How to cook a prime rib roast

By Lynn Richardson
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prime rib roast with sides
Make sure you know how to cook a prime rib roast before you spend the big bucks for one!
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It’s really quite easy to learn how to cook a prime rib roast

Before buying a prime rib roast, determine how large a roast you'll need. Generally, figure on 8-10 ounces of uncooked, boneless meat per person. Increase that to 12-15 ounces per person if the roast has bones. Invariably this means you'll have some leftovers.

There are several different ways to prepare prime rib roast, indeed any roast of that size. One is the long-slow method in which the meat cooks at temperatures hovering around 200 degrees, not much different from how true barbecue is produced. It's a favorite among large caterers who have special upright ovens that cook and keep the meat warm for what seems like an eternity. This, of course is not for the average home kitchen!

The most popular is the medium-heat method which calls for a steady cooking at around 325 degrees for about 17 minutes a pound until the internal temperature reaches 125 degrees for rare to medium rare.

One of the best ways is the seared method. It provides for a nicer crust than the other methods, especially if the roast is small. You'll notice that it calls for very little seasoning. Good beef doesn't need much more than salt and pepper.

Seared method for cooking a prime rib roast

• 9-lb. standing rib roast with seven rib bones, trimmed of all but 1/4-inch of exterior fat • Kosher salt • Freshly cracked black pepper

1) Have the butcher remove the "chine" bone from the bottom of the roast and have the meat separated from the rib bones so you have a boneless roast and a row of rib bones. Then put the meat back into the bone cradle and tie the meat back onto the bones with string. This allows the bones to keep the meat moist and flavorful and makes for easier carving.

2) Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Put the meat in a roasting pan, bone side down, fat side up, until it comes to room temperature. Rub the roast with salt and pepper. Roast 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 degrees and cook 13 minutes per pound from this point or until the internal temperature reaches 125 degrees for rare to medium rare. For accuracy, get an instant-read thermometer, the kind people who work in food service keep in their lab coat chest pockets with the leaky pens. The instant-read thermometer gives a temperature fix in about 15 seconds and can be used in many other dishes besides roasts. (Digital thermometers give more accurate readings than those with dials.)

3) Remove the roast and let rest at least 10 minutes before carving. If you wish, make gravy from defatted pan drippings during this time. Untie the bones from meat and carve the meat into slices of desired thickness. Cut through and separate the bones and serve separately like spareribs. Serves about 10.

Another way to cook a prime rib roast

1 three-rib prime-rib roast, first cut, trimmed and tied 1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper 2 tablespoons coarse salt 3 short ribs, tied 1-1/2 cups dry red wine

To ensure even cooking, roast must first be left at room temperature (about two hours) before being placed in the oven.

Place oven rack on lower level. Heat oven to 450 degrees F. Rub roast all over with salt and pepper. Transfer to heavy 13-by-16-inch metal roasting pan. Arrange fat side up. Place short ribs in pan. (A nonstick pan will yield fewer cooked-on bits for flavorful juices.)

Cook 20 minutes. Reduce oven to 325 degrees F. and continue cooking until instant-read thermometer inserted in thick end of roast (not touching a bone) reaches 115 degrees F., about 1 hour and 25 minutes. If it hasn't, return to oven; check temperature at 10-minute intervals.

Transfer roast to platter; set aside in warm spot for juices to collect. (As roast rests, temperature will increase about 10 degrees.) Do not tent, or crust will get soggy, Adjust oven to 425 degrees.

Pour fat and all drippings out of pan into a fat separator, and set aside. Place roasting pan over medium-high heat. Pour red wine into pan; scrape bottom with wooden spoon, scooping up crispy bits to deglaze pan. Cook until reduced by half, 5 to 8 minutes. Place a fine sieve in medium heatproof bowl. Pour juices into strainer. Using wooden spoon, press down on solids to extract juices. Discard solids. Cover bowl tightly; keep warm by placing in barely simmering saucepan with 1 inch water. Reserve pan drippings for Yorkshire Pudding if desired.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

See how easy it is to learn how to cook a prime rib roast? Bon appetite!

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