Prime Time

Please imagine some rib roast on the blog you are reading here.

Please imagine some rib roast on the blog you are reading here. 

Perhaps it looks like this:


but bigger, and there’s more of it.  Much more.  Okay… do you know what to do with it?  Right.  Me either, until yesterday.  That’s when I cooked 16 lbs. of prime rib roast for a big ol’ party and prayed to all the saints of the kitchen and possibly some others I shouldn’t have that I wouldn’t screw up.  Here’s what I learned!

Cook’s Illustrated
is worth its weight in gold.  Whatever they tell you to do, say hell yes.
Low and Slow is the Way To Go.  We all know this already, right?  However, I was tempted to cook the roasts on high heat to get them done earlier.  And they’re heavily marbled, fatty cuts of meat, right?  So they should stand up to the heat, right?  Turns out, better to turn the heat down.  I cooked the roasts at 250 F, from yesterday till the cows came home.
Get it to RT, stat.  That’s room temperature, and it takes about 2 hours, before you put it in the oven.  Otherwise it will never cook.  Let some salt and pepper sit on it.
Brown first, or brown last.  Caramelize the outsides of the meat by searing it before putting it in the oven at 250 F, or finish it off with some high heat.  This will give  you a nice crust.  I also rubbed it down with lots of herbs and a horseradish sauce, but that’s just window dressing. 
Leave the fat on it! It’s like a winter jacket.  Leave it there and it will treat your meat tenderly.  I cut most of the big fat hanks off just before finishing it on high heat, but you don’t have to.
Don’t freakin overcook it.  Give yourself at least three hours for the internal temp to reach 130 F.  When yo crank up the heat in the last 10 minutes, you’ll bring it to food-safety zone (but only just), and still have a lovely red ruby center.
Let your meat rest 20 minutes before carving. 
Mostly cause you want to pour yourself a nice beer or wine and toast your genius self for a brilliant cooking job.  Now toss together a salad and bust up some crusty bread and get in there.


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