling has a chance to melt. 

-rest for 10 minutes or so to let juices near the surface to thicken. you can touch it up with a torch if the browning is uneven 
 

 

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Notes from the underbelly

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The Blumenthal low oven method is fundamentally unsafe, as the meat will not get out of the danger zone in sufficient time given evaporative cooling. Also, home ovens are garbage when it comes to maintaining constant low heat. Chris Young got into it with Heston about the food safety of that recipe when they were developing it. The technique was offered prior to the advent of inexpensive immersion circulators.

 

Anyway, my current preferred method is pre-sear -> sv -> 550F+ convection oven sear. I've also gotten a good looking crust using the ChefSteps "egg white herb salt foam thing" method. But herb crust or no, the sear -> SV -> sear combo is hard to beat in terms of predictability and deliciousness. This is from the Christmas before last. Whenever I trim meat or french bones, my best friend keeps me company.

 

rebel_rib_roast.thumb.jpg.1f89785dd565bd1148836647805c6abd.jpg

 

Anyway, here's the same roast \raw, tied, and fridge-dried (lower right), still raw but pre-seared in a Darto No. 27 carbon steel pan (top right), and the final product after 8 hours at 135F and a hot blast in the oven with the herb crust. Big flakes of Maldon are sexy on a roast, you guys.

 

holiday_roast.thumb.jpg.1d7e551ccaaeff64b8facbfd93f99a0d.jpg

 

I'll also add that if you french bones or do a lot of home butchery, you should consider investing in a hankotsu knife (not pictured above). They are pretty magical. They glide around bones and are designed to scrape. 

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