Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Standing Rib Roast? Seriously?

No, that wasn't tonight's evening sky, it was a couple weeks ago. But the feeling you get when you see a rainbow arch across your winter sky is like the feeling I had when I bit into my first nibble of my first attempt at a standing rib roast this afternoon.

Number One, I couldn't afford a standing rib roast. Number Two, I didn't know how to cook one. Number Three, wasn't about to ruin an expensive cut of meat with a culinary mishap.

But this year, things were different. Our Save Mart supermarket has been introducing a line of beef called Angus 43. It was heartbreaking when they stopped carrying Harris Ranch Beef (which is incredibly tasty) and I kind of sneered at the Angus 43 when they began advertising it. But when they offered boneless New York strip steak for the absurd price of $5.99/lb, I sprang for a couple ... and was pleasantly surprised. Tender, good flavor, okay. They've gradually reeled me in, and when they put standing rib roasts on sale for $6.99/lb, I began salivating and researching.

As it turns out, it is so dang simple to make that there is simply no reason to take the family out for a luxury dinner of prime rib.

We scored a little-ish 5-pound standing rib roast, let it sit on the counter for a couple hours to come to room temperature. I rubbed it with extra virgin olive oil, then seasoned the fat cap with salt, pepper, and finely ground garlic powder. It was already tied at the store, so I shoved it into the oven, ribs-side down in a shallow baking pan, for 25 minutes at 450 degrees. After that, with its now gorgeously browned exterior, it gets the temp taken back to 350 until the interior reaches 120 degrees. Then out it comes, gets wrapped in heavy duty aluminum foil, and "rests" for about 20 minutes while you get the rest of the meal finished.


Was that Christmas dinner? No, this is Christmas Eve Eve, and we're making a big homemade taco spread for Christmas. This was just for fun, a continuation of the kitchen experimentation of the weekend.

One last thing, about the internal temperature of the meat. We use a Taylor Meat Thermometer with a probe whose cord comes conveniently out the side of the oven door. Good for roasts, good for chickens in the oven, only about $20. An alarm sounds when the temp approaches 20 degrees of the desired temp, again (a bit more frantically) when the temp is 10 degrees off, and then beeps like a banshee when it gets to the proper temperature.

No, that wasn't the last thing. We got the roast with ribs attached, the whole thing tied up with cotton cooking string. Without the string, the ribs fall off. Without the ribs, you have to use a rack.

If you use a rack, you have to wash the rack, and you don't have the bones to gnaw as a snack the next day.

For your next birthday, ask for a standing rib roast to cook.

Merry Christmas!

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