Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Prime Ribs Dinner

Perfect Prime Ribs
Prime rib” refers to the standing rib roast; “standing” because to cook it, you simply position the roast on its rib bones in the roasting pan—no need for a rack. When you order a “prime” rib, it doesn’t mean that you are getting USDA Prime. Most “prime ribs” we get from butcher are actually “USDA Choice” quality, which makes for a very nice meal. If “USDA Prime” Prime Rib is within your budget, however, go for it. It can cost up to 50 percent more; it is the absolute superior grade (top 2 percent) of beef, generally reserved for top restaurants. There is a real difference in tenderness and flavor, and it will make the meal truly memorable for beef lovers.
A standing rib roast will serve anywhere from 6 to14 people. Each rib will feed two people, and you must cook at least three ribs for it to be a Standing Rib Roast. (Less is just a very thick steak.) It is best to use a meat thermometer, inserted at the center of the meat, not too close to the bone.


1 standing beef rib roast (4 to 7 ribs; 9 to 18 pounds)
Softened butter (½ tablespoon per bone)
Salt (½ teaspoon per bone)
Fresh, coarsely ground black pepper, as needed
½ cup sliced shallots
1 quart cold beef broth
½ cup red wine
2 tablespoons flour


Remove the prime rib from the refrigerator. Use a paper towel to pat the roast dry, and place it in a heavy metal roasting pan with 3-inch sides, bone side down. Rub the entire surface of the cold roast with butter and coat evenly with the salt and black pepper. Leave the prime rib out at room temperature for two hours.
Preheat the oven to 450° F. When the oven is hot, put the roast in and cook for 20 minutes to sear the outside of the roast. After 20 minutes turn the oven down to 325° F. Roast for 30 minutes. Add shallots to the pan, scattered around the roast, allowing the juices of the roast to drip on them. After a few minutes, when they begin to caramelize, add ½ cup of the beef broth and scrape. Continue to roast for a total of 15-20 minutes per pound (including the first half hour) or until internal temperature is 110° F for rare, 120° F for medium rare, 130° F for medium and 140° F for medium-well. The roast will increase its temperature by about 10° F during its resting period. Transfer to a large platter and let the prime rib rest, loosely covered with foil, for 30 minutes before serving. Cutting into the meat too early will cause a significant loss of juice.

Total roasting time
per pound
Internal temperature
15 minutes
110° F
17 minutes
120° F
19 minutes
130° F
Medium -Well
21 minutes
140° F

To make the "Au Jus" sauce
While the prime rib is resting, place the roasting pan on the stovetop over medium heat. Add the ½ cup of red wine and reduce the liquid to about half. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for five minutes to form a roux. Pour in the rest of the beef broth and whisk into the roux, scraping all the caramelized beef drippings and shallots from the bottom of the pan. Turn heat to high and cook the sauce for ten minutes until it reduces and thickens slightly. Serve in a gravy boat alongside the prime rib.

Carving the well-rested roast:
Use a sharp knife to cut the meat off the bones by making one cut across the bottom of the roast to detach the chine bone and running the sharp edge of the knife parallel along the rib bones, to cut off the entire rib section in one piece. Place boneless portion of the prime rib roast on the cutting board with the rib bone side down. Cut slices across the grain of the roast to desired thickness. Slices are cut ¼-inch to ½-inch thick.

Yorkshire Pudding
A traditional side dish for Prime Rib is Yorkshire Pudding, a puffy, popover-like pastry that the English have contributed to culinary excellence.
Ingredients (all at room temperature)
2/3 cup milk
1/3 cup water
1¼ cups flour
1 teaspoon Salt
1 large egg

1 tablespoon drippings

One hour before the meat is ready to be removed from the oven, mix the milk and water together. Sift flour with salt into a mixing bowl. Make a well in the center and add the unbeaten egg and half of the liquid. Stir slowly, gradually drawing the flour into the liquid. Add half of the remaining liquid and beat well. Stir in the rest of the liquid and allow to rest at room temperature.
When you remove the beef from the oven, turn the temperature back up to 400° F. Coat a pie plate with a tablespoon of drippings from the roast (tilting the pan and turning it so the drippings coat the bottom and sides well). Pour the batter into the pie plate and bake in the hot oven for 30 to 35 minutes. (Do not open the oven door during cooking, or the popover will fall.) It will rise to a light, fluffy consistency. Serve immediately, and enjoy the crispy outer edges and the custardlike inside.

Parsley Potatoes
18 small Red or Yukon Gold potatoes
½ cup fresh parsley
½ stick butter
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Rinse potatoes and cut off any unsightly parts. Add to a pot and cover with salted water. Bring to a boil and cook until they are still firm but a fork can pierce them. Drain. Peel and slice each potato in half. Place parsley, butter, garlic, and potatoes in a saucepan over medium heat, and combine well. Cover and cook for ten minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Sautéed Mushrooms


2 pounds mixed mushrooms
½ cup good olive oil
1 cup chopped shallots (4 shallots)
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter
2 teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped garlic (6 cloves)
1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley


Wipe the cap of each mushroom with a clean sponge. Remove and discard the stems. Slice the small mushrooms thickly; cut the big ones in large dice. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the shallots and cook over low heat for five minutes, or until the shallots are translucent. Add the butter, mushrooms, salt and pepper and cook over medium heat for eight minutes, until they are tender and begin to release their juices, stirring often. Stir in the garlic and cook for two more minutes. Toss in the parsley, sprinkle with salt, and serve warm.

Horseradish Cream


½ cup crème fraîche or use half sour cream and half heavy cream, mixed
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
1 tablespoon lemon juice


In a small bowl, mix together all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Timing Tips
I chose these particular side dishes because they are delicious, go well with the roast, are not time sensitive, do not require the oven, and can be mostly prepped in advance so they do not monopolize you at the last minute, when you need to be working with the roast. The following can be prepped hours before you start cooking the roast.
Prime Rib and Yorkshire Pudding: Take out the beef and the egg and milk from the refrigerator to allow them to reach room temperature.
Parsley Potatoes: Wash and boil the potatoes. Once they have cooled, peel and halve them and place them in a Tupperware container or bowl. Do not refrigerate. Chop the parsley and shallots and leave in small cups until required. While roast is out of the oven and the Yorkshire Pudding is rising, you can finish off the potatoes and leave covered until ready to serve.
Sautéed Mushrooms: You can prepare the mushrooms hours in advance up until the point of adding the garlic. Instead add a tablespoon of lemon juice, toss, and allow to rest, covered, until almost ready to serve. Then stir in the garlic and cook for two more minutes. Toss in the parsley, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve warm.
Horseradish Sauce:  The sauce can be made early in the day and refrigerated. It is served cold or room temperature.

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