Tuesday, January 6, 2009

and they carved the Roast Beast...

We loooove our beef at Christmas time. It's a family tradition to make prime rib, and since the all kids on my side of the family are at our house, that's where Christmas dinner is. Do you like our matching Jessie Steele aprons? My DS got them for us. Oh yeah, the prime rib is those large swaths of red on the messy counter in the background to the left. We were so overcome by the overwhelming and consuming desire to consume mass quantities of wonderful, juicy, rare beef that we completely forgot to take a proper picture.

The KEY to making a wonderful prime rib is dry aging. Yes, just like you see in fancy restaurants, dry-aged beef. It's a totally brainless method and will give your meat so much more flavor. Order or pick out your prime rib - each rib will feed about 1.5 to 2 people. (Yes, from what I understand there are some .5 people out there). Ask your butcher to cut the ribs off the hunk o' beef and then tie them back on with butcher's twine. This will make carving so much easier and you don't lose that succulent rib meat. drool drool. Clear out a space in your fridge large enough to hold a pan with the meat in it. The pan should be large enough to provide for air circulation around the meat. Rinse and pat dry the beef with paper towels. Fold up several sheets of clean, dry paper towels and put them in the bottom of the pan. Plop the meat on top of the paper towels and put it in your fridge UNCOVERED for 3 - 5 days. It will not rot or get funky if the temperature is where it should be, just below 38 degrees. Change out the paper towels every day. The beef will get a hard, dry (as in dry-aged), crusty layer all around it. This is GOOD! This is where the flavor comes from.

I always use Alton Brown's recipe for prime rib. I must say that the directions in his book I'm Just Here for the Food (I have the original edition, not 2.0) are a different than what's online, and I have never gone to the trouble of finding a terracotta pot to cook the sucker in. I always leave my pizza stone in the bottom of the oven so that the heat is more evenly distributed and so the darn thing doesn't get broken in a cabinet somewhere.

This will melt in your mouth, it's so amazingly good. I'm sooo craving some now, but the leftovers are long, long gone...

Dry-Aged Standing Rib Roast
Adapted From Alton Brown's I'm Just Here for the Food

1 (4-bone-in) standing rib roast, preferably from the loin end
Canola oil, to coat roast
2 Tablespoons Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to cover entire roast
1 cup water
1 cup red wine
1/4 cup thinly sliced leek
1 - 2 Tablespoons garlic or unsalted butter

To dry-age the roast: Place a refrigerator thermometer at the back of the bottom shelf of your refrigerator. Reduce the temperature to just below 38° F. Cover the bottom of a roast­ing pan with several layers of paper towels. Place the roast, bone side down, on the towels, and store-uncovered-at the back of the bottom shelf of your refrigerator. Allow the meat to age for 3 to 5 days, checking the refrigerator temperature often.

When you're ready to roast, let the meat sit out of the refrigerator for 1 hour until it reaches room temperature.

Preheat the oven at 250° F for 1/2 hour. Rub the roast with just enough canola oil to make it shine, then rub with the salt and pepper. Place the meat in a shallow roasting pan, bone side down (to prevent the meat from sitting in liquid). Insert the probe of your thermometer into the center of the roast and set for 118° F. (We are carnivores and like our meat RARE, so we set ours for 110° F and count on 10 – 12 degrees carryover). Place the roast in the oven and keep at 250° F.

When the meat has reached 110° F (about 2-3 hours, depending on how large of a cut of meat you have - monitor it closely), remove the roast and cover lightly with foil. Raise the oven temperature to 500° F. When the oven reaches 500° F, let it heat for another 15 minutes, then return the roast to the oven until the desired degree of crust is achieved, about 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the roast to a cutting board and cover with foil. Let it reat for at least 10 -15 minutes before until ready to serve or carving

Place the roasting pan with its accumulated juices on the cook-top over medium heat and deglaze the pan with 1 cup of water. (The drippings will be sallll-ty, so test it out before you add the other ingredients – you may need to dilute it with water or supplement with pre-made gravy.) Allow the liquid to come to a boil, scraping occa­sionally until any bits stuck to the pan are freed. Add the wine and then transfer the liquid to a gravy separator. Allow five minutes for separation of fat from juice and then pour the liquid (but not the fat) back into the pan. Add the leek and return to a simmer. Stir in the garlic butter and serve over lovely, red slabs of goodness.

Yield: 10 servings

Temperature chart for beef:
Rare: 120-127 (cook to 110 and count on 10-12 degrees carryover)
Medium Rare: 128 – 135 (cook to 118)
Medium – why bother? Get yourself another cut of meat.

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  1. I'd normally think that standing rib roast is an intimidating undertaking, but with your assurance and clear instructions and Alton Brown's expertise, it might just be something I will tackle! Looks like you all had a lot of fun over Christmas. It's great to cook with relatives.

  2. Oh, and we always call it Roast Beast also!

  3. What a cute picture! I love the aprons! The beef sounds wonderful!

  4. I love the matching aprons and the rib roast! When can I come to supper? Alton Brown rocks!

  5. My family would get a pic of me running to the table where the beef is waiting, so at least you got one in your aprons! Love the recipe.

  6. I LOVE those aprons! How fun!

    I've always thought prime rib to be daunting....but your instructions along with the assurance of Mr. B....I might have to try this!!!! THANKS!

  7. Love the aprons, looks like a fun time!

  8. MMMMMMM, love the roast beast! Thanks for sharing the dry-aging method; I had no idea how to do that, and I would have assumed it was complicated. Your matching aprons are too fun!

  9. It is so fabulous to finally meet you.... you ladies look great.. LOVE your kitchen, I might have to sell a kidney to get a kitchen that size here in Tokyo.. haha

  10. I LOVE the picture!

    I don't know if I would have enough nerve to dry-age a prime rib. They are so extremely expensive here ~ like mortgage the house expensive.

    Happy New Year!



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