Thursday, January 1, 2015

Kono's Exceptional Prime Rib 2014

Prime Rib has been our Christmas dinner tradition for as far back as I can remember.  When it is cooked perfectly it is euphoric. When it's not - it's simply roast beef.

Every year my husband and I ask each other: How should we cook the rib this year?  The answer is always different.  Sometimes it's as simple as, just like we did last year and other times it's a new method.  It's always a mystery. Let me just say... If it has been suggested,  I'm sure we have attempted it.

I got an email from The Food Lab's Definitive Guide to Prime Rib.  I respect Mr. Kenji Lopez-Alt and though I have read his other prime rib post. This year he suggested the method that my husband used, which was opposite to the one before.  It was a last minute decision and a good one.  Thanks, Kenji!

Back in 2010 I posted what I thought was the perfect prime rib.  And at the time I truly thought that was the best and only way to cook a no fail prime rib.

Four years later... I must take that back.  Well, not totally back.  The 2010 recipe is still delicious and has been a go-to method for years.  However, I think Kono's 2014 Prime Rib was exceptional and because I already titled the 2010 rib as the Perfect Prime Rib I can't give it the same name.  So, I decided to title it Kono's Exceptional Prime Rib!

The differences...

2010 - HIGH heat, then LOW 
This method works well and gets a nice crust.  The downside is that it releases a lot of moisture from the roast and has a mystery jump in temperature depending on the oven.  120 can climb to 160 really fast producing an over cooked roast.  Grrrrrrrrrrrrr been there, done that!

2014 - LOW heat, then HIGH
This method allows the roast to start slow and gradually rise in temperature eliminating the fear of the rapid rise in temperature like the high, then low method brings.  Another plus is that there were almost no drippings in the pan. Bad if you want to make au jus, but great for keeping all the juices in the roast.

Do you need to buy the most expensive roast to get a delicious prime rib?

In my opinion:  NO.

What you do need to do, is be friendly with your local neighborhood butcher. Prime rib is expensive.  So look for sales.  I saw that Albertson's (our local big box grocer) had bone-in (always buy bone-in) prime rib on sale for $6.97# (ridiculous, right).  Which means that they will be selling a lot of them.  Which also means that there will be a diamond in the rough somewhere in those cases of ribs that they will cut and trim.  That's when you personally ask the butcher... I need a 5 bone (or however many bones you want) prime rib.  Can you look for one that has a nice fat cap and marbling?

They then write your request into their log book and when they are prepping the roast for the day,  they look for that perfect roast for you (through all those cases) and call you when it shows up.  Think ahead because you can buy your roast a week ahead of time.  It will hold up well in your fridge and it will give your butcher a week to search out the prefect roast for you.  Ours showed up a couple days after our request.

I wish I had thought to take a picture of the roast before we cooked it because it was a beauty.  The cooked version doesn't show how well the whole roast was marbled (if you want to know what marbling looks like click here).

Kono's Exceptional Prime Rib 2014
Generously (don't be shy) season with granulated garlic, kosher salt and black pepper.

Place the thermometer in the roast - make sure the probe is not touching the bone.

Roast in a 200 degree oven until temp reaches 120 degrees.  (Our 14 pound bone-in roast took 5 1/2 hours to reach 120 degrees.)
This is our Prime Rib at 120 degrees
When we removed it from the oven we tented (not sealed) our roast with foil and let it sit at room temperature for 3 1/2 hours out of the oven. (suggested resting time no less than 30 min - and up to a hour and a half) Because of our timeline our roast rested longer.  I think it was a plus.

Our roast climbed to 133 degrees out of the oven.

15 minutes before you are ready to eat.  Place the roast into a preheated 500 degree oven for 10 -15 min. or until it has a beautiful dark brown crust.

Then slice and eat! Ours was perfect!

The Prime Rib was so moist and tender!!!

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