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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Prime Rib

Yes, another prime rib post, yes, I went to Portland for a week and took zero photos, yes, I am a bad foodie. But, here is some information on a standing rib roast I cooked for Christmas. It started off as your standard Humbold Grass-fed rib roast, large end, untrimmed, or as untrimmed as I can get. I really hate when they overtrim, or relief cut the bone off of the roast and then tie it back on. No matter what else I am told, nor by whom, if you cut the bone from the roast, cut the deckle from the roast, tying it back on does not make it the same. How hard really, is it to cut slices from one of these roasts. Anyway, the star, unadorned...

The standing rib roast

A few supporting elements, a basic spice rub, kosher salt, medium grind multi-pepper blend, some dry mustard, paprika, ground clove and fresh ground nutmeg and a solid whack of garlic, actually only half of that went into the paste. Here are the spices...

Fresh garlic and some spices

And then  some herbs, in this case, fresh parsley, oregano and sage, were finely chopped, added to the garlic, which was grated, and all was muddled with some olive oil to create a slurry.

Fresh parsley, sage and oregano

Slurry, a beautiful culinary word, no?

 I will apply the dry rub, allow the roast to sit for 30 minutes, then apply the slurry. The idea, I hope is to get the rub to form into a pellicle of sorts, then apply the slurry over it. I often wonder if this matters as it all seems to blend together in the end. I could be making things more complex for no reason at all.

Rubbed and slurried (Sp?)

This whole mess was shoved into a kettle, with wildly fluctuating temperatures, in the rain, it ran somewhere between 400F and 200F for 5 hours. I also did not have a Maverick, which, due the the wildly flcutuations temperatures, meant I had to go out into the rain often to manually check the temperature. A note about grass fed and finished beef, it is quite lean, and does not take to overcooking at all well. My target temperature was 130F and I really felt anything over 135F to pull was going to be bad. Oddly, I hit 134F at 5 hours and pulled it. What a bothe, still, the steer died, all I did was get wet. Here it is, done and on the board after a 20 minute rest.

Rested and Ready

Next, there was slicing, always the moment of trurth, to see if the color looks right. If you will notice, there is a small yellow nub of what look like fat near the top of the roast, that is actually a tendon and needs to be removed. I like to take a thin bladed knife, run it along the top of the rib bone, then cut slices. The bones form a nice stable base for cutting.

Nice color

You will notice, this is lean meat, and we like the flavor, which is a little stronger than most beef you buy. It is largely unaged, maybe a few days in cryovac is all. This lean quality means you must not cook it past medium rare or it gets a little tougher. I think this shot really shows it taken right to where it wants to be.

Nice shot

I really like the color of these slices. The following shot was a mistake, for some reason, the red tablecloth made the color in this image horrible. Still, some nice slices on the table.

Horrible shot

Yum, purple meat! Geez, you just never know.


  1. You are a bad foodie if you were in Portland for a week and didn't even bother to call so we could have breakfast or lunch somewhere.

    Baaddd fooodie!!!

  2. I never get tired of seeing beef roasts and hearing other people's approach to perhaps my favorite cut of beef.

    For a 200 degree temperature swing, it looks like you sure nailed it. Maybe you should always aim for that wild fluctuation, ha ha.

    Happy New Year!

  3. Grass fed is a flavor that I have not grasped. It does look great. You are brave to cook it in the kettle. I like to cook roasts in our Weber but you sacrifice gravy.
    With that said, Prime, Prime aged rib roast (corn-fed) will be cooked in the oven tomorrow. I love the smell and gravy later.

  4. Yes, chasing temperatures was so much fun, still, things worked out. Grass-fed actually reminds me of the old beef we used to get, a little stronger. I do love Prime grade aged a lot though.