As I’ve mentioned in posts past, our Christmas dinners are basically encore presentations of Thanksgiving where turkey takes center stage, a sweet and savory glazed ham fills the supporting role and the always reliable cast and crew of traditional trimmings and seasonal sweets backs up the meal. But for some, including many of my friends, nothing says “special holiday dinner” more than a show-stopping cut of beef like a rack of prime rib.
I’ve prepared many a prime rib roast (also known as a standing rib roast) in my day. Next to boiled crawfish, it is the hubby’s favorite meal. My three kids have also come to appreciate the finer points of having a medium-rare slice of prime or choice beef on their plates. And although a Standing Rib Roast has only graced our Christmas dinner table once, it has been the cause for celebration at various other times of the year.
The prime rib roast cut can be comprised of two to seven ribs. When it comes to buying a roast, I suggest you select one with at least three rib bones to ensure successful cooking. Anything smaller is less forgiving–and this baby costs too much to mess up. For easing carving, you may wish to ask your butcher to remove the bones and tie them back on. That way you’ll reap all the benefits of cooking bone-in beef (like juicer, richer and more tender bites thanks to all that melting collagen) without having to struggle with the rack when it comes time to serve your family and friends. If you want a more dramatic presentation, you may also want to ask the butcher to French the bones (remove the meat between them). That’s not really necessary with a beef roast because the meat between the bones is tender (it’s more of a necessity with lamb and pork because those areas are generally fatty). But really, it’s all about the look and the level of applause you’re seeking at your holiday table.
So here’s my take on prime rib. I hope you enjoy it for Christmas, New Year’s or whenever you’re in the mood to celebrate.
Merry Christmas guys!
Standing Rib Roast Recipe
1 3-bone (6-7 pound) prime rib roast
6 large garlic cloves, smashed
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon coarse black pepper
Horseradish Sauce, for serving (recipe follows)
Let roast sit at room temperature for 2 hours. Arrange a rack in lower third of oven and preheat to 450 degrees F. Place roast, bone side down, in a large roasting pan with rack insert. Pat dry with paper towels. In a medium bowl, combine garlic and next 6 ingredients (through black pepper). Rub mixture over roast. Roast until nicely browned, about 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue roasting until thermometer inserted in the center registers 120-125 degrees F for medium rare (as it rests, the roast will continue to cook to the ideal temperature of 130-135 degrees F), about 1 to 1 1/2 hours more (start checking the temperature at the 40-minute mark). Transfer roast to a cutting board with ribs pointing up and let rest for 20 minutes before carving. Serve with Horseradish Sauce. Makes 6-8 servings.
Horseradish Sauce Recipe
1 8-ounce container sour cream
1/4 cup prepared horseradish, drained
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Lea & Perrins (Worcestershire sauce)
2 dashes Louisiana Hot Sauce, or other hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt to taste
Combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Sauce can be made 1 day ahead; keep chilled. Makes about 1 3/4 cups.