Tips and recipe for buying and cooking Christmas Prime Rib

Do you want to serve roasted prime rib for Christmas dinner? From our tried and true test kitchens here are step-by-step instructions on how to prepare a perfect roast with horseradish sauce.

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WASHINGTON, December 18, 2017 – The Whos in Whoville know that a perfect roasted prime rib of beef makes any holiday meal special yet many home chefs are daunted by the idea of roasting a prime rib. But they shouldn’t be. The meat requires little preparation, but it does require some simple tips to create the perfect prime rib roast that will have your family and guests in awe of your culinary expertise.

Following are step-by-step instructions, tips, and warnings for creating the perfect Prime Rib Roast meal for your holiday table.

But you shouldn’t be. Following are step by step instructions, tips, and suggestions for creating the perfect Prime Rib Roast meal for your holiday table.

Prime Rib is the most tender piece of beef because it consists of the rib and the tenderloin, located on the ribs closest to the back of the cow, where a lack of muscle allows the beef to be extra tender and flavorful.
If you have a local butcher that will be the best place to buy a great piece. However, if you don’t have a good butcher you can usually find a roast in the meat department of the local grocery store.



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Plan on one rib per every two guests, unless you are feeding big eaters. Between each rib is meat. If you remove the rib bones (saving for nibbling the sweet meat between the ribs), you can slice the meat far easier and it will go a little farther.

It is important to know what you are buying, particularly if you are not relying on a trusted meat professional. Look for fresh cuts of meat with a bright red color and that is soft, but firm to the touch. Smell the roast – it should smell clean and a bit sweet without any smell of deterioration. The blood that comes from it should be red in color and not brown.

The blood that comes from it should be red in color and not brown.

The red should be well marbled with white, not gray, streaks of fat and there should be a layer of fat over the outside of the roast as well. You can ask your butcher to tie a thin layer of fat over the outside of the roast. Also, ask for the smaller end of the Rib for a better proportion to fat to meat ratio.

Also, ask for the smaller end of the Rib for a better proportion to fat to meat ratio.

While many kitchen chefs have sworn over the slow cooking method for prime rib, kitchen chefs are promoting   with a fast cooking experience that requires a very hot oven (500 degrees).

Caution, if you are using an electric stove, this method can be dangerous.

Tip: Be sure your oven is very clean before setting it at 500 degrees F.

The high levels of fat in prime rib can spatter in cooking and, with the electric coils, start on fire (learned through experience). You may want to use a smoker or grill which will require a dedicated assistance to watch and maintain the heat if you have an electric stove with coils at the top.

Instant Read thermometer – Image Sur La Table http://www.surlatable.com/

Tip: The day before, if not earlier, clean your oven well before you cook your roast as the high heat will cause smoking of old food.

Tip: If you do not have an instant read thermometer in your tools, now is the time to get one.

Removing the roast from the refrigerator, while still very cold, take a very sharp knife and cut along the underside of the rib bones. Rub in your seasonings and here less is more. Our favorite is a paste of salt, white pepper (not black pepper corn as it is too robust for the delicate meat), horseradish and whole grain mustard that is massaged into the meat while it reaches room temperature, but stays very cool in the center.


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Using culinary twine, tie the ribs back onto the roast. This technique helps to insure more even cooking. If buying from a butcher, or if you have a helpful butcher at your meat counter, you can ask them to do this for you.

Tip: Practice good food preparation and keep the roast covered and away from other foods while it warms to room temperature.

Place the roast in a pan large enough to hold it comfortably, bone-side down on a roasting rack. Preheat the over to 500 degrees with the oven rack on the second-lowest level – but with plenty of room between the top of the roast and the oven top (see above warning).

Roast the meat at 500 for 30 minutes. Without removing the meat from the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F and roast for another 30 minutes. Finally, increase the temperature to 450 degrees F and roast for another 15 to 30 minutes, until the internal temperature of the meat is 125 degrees F. (Be sure the thermometer is exactly in the center of the roast.)

The total cooking time will be between 1 1/2 and 1 3/4 hours.

Perfectly roasted prime rib by Chef Mary
Perfectly roasted prime rib by Chef Mary

Ingredients

1 (3-rib) standing rib roast (7 to 8 pounds – feeds 4-6 medium eaters)
1 tablespoon kosher or course sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons white pepper

Dukes Mayonnaise

4 tablespoons ground mustard
1 teaspoon fresh horseradish

1 1/2 cups good mayonnaise (recommended: Dukes)
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
1/3 cup sour cream
1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt

Method

Two hours before roasting remove the meat from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F (see note). Roast the meat at 500 for 30 minutes. Without removing the meat from the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F and roast for another 30 minutes.

Finally, increase the temperature to 450 degrees F and roast for another 15 to 30 minutes, until the internal temperature of the meat is 125 degrees F. The roast will continue cooking up to 10-15 degrees while resting.

Tip: Be sure the thermometer is exactly in the center of the roast. Do not leave instant read thermometer in the meat with the door closed.

Remove the roast from the oven and transfer it to a cutting board. Cover it tightly with aluminum foil and allow the meat to rest for 20 minutes. Carve and serve with the sauce.

Safety Tip: Fires in the kitchen can be extinguished with a small fire extinguisher, or if you want to save your roast, have boxes of baking soda on hand to smother the fire. If you think your roast is on fire do not open the door; first turn off the heat and using pot lids, cover the stovetop burners to reduce any fresh oxygen getting into the stove. Once there are no visible flames through the door window, with an extinguisher and baking soda at the ready, carefully open the oven door making sure the heat is turned off.

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