Prime Rib Cooking Recipe
Prime rib is a superb and mouthwatering cut of beef that is synonymous with elegance and fine dining. Due to its reputation, the idea of preparing a standing rib roast at home seems daunting to many. As a result, people often limit their enjoyment of this delicious entree to steakhouses, frequently at significant cost. A standing rib roast is more easily prepared than most people think, however, provided time and attention is paid to the process.
The first step in preparing a great prime rib is to select the right grade of beef. There are three main grades of rib roast. The best is USDA Prime, which is limited to only 2% of all beef graded by the USDA. The second best grade is USDA Choice, followed by USDA Select. The difference, aside from price, is in the marbling, or fat, of the cut. The more marbling in the prime rib, the more flavorful and tender it will be.
Once you have selected the grade, you should ask your butcher for a minimum of a three rib portion. Anything less than this will be very unforgiving during the cooking process. When the butcher trims off the excess fat from your roast, ensure that a certain amount is left to properly baste the roast while it cooks.
Once you have brought the meat home, the cooking can begin. You should set your oven to 450 degrees, and prepare a rub or paste for your roast. Common ingredients in the seasoning rub or paste include garlic and pepper, but onion, basil, salt, or other spices or seasonings can also be added. Pat the rib dry, and then slice it in several places to ensure even cooking and maximum coverage of the seasoning. Apply the rub or paste to all the exposed meat before putting it into the oven.
The most nerve-racking part of cooking a rib roast for most people is the cooking time. If the rib doesn't cook long enough, many people are repulsed. If it cooks too long, it's often tough or otherwise inedible. The key to properly cooking a prime rib is the use of a meat thermometer. Ideally, a prime rib will have a mixture of rare and well-done slices, which will accommodate every taste. This is accomplished through judicious use of the timer and the thermometer. At no point should the cooking time at 450 degrees exceed 15 minutes. After this point, the oven should be turned down to 325 degrees, and the rib should be allowed to cook for a minimum of 75 minutes. Depending on the size of the prime rib, the time needed to cook may be longer.
After 75 minutes at 325 degrees, and every half hour following, pull the prime rib partially out of the oven and baste the ends of the meat with the drippings from the pan. Use this opportunity to insert the meat thermometer into the thickest part of the prime rib, being careful not to touch the fat or bone, as this will alter the reading. The ideal temperature is between 120 and 125 degrees. This will produce rare meat in the center of the cut, with the edges ending up well-done. Once the prime rib has reached this temperature, remove it from the oven and wrap it in foil to give it time to rest before attempting to carve it. The 20 to 30 minutes of resting time allows the meat to cook further, and also allows the juices to permeate, creating a more flavorful creation.
Some additional tips:
Selecting the proper knife is almost as important as choosing the meat itself. The ideal knife will be long (12 to 14 inches) and sharp, allowing you to carve through the meat with even strokes. Jagged cuts, or cuts against the grain of the beef, will result in less tender prime rib.
Be sure to retain the drippings from the prime rib in the bottom of the pan. These are to be served with the prime rib and are referred to as "au jus".
Another common accompaniment rib is horseradish sauce, which is easily made using 2 cups of sour cream, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, one teaspoon of salt, and A cup of horseradish. Blend the ingredients, add more horseradish to taste, and serve.