Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Prime Rib 101

We nailed it.
The problem with trying to master a food that you only cook once a year is that you only cook it once a year.
You forget what worked, what didn't.
In fact, in most, if not all, of our attempts with a standing rib roast, we've never got it so good that we wanted to even take notes.
For several years, there was the problem of the balky antique stove with erratic temperatures.
Then there was the new convection oven, but you had to adjust the temperature off-normal by 25 degrees... and was that up or down?
We finally got a decent meat thermometer, but aimed for too-high an internal temperature on the advice of somebody I will never name. No, never.
Then, this year Saveur's recent issue suggested roasting the meat with the ribs on top instead of on the bottom. And pulling it out of the oven when the thermometer reached 120ºF.
That seemed cold to me, but I made an important discovery. One that you proficient meat roasters probably already know. Bones are hot! You whip that baby onto a cutting board with a tent of foil over, and you have plenty of time to make your Yorkshire pudding. (Which I tried doing exactly as the recipe says this year, and nope, I'm goin' back to my profligate ways.)
I even had time to make some beef gravy, which we'll think of a use for later. Burp.
The roast finished its gentle cooking all by itself. All the way through.
Pink.
Perfect.

18 comments:

Dagny said...

What? No one bothered to share that little tidbit with you before about tenting the meat and what not? For shame.

Next time I'm coming to your house because I'm tired of turkey.

Zoomie said...

Nothing like Roast Beast to top off the holiday feasting! And Yorkshire pud, no less! It looks delicious and brava for getting it exactly right!

Greg said...

Roast Beast My favorite! A job well done, or rare as the case may be.Happy holidays.

ChrisB said...

You have cooked my favourite meat and Yorkshire pudding looks perfect.

dancingmorganmouse said...

Best roast beast, lucky for you the Grinch didn't come and pinch it!

tammy said...

Wow, at 120 F? Who'da thunk? Not that I've ever made prime rib in my life. Well done! Or, rather, medium rare.

chilebrown said...

Congrats on nailing it. I bet your house smelled delicious. So what temp were you roasting it at?I have cranked up my Convection as high as it goes. You then put the roast in for 15 min. or until it crusts, turn it down to 225 and then take it out when internal temp is 120-125. It will rise another 10 degrees in 15-20min.
I grill mine on the barbeque now. The only problem is the drippings are too smoky for gravy. Peace,Paul

cook eat FRET said...

wow. again - very impressive. i made fish tacos. not very xmas'y but us jews get away with that kinda stuff...

that beef looks beautiful. i'd love a slice...

Kevin said...

CC,
I did a standing rib roast last year. It's easy to do properly, but equally easy to do badly.

Rev. Biggles said...

Jeez, I hope it wasn't me, doesn't sound like me. But, considering how waffly I get from time to time, it could have been. I think in the past I pulled it at 125.

Not tired of turkey, yet. Had a turkey sammich before bed last night, all slathered with mayo. Oh man ...

cookiecrumb said...

Dagny: We already knew about the foil tent rest period, but this lower temp with the cap of hot bones on top was new.
I never have turkey for Christmas. It's too Thanksgiving-y.

Zoomie: There's more! I have the lovely bones (heh) and lots of gristle and dark meat for making beef stock.

Greg: Hey, dude. I hope it wasn't a rare job; I'd like to get it right next year, too.

Chris: The flavor of cholesterol is quite compelling!

Morgan: Christmas is splurge time. Well, we were stingy with presents. But we got the tree and the meat, yay.

Tammy: I know, who'da thunk it? And one more thing: the beef was on the lowest rack of the oven.

Chilebrown: Yeah, roughly like that. I think we started at 450 for 25 minutes, and then turned it down to 225. Three ribs, and it took two hours.
We got gravy!

CEF: It's just a festive, bloaty thing to do once a year. We traditionally like to start the day with a breakfast of matzoh brie, just to be "inclusive."

Kevin: That's well said. Easy to do right; easy to do wrong. Science.

Biggles: I didn't get any turkey this year, wah. But I had a cold roast beef sammich with mayo and lettuce, oh, and horseradish, yesterday. MM!

peter said...

It was our favorite meal growing up. I made it 2 years ago, though not this time around (close, though.)

Zoomie said...

If you have any leftover for sandwiches, try spreading the bread with Bearnaise sauce - killer!

MusiK LvR said...

im with dagny. your place next year. i get enough turkey for thanksgiving.

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Liz said...

Oh, man. I'm lost in a food memory.

My Czech grandma was a master of standing rib roast and yorkshire pudding (which she called "yunkshire"). She learned at her first job in the US -- an upstairs maid on Park Avenue (I kid not). I guess I should give it a try one of these Christmases, eh?

Yum!!

cookiecrumb said...

Peter: I never had this meal at home, growing up. I served it to my parents when I was an adult, and they... uh... found fault with it. But I never got it just so "right" until now.

Zoomie: Bearnaise! Killer. Wow. We're stuck on mayo and horseradish.

Liz: It's a special feast. You ought to give it a try, if you have a butcher you trust and a trustworthy oven.
We've had three lunches of roast beef sandwiches, and now the rest is in the freezer, awaiting cottage pies. Yesterday I boiled the roasted bones and brown meat with vegetables for an awesome stock. You really do get your money's worth.

Ed Bruske said...

We pull the rib roast at a temperature between 115 and 118. The meat needs to rest 15 minutes at least for the juices to re-distribute. But what many cooks don't realize is the roast continues to cook while it's sitting on the cutting. Our biggest problem has been getting everyone in a large family to table before the roast "coasts" right past medium rare and into the medium zone. And the higher your oven temp, the faster the roast will coast. Some restaurateurs prefer to cook their prime rib much longer at much lower temperatures to get that perfectly rare-to-medium-rare interior.

cookiecrumb said...

Ed: My, that's a low temp. I'm totally in love with the hot bone cap, bone side up. Maybe next year I'll try even lower (we let ours rest for 25 minutes; probly shoulda grabbed it sooner but the Yorkie wasn't done).