Prime Rib


6 pounds four bone bone-in rib roast, trimmed and tied (usually done by your butcher)
1 head garlic
1 large yellow onion
1 quart beef stock, at a simmer
1/2 bottle dry red wine
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon butter (optional)
3 large sprigs rosemary


Pat the roast dry with a cloth or paper towel. Coat generously with salt and pepper on all sides.
Heat a large saute pan to high heat and add oil. It should shimmer and spread quickly into a thin layer.
Put the roast into the pan, fat side down and bones up. Leave it to sear undisturbed for 4 minutes. The fat cap should now be a rich golden brown and should not be stuck to the pan at all.
Roll the roast 90 degrees and sear for 4 more minutes. Repeat the process until it has been seared all the way around. It is not necessary to sear the flat ends of the roast unless you want an extra well-done layer at each end.
While the roast is searing, dice the onion into 3/4 inch cubes, cut the carrots into 1/2" lengths, and separate the cloves from the garlic head. It is not necessary to peel the carrots or garlic cloves. Place the vegetables and the rosemary in the bottom of a roasting pan with the wine and all but one cup of stock.
When the roast has finished searing, place it on a rack above the vegetables, and deglaze the pan with the remaining stock. Stir with a wooden spoon to free all the brown bits from the pan, then pour the liquid into the roasting pan with the vegetables.
Put a thermometer probe into the center of the roast and place it into a 350 degree F oven.
Monitor the temperature of the roast until it reaches 125 degrees F. Depending on the initial temperature, it will take anywhere from an hour to two hours. A roast taken straight from the refrigerator will take the longest; one that has sat out for an hour or so will take less time. If the stock in the bottom of the pan reduces to the point that it is thick and syrupy, add another cup of simmering stock. You may have to do this two or three times if the cooking time is on the long side.
At 125 your roast will be medium rare. Remove the roasting pan from the oven and place it on the stovetop. Remove the rack holding the roast from the pan. Set it aside and cover it loosely with aluminum foil for ten minutes.
Scrape the bottom of the roasting pan to bring up any brown bits stuck to the bottom and stir them into the stock.
Pour the liquid and the vegetables into a chinoise over a bowl, and strain out the liquid. If you want a less sweet jus, remove the carrots first. Press the vegetables with the back of a small ladle or a wooden chinoise plunger to extract all the juices.
Place the juices in a saucepan and reduce to the desired thickness. Optionally whisk in a knob of butter for added richness and a smoother mouth feel.
After ten minutes of resting, carve the roast. I prefer to make one cut along the bone to separate the roast from the ribs. I then slice the roast 1/3 inch thick. Finally, I slice between the ribs to separate them so that i can serve the ribs alongside the roast. There is still plenty of meat on the ribs, and many people enjoy them.
Serve with reduced jus. Classic sides include creamy horseradish sauce, mashed or au gratin potatoes, green beans, spinach, and asparagus.




Prime rib is an old-school classic. Even though I generally favor more innovative dishes, there is a soft-spot in my heart for a standing rib roast. Like roast chicken, it requires only basic techniques, but getting it done perfectly is a measure of a good cook. It is also an incredible crowd-pleaser, especially for multi-generational family gatherings.




Monday, December 14, 2009 - 2:21am



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