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prime rib

Prime rib

Happy New (School) Year!

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My sister and I always call each other on the first day of school to say, “Happy New Year!” because to us it seems more like the new year than January 1st. A new school year is a new beginning for many families along with another dramatic seasonal change. The cooler mornings and shorter days invite a change-up in the kitchen too; playing around with new twists to old favorites.

Even though we barbeque year round, there is much to be said for a slow-roasting roast or turkey filling the house with comfort aromas. We like to cook a Tri-tip or Prime Rib with lots of garlic and special spices on the weekends for weekday lunches. Of course, being a carnivore at heart, one of my personal favorites is a hot turkey breast sandwich on fresh wheat bread with lots of mayo. If I’m watching my carbs (all the time!), I’ll make an “unwich” but cheat with the absolute necessary side – Original Lays Potato Chips.

Happy New Year, everybody!

Written by Leslie Stachecki 

Cook prime rib the right way

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Now that you have your delicious prime rib, what is the best way to cook it? Here are some directions that should help you along the way:

1. Place the roast in a shallow roasting pan and set aside 30 minutes to room temperature. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

2. Combine all other ingredients. Rub the prime rib with mixture. Bake 15 minutes until the meat begins to brown.

3. Reduce heat to 325 degrees F and continue cooking according to the chart below:

Cooking Time for Rare (120°)

3 Ribs, 7 to 8 lbs. 15 minutes at 450°, Then 1 ¼ to 1 ½ hours at 325°

4 Ribs, 9 to 10 lbs. 15 minutes at 450°, Then 1 ½ to 2 hours at 325°

5 Ribs, 11 to 13 lbs. 15 minutes at 450°, Then 2 to 2 ½ hours at 325°

6 Ribs, 14 to 16 lbs. 15 minutes at 450° Then, 2 ¾ to 3 hours at 325°

7 Ribs, 16 to 18 lbs. 15 minutes at 450° Then, 3 to 3 ¾ hours at 325°

4. Every half hour or so, baste the ends of the roast with the drippings. Use the meat thermometer about 30 minutes before the end of the roasting time. Make sure to insert it in the thickest part of the meat, not touching the fat or bone.

When the internal temperature reaches 120°, remove roast from the oven and cover with foil. If you remove a prime rib from the oven when the temperature is over 125°, it will be way too dry and overdone.

5. Let the roast sit for twenty to thirty minutes. It will continue to cook during this time, reaching a temperature of about 125° to 130°. This resting period allows the juices and flavors to permeate the roast.

Before you serve

Prime Rib is fabulous with a sour cream/horseradish sauce. You can use 1 part horseradish to 3 parts sour cream. Some of you might like it stronger, some creamier. Use your own judgment.

The aus jus is made using the drippings from the prime rib mixed with a little water and thickened slightly (not like a gravy, just a littler thicker than broth) with a cornstarch/cold water slurry. You will need to adjust the taste of your aus jus depending on how strong your drippings end up being. You might add more water and you might need to add a little beef base to bump up the flavor, just be careful to watch the salt content.

Yum! Enjoy!

How to buy prime rib

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Prime rib is expensive, so you want to be sure you get the best meat for your dollar. You’ll find it sold two ways: bone in, or boneless. We prefer the bone-in roasts as they taste better. They also make a slightly more impressive table presentation. Boneless roasts cook a little faster, so keep that in mind as it’s roasting.

Look for a roast with a layer of creamy white fat on the top. You’re going to roast your beast fat-side up, so the fat bastes the meat as it melts. The roast should be tied (though you can do this yourself at home) to keep its nice, plump shape as it cooks. The flesh should be bright red and the fat should be firm and white. Look for good marbling, if you can find it. Marbling = those skinny little strips of white fat shot through the meat. Most of it will melt as the meat roasts, contributing rich, and beefy flavor.
The USDA grades of beef include:
1. Prime–This accounts for less than 2% of the beef produced in the US. The quality is measured by the amount of marbling which gives the flavor and tenderness, and the age of the animal, which accounts for the texture of the meat. It’s usually purchased by upscale restaurants and isn’t readily available to the aver-age consumer.
2. Choice–This is the second highest grade of beef. It will have lees marbling than Prime, but if taken from the more desirable areas of the animal, such as the loin and rib section, could very closely equal the quality of Prime cuts.
3. Select–This accounts for most of the meat found in the grocery stores. It will have much less in the way of marbling and will come from older animals. It is not nearly as tender as choice or above, and is therefore much less desirable as a meat cut.

Enjoy!