I serve a prime rib roast once a year and, as such, have become a bit obsessive on how I source the meat and – most importantly – how it is roasted.
I recently came across a wonderful article by J. Kenji López-Alt entitled the Perfect Rib Beef Recipe on Serious Eats.
Mr. López-Alt is the chief culinary consultant of Serious Eats and author of the James Beard Award–nominated column The Food Lab, in which he unravels the science of home cooking.
Mr. López-Alt connects on many levels:
- I prefer to raise the temperature of the meat slowly and finish it off with high heat toward the end;
- This cooking method leaves plenty of time to prepare gravy, vegetables, Yorkshire pudding and rolls;
- Most importantly, it allows you to serve the crusty roast warm.
In addition to Mr. López-Alt’s suggested slow-roast cooking technique, I recommend allowing the roast to “dry” on an open cookie tin in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours (48 hours is best).
Also, make sure the butcher removes the roast from the shin bone and then reties it to the bone. Liberally season the roast with salt and pepper and a little flour for a nice crust. I also add a touch of fenugreek to accentuate the flavor of the meat.
How to Cook the Perfect Prime Rib Roast
When one is "oven-challenged," this great cooking suggestion from J. Kenji López-Alt saves wear and tear on amateur chefs and allows the food to arrive hot at the table. Wonderful suggestion.
- Preheat oven to lowest possible temperature setting, 150°F (66°C) or higher if necessary. (Some ovens cannot hold a temperature below 250°F/121°C.) Season roast generously with salt and pepper. Place roast, with fat cap up, on a V-rack set in a large roasting pan, or on a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet. Place in oven and cook until center of roast registers 120-125°F (49-52°C) on an instant-read thermometer for rare, 130°F (54°C) for medium-rare, or 135°F (57°C) for medium to medium-well. In a 150°F oven, this will take around 5 1/2 to 6 1/2 hours; in a 250°F oven, this will take 3 1/2 to 4 hours.
- Remove roast from oven and tent loosely with aluminum foil. Place in a warm spot in the kitchen and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 1/2 hours. Meanwhile, preheat oven to highest possible temperature setting, 500 to 550°F (260 to 288°C).
- Ten minutes before guests are ready to be served, remove foil, place roast back in hot oven, and cook until well browned and crisp on the exterior, 6 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven, carve, and serve immediately.
Allow the standing rib roast to "dry" uncovered on a rack in the refrigerator for 48 hours before bringing to room temperature. I liberally salt and pepper and often add a little fenugreek. The idea is to have a crusty surface.