Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Standing Prime Rib Roast done two ways: On the BBQ or in the oven with mushroom gravy

There is something truly special about a standing Bone-In Prime Rib Roast, despite the costs associated with them. But, if you can either get them on sale or use them as a terrific substitute for the equally expensive and often far less tasty holiday turkeys or hams, they are well worth the investment.

Though only, we should note from the start, if they are cooked to a proper rare to medium rare. There is simply no point in cooking a Prime Rib Roast if you intend to cook it beyond this point of "doneness". 

Previously I blogged about how to do more "inferior" roasts using the Hi-Low heat method. This method is, in my opinion, also the perfect way to cook the royalty of roasts. Follow these instructions exactly to oven cook a Prime Rib roast with two exceptions. 

First, a Prime Rib Roast does not need the olive oil. Its delightful fat layering and marbling will take care of the moistening that the olive oil is a substitute for.

Also, it is called a "standing" rib roast for a reason. Being bone-in, the roast will come with a curved bone rack on the underside. You want to stand the roast up while cooking, bone side down, fat side up. For smaller roasts, 4 pounds or less, you might find that they fall over at some point during the cooking, but that is OK. Whether the roast falls over or not, you must never, under any circumstances, open the oven. 

When the roast is done, and has been allowed to sit as outlined, I am always partial to cutting the slices a little on the thicker side. The photo at the start shows both the size and doneness that I think makes for a perfect Prime Rib Roast. This will have a great and contrasting texture,  will be incredibly moist, and will be full of flavour.

If you want a gravy, and why wouldn't you, take the tray that you cooked the Prime Rib in and leave all the drippings in it. Add some mushrooms, place it on a medium-low burner and stir to brown them. Add salt and pepper to taste as you go. After a few minutes, add a cup of beef stock and, if you want, a little red wine, and bring to boil. Reduce the heat and let it simmer, adding a tablespoon or two of flour to let it thicken to taste, stirring this in to ensure that it fully dissolves. Simmer and blend down to your desired thickness.

Different people like very different gravies. You will find yours!  

If you want to try for something a little different, and truly spectacular, you can do the Prime Rib Roast over charcoal on the BBQ using the indirect method. This always sounds daunting, but is, in fact, rather easy once you get the hang of it (though you should not let family or friends know that!). 

This method only really works for roasts that are 3-4 lbs or less, so if you are having a few folks over, you will have to do at least two.

First, after following the instructions for starting up the charcoal grill that I laid out in a previous post, instead of dumping all the charcoal in the centre, you must instead divide the hot coals into two separate piles along the side of the BBQ drum, leaving the centre without coals. This can be done with a cheap accessory fitted side tray for charcoal made by Weber and other companies, or by simply piling it!

When BBQing prime rib I suggest using a Montreal Style steak spice as you would on any steak. Coat the roast liberally on all sides with it, other than the bone-in side. As always, leave the roast to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking.

After you have the separated coals glowing a red or white hot, take the Prime Rib and put it directly over one of the piles for 5 minutes a side. You want to get grill marks and that lovely searing.

Once you have done this, put the roast in the centre of the grill, with no coals underneath. If it will stand, fine, but usually you are better off to simply rest it one side down and flip it half-way through.

You need to cook the roast a further 15 minutes per lb., again making sure to evenly spread the time out in terms of what side is cooking, to get a medium-rare. You should do this "lid on" for the most part, keeping the flue open, and taking the top off every few minutes to allow the coals to get hotter again. You will get the hang of it. 

 If you do not like the timed method, simply check the roast for "give" as you would a steak.

After done, let the roast sit for only 5 minutes, uncovered,  as opposed to the 15 for an oven roast. Again, I suggest slightly thicker slicing.

The BBQ method is incredibly flavorful and worth the effort. The Prime Rib will come out wonderfully juicy and moist, but also with a distinctive smokey charcoal grilled  taste that is impossible to acheive any other way. It is truly delicious.


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