Sunday, December 28, 2008

Prime Rib

There is nothing quite like the classic prime rib. Prime rib is something that anybody can make at home with steakhouse quality results. First make sure you are starting with a quality cut and grade of beef. You are looking for a quality bone-in rib eye roast. The grades of beef that you will find in the supermarket are typically going to be Prime, Choice, and Select. Only 2-3% of the beef produced in the U.S. is graded out as Prime, and typically it is only found in the high end restaurants and butcher shops. I have always had great results with the Choice Black Angus cuts that we find locally here at Plumbs Markets. A call ahead to the butcher will land you a nice roast that is pre-strung, trimmed, and ready for the oven like the one pictured below. I always order the roasts from the smaller end meaning bones 10-12. This gives you a nice sized 3 rib roast like the one pictured. (Do not be afraid to ask your butcher for help.) The meat at this end is still very well marbled but will not have that very large vein of fat running through it that you can get with some cheaper end roasts.

It is worth grinding your own spices to get a really flavorful spice rub. For prime rib I use a mix of kosher salt, rosemary,black peppercorns, and coriander. Grinding the spices a little will allow them to release all of their flavors. The coriander is one of my favorite spices to use fresh ground. It is actually the seed of the cilantro plant and has a similar peppery citrus flavor.

The easy way to make prime rib is to liberally coat the outside with vegetable or olive oil and your fresh spice rub. If using olive oil use a lighter style versus an extra virgin variety as it my actually burn at the high temperatures. I start the roast out at 475 degrees for 30 minutes and the lower the temperature down to 325 degrees. I use a digital thermometer and pull the roast when the center internal temperature is around 135 degrees. Then I tent the roast with some foil and let it rest for at least 30 minutes. The internal temperature of the roast will continue to rise during this time. You will be left with something for everybody. Medium-well ends and a perfect medium-rare center.

My favorite side dish to serve with beef is a classic potato gratin. It is layers of thinly sliced potatoes, onions, Parmesan cheese, fresh thyme, and cream. I like to use these small cast iron pans for individual serving dishes.

Here is a look at the final plate. We served this with homemade rosemary focaccia bread, sauteed button mushrooms, roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon, and the potato gratin. Of course it would not be complete with out a little au jus and fresh horseradish sauce on the side.