We are three sisters united in our search for the divine - in food, libation, literature, art, and nature. This blog will capture the true, sometimes decadent, at times humorous, and every so often transcendent adventures of the Salvation Sisters.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Standing Rib Roast (Prime Rib): At Home for the Holidays

by Linda

"The feeling of friendship is like that of being comfortably filled with roast beef; love, like being enlivened with champagne." ~ Samuel Johnson

The roasted and rested roast is ready to have the ribs removed. You can have your butcher
remove them and tie them back on, but this is an easy step to do at the end
(just before serving) and allows for a more moist and more flavorful roast.

   For many years I preferred to serve a Mexican fiesta-inpired meal on Christmas Day. It is still a great choice, and it is not only delicious, but economical if you are planning to serve for a large gathering. Last year was a game changer, though, and I decided it was time for me to cook my first prime rib roast ever. 
   In truth, I was alway a bit intimidated by cooking a standing rib roast. Prime rib has alway been one of my favorite meals to order when dining out, because I never made it at home. That all changed when I met Mark, who was a confident expert at cooking this King of Roasts.
   Prime rib refers to the king of beef cuts, the standing rib roast, “standing” because to cook it, you simply position the roast on its rib bones in the roasting pan, no need for a rack. 

Jordan and Mark in their Christmas morning hats… a present from moi!
Even the Aloe celebrated by blooming at Christmas!
Since my son Jordan was coming for Christmas and loves prime rib, I decided that we should have a go at serving it for dinner on Christmas Day. I purchased a beautiful three rib roast from my local Whole Foods Market. I think it is worth mentioning here, that it is important to know where your beef is coming from and how it is raised before it goes to market. Know your source.
   Most of the research that I have done, suggests purchasing at minimum three ribs. Otherwise, you are just cooking a very thick steak. A good rule of thumb is two servings per rib.

 A cozy fire blazes on Christmas morning.

My son Jordan, a wildland firefighter Captain in the Plumas National Forest, was finally getting some rest and relaxation after a very long fire season had come to an end.

   When the prime rib was cooked to perfection, and we served it up with uncut horseradish, which made Jordan a very happy man, since he thinks adulterated horseradish is an abomination. The sides were mashed potatoes and green beans. Jordan was so happy in fact, with this memorable feast, that he called Mark for the roasting instructions for Thanksgiving brunch at his home this year (dinner of course, was a turkey cooked by Grillmaster Steve and Nolan at their cabin in the woods that evening). Here you go, Jordan, with love from Mom and Mark… instructions at the ready for future celebrations tucked away in your virtual recipe box.

An orb spider gifted us with this beautiful web on our outdoor Christmas tree.

Standing Rib Roast: Prime Rib

Juicy and medium rare goodness… what a holiday treat!

3 bone Prime Rib roast (aprox. 6+ lbs.)
fresh rosemary and thyme
4-5 garlic cloves
salt and pepper
olive oil

2 carrots
2 celery stalks
1 onion
2 bay leaves
1 cup red wine

Bring roast to room temperature (usually takes about 1 1/2 hours on kitchen counter)
Meanwhile, make a wet paste, or rub with the thyme, rosemary, and garlic and a small amount of olive oil. All chopped finely.
Liberally salt and pepper the roast while it is losing its chill. Apply rub all over the roast and cover in plastic wrap.

Mark made a rub from fresh minced garlic, chopped fresh rosemary and thyme. 
Salt and pepper the exterior well.
   While roast is coming up to temp, pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Chop the carrots, celery, and onions  in large dice and then add to a sauté pan over med-high heat with one tablespoon olive oil and the bay leaves. Sauté the vegetables until glossy and slightly cooked.  Put mixture into large roasting pan.
Chopped vegetables provided a base and added flavor for the roast.
   When meat is ready, put roast in the same roasting pan with the fat-side of the roast facing up. When the oven is hot, put the roast in and cook for 20 minutes to sear the outside of the roast. After 20 minutes turn the oven down to 325 degrees, and roast until the desired internal temperature is reached (see guide below). Cook roast for about 20 minutes per pound or until a meat thermometer reads 120-130 degrees for medium rare. Cooking will carry over after removal from the oven. When at correct temperature, remove meat to carving board with a groove to catch any juices that run out.  Cover with foil and a bath towel and rest meat for 20-30 minutes.
   Meanwhile, pour the pan juices through a strainer and keep warm for serving. Check for salt and pepper before using.
   Carving the roast, which should be rosy and still very tender, will need a good carving fork and a long, sharpened carving knife.  Stand the roast with the bones pointing to the ceiling. While secured with the fork, carefully slice down and against the bones to remove them completely. Set aside for those who love to chew on the bones. Then, while slicing through the top, or fat-side, make slices to whatever thickness you desire. Serve with reserved pan juices.

Term (French) DescriptionTemperature range:
Extra-rare or Blue (bleu)very red and cold~ 115–120F
Rare (saignant) cold red center; soft~ 125–130F
Medium rare (à point) warm red center; firmer~ 130–140 °F
Medium (demi-anglais) pink and firm~ 140–150 °F
Medium well (cuit) small amount of pink in the center~ 150–155F
Well done (bien cuit) gray-brown throughout; firm~ 160–212 °F

Allow the roast to sit with foil and a bath towel (heavy weight and not pictured) for 20-25 minutes. This allows the juices to be reabsorbed into the meat and keeps the roast from getting cold.
The "rested" roasted is ready to be sliced. All side dishes should be finished and ready to go.
You will want to catch the juices to serve au jus alongside the roast.

Stand the roast up with the end of the rib bones pointing up. Slice down along the rib bones.
Set rib bones to the side and save for another use or for a guest who would 
like this serving on the bone.
Cut roast into desired width of slices and serve immediately. Don't forget the horseradish!

My Universalist-Unitarian views embrace all traditions. 
A toast to your health and Merry Christmas, Everyone!

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