Prime Rib — Or Is It Just Beef?

The verdict is in. I’ve been experimenting with prime rib and rib roasts for four or five years now and can say without a doubt you don’t have to buy prime rib to impress your dinner guests. I’ve started buying boneless Angus select rib roasts at Sam’s Club and they’re absolutely awesome when they’re cooked right. Yes, I said select. For those of you who aren’t familiar with meat grades, that’s two whole notches below prime.

For best results, buy a rib roast weighing between two and six pounds with lots of fine marbling.

  1. Remove the roast from the refrigerator at least 45-60 minutes before cooking (longer if your refrigerator is near freezing or the roast weighs more than three pounds). The roast doesn’t have to be be room temperature, put putting in the oven when it’s still cold is out of the question.
  2. Mix 1/2 to 1 tablespoon fresh coarsely ground black pepper with an equal quantity of Canadian Steak seasoning.
  3. Coat the roast on all sides with the seasoning. Note that the Canadian Steak seasoning is very salty, so don’t be too liberal.
  4. Stand the roast fat-side up on a rack in a large roasting pan.
  5. Preheat the oven to 500°F. Use your oven’s convection setting if it has one.
  6. Place the roasting pan in the center of the oven. Roast at 500°F for 15 minutes (2-3 pound roast) or 20 minutes (more than 3 pounds).
  7. Decrease temperature to 275°F and continue roasting for a total of 20-25 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 110° (rare) or 115° (medium rare).

Resist the urge to open the oven door. When you check the temperature, quickly remove the roast from the oven, close the oven door to keep the heat in and return the roast to the oven as soon as possible if more cooking time is desired.
Removing the roast from the refrigerator well in advance of cooking time is critical. You won’t be at all happy with the results if the roast is cold when you put it in the oven.
Resist the urge to trim the fat from the roast. You don’t have to eat it, but you should leave it on until the roast is done. If you’re worried about the side effects, remember this: it’s more satisfying to consume a well-prepared cut of meat once a month than it is to consume a poorly prepared one once a day.
There seems to be a general consensus that if you roast to an internal temperature of more than 115°, the meat will be tough. On one occasion, I accidentally left the roast in the oven to 125°. It was well done, but still tender and flavorful.

And the best part? The last time my husband’s brothers came to visit, one of world’s truest beef-eaters said “this is great prime rib”.

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