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Prime time for prime rib roasts

December 7, 2016

Cathie Campbell/For The Madera Tribune
Many a slice of rare, tender prime rib adorns our holiday tables this time of year.

It’s only been a few years since I spent a fortune on my first cut of prime rib and felt intimidated by it. I was so afraid to try and cook it because I kept thinking, “What if I ruin it?” But to my relief (and everyone else’s), it turned out even better than what we had in restaurants.


Then there was the Christmas I tried to cram two roasts into one pot and they didn’t cook right, so had to make starving guests wait while one of my sons and I sawed off raw hunks and threw them (the meat, not the guests) in the convection oven. The oven was so new I didn’t even know how to use it yet! Then the guests were getting very anxious to go home before it started to snow or get dark, so it was probably the worst Christmas dinner ever.


People always say, “I am cooking a prime rib” and we all know what they mean. I even say it. I have often been told,that the proper name is “standing rib eye roast.” Not that it really matters which term you use. It’s all good!


I found some great prime rib tips and a recipe from the Raley’s publication, “Something Extra” several years ago. They recommend getting a roast that provides 1 pound per person (bone-in) or 3/4 pound per person (boneless).


Some folks like to coat the top of a roast with a thick salt crust, using rock salt and maybe mixing it with egg whites, but keep in mind this method could affect the taste of the pan juices.

The perfect prime rib


From “Something Extra.”

1 USDA Choice beef standing rib eye roast


Salt and pepper


Rosemary or garlic, if desired

1. Place roast fat side up in a roasting pan. Coat the exterior with salt and pepper. You can also rub on additional seasonings such as rosemary or garlic. Roast at 325 degrees.


2. Cook to desired doneness, using a meat thermometer inserted in the center of the roast as your guide: Rare - 12 to 13 minutes per pound, or to 120 degrees. Medium-rare — 16 to 17 minutes per pound, or to 125 to 130 degrees. Medium to medium-well, about 20 minutes per pound, or to 145 degrees. And don’t forget: Let the roast stand for 10 to 15 minutes before carving.
 
Prime rib with roasted garlic and horseradish crust


I’ve made this a couple of times and it is very good.


30 large garlic cloves, unpeeled


1/4 cup olive oil


1/3 cup prepared white cream-style horseradish


1/2 teaspoon coarse salt


1 (6-pound) well-trimmed boneless beef rib roast
 
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss garlic cloves and olive oil in small baking dish; cover. Bake until garlic just begins to brown, about 35 minutes. (You can also buy pre-roasted garlic cloves in a jar.) Drain olive oil into processor. Cool 15 minutes. Peel garlic; place in processor. Add prepared horseradish and coarse salt. Puree until almost smooth.


2. Place rack on large rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle beef with salt and pepper. Spread thin layer of garlic mixture on underside of beef. Place beef, garlic mixture side down, onto rack. Spread beef with remaining garlic mixture. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours or up to 1 day.


3. Position rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 350 degrees. Uncover beef. Roast until thermometer inserted into top center registers 120 to 125 degrees for rare, about 1 hour 45 minutes. Transfer beef to platter; let stand 30 minutes. Scrape pan juices into small saucepan.


4. Slice beef crosswise. Rewarm juices; drizzle over beef.

Prime rib with Madeira and horseradish sauces


1 9- to 9 1/2-pound prime rib beef roast, excess fat trimmed


1 tablespoon olive oil


Salt and pepper, to taste


6 medium onions, peeled, quartered


2 1/2 cups canned beef broth


1 3/4 cups Madeira


1 1/4 cups dry red wine


4 large fresh thyme sprigs


4 large fresh parsley sprigs


3 large fresh rosemary sprigs


1 bay leaf


2 tablespoons butter, room temperature


2 tablespoons flour

1. Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 450. Place beef, fat side up, on heavy large rimmed baking sheet. Rub with oil; sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast beef 20 minutes.


2. Reduce oven temperature to 350. Place onions around beef. Continue to roast until thermometer inserted into center of beef registers 125 for medium-rare, stirring onions occasionally, about 2 hours 5 minutes. Meanwhile, combine broth, Madeira, wine, thyme, parsley, rosemary and bay leaf in medium saucepan. Boil until mixture is reduced to 2 cups, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat. Discard herbs.


3. Transfer beef to platter. Using slotted spoon, transfer onions to same platter; tent with foil. Let stand 30 minutes.


4. Pour off and reserve fat from baking sheet for herbed Yorkshire puddings. Scrape juices and browned bits from baking sheet into sauce; bring to boil. Mix butter and flour in small bowl to blend. Whisk into sauce; simmer until smooth and slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve beef with sauces and herbed Yorkshire puddings, if desired.

Horseradish sauce


1 1/2 cups creme fraiche or sour cream


1/2 cup prepared white horseradish


6 tablespoons chopped fresh chives (about 1/2 cup)


4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1. Whisk all ingredients to blend in small bowl.


2. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill.)

Herbed Yorkshire puddings


3 large eggs


1 cup whole milk


1 cup all purpose flour


1/4 teaspoon salt


1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley


1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives


2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage


2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme


1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary


About 6 tablespoons reserved pan drippings left over from cooking the prime rib (or 6 tablespoons olive oil)

1. Whisk eggs in medium bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in milk. Sift flour and salt into egg mixture; whisk until well blended and smooth. Whisk in all herbs. Let batter stand at room temperature at least 30 minutes or refrigerate up to 3 hours. Rewhisk before using.


2. Preheat oven to 450. Place 16 standard (1/3 cup) metal muffin cups in oven to preheat 10 minutes. Place 1 teaspoon drippings from rib roast in each muffin cup.


3. Return pan to oven until drippings are very hot, about 8 minutes. Immediately spoon 2 generous tablespoonfuls batter atop hot drippings in each muffin cup. Bake until puddings are golden and puffy, about 12 minutes (puddings will sink in center but edges will stay puffy). Serve hot.

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