Happy holidays to everyone! Hope you’re all having a great time with family or friends!
My mother in law is in town for the holiday, and tomorrow night, we’re going to have the big turkey and trimmings with some family friends. As previous postings here have established, I’m not crazy about turkey. So, when deciding what to cook tonight, I ruled out the big bird pretty quickly. Instead, my husband agreed that nothing says holidays like a giant beef rib roast.
Do you want to impress a bunch of carnivores? Cook up a rib roast. It’s easy, foolproof, festive, and delicious. For perfect medium rare meat, roast at 400F for the first 20 minutes, and then reduce the heat to 265F. Roast for 20 minutes per pound at 265F (25 minutes per pound if using a conventional rather than convection setting). And don’t forget carryover cooking – the heat on the surface of the roast will continue to convect through the meat, increasing the interior temperature by 5-10 degrees, depending on the thickness of the roast. Be sure to factor that into your roasting time.
While the meat roasts, you can prepare the accompaniments. To keep it simple but delicious, serve the roast with potato purée and a straightforward steakhouse vegetable, like sautéed spinach with garlic, creamed spinach, or a mushroom ragoût.
Beef rib roast
1 3-rib roast, about 7.5 lbs
3 tbsp kosher salt
2 tsp coarsely ground coriander seed
2 tsp coarsely ground black peppercorn
1 tsp sugar
8 cloves garlic confit, mashed to a paste
about a dozen sprigs thyme
At least 3 hours before roasting, combine all the seasonings except the thyme, and prepare a paste. Coat the rib roast thoroughly on all surfaces except the bone. Tie the roast, and tuck thyme sprigs under the twine in contact with the surface of the meat. Refrigerate, covered.
One hour before roasting, remove the roast from the refrigerator and preheat the oven. Once the oven is hot, roast for 20 minutes at 400F in a roasting pan on a rack, ribs side down (rotate the roast 180 degrees after 10 minutes if your oven is uneven). Then reduce the heat to 265F and roast for 20 minutes per pound (convection) or 25 minutes per pound (conventional), turning the pan 180 degrees each hour, until the roast registers 125F in the center. Remove from the oven.
Turn the roast upside down (bone side up) and rest, tented with foil, for 30-45 minutes. Slice away the bone first, and then carve the roast into slices of even thickness. Or, if you’re serving super hungry people, slice chops through the ribs.
With the exception of low-starch, high-moisture potatoes (like Red Bliss), which you should not use for this type of potato purée, you can use either a medium starch yellow potato, or a high starch russet. Russets will yield fluffier, lighter purée; if you use a yellow potato, it will taste richer but have a stiffer texture.
3 lbs medium starch potato, like Yellow Finn or Yukon Gold, or russet potatoes (either type is fine)
up to 1 c milk
between 2 oz (4 tbsp) and 8 oz (1 cup, or two sticks) unsalted butter, divided into chunks
salt and white pepper
Place clean potatoes, with the skin on, in a pot of filtered water. Bring the pot to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until the potatoes are tender in the center. Drain. When cool enough to handle, remove the skins and rice the potatoes. For an exceptionally light, smooth texture, pass the riced potato through a tamis (this step is optional).
Return the potato to the pan and add the milk. Stir with a wooden spoon until the potato purée is warm and smooth. Incorporate the butter, piece by piece. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Potatoes often require a great deal of salt, so don’t be alarmed if you add more salt than you expect.