STANDING RIB ROAST WITH PINOT AU JUS
The grand prime rib roast is a holiday showpiece. A darkened seared exterior with a juicy pink interior dazzles the taste buds. As with any food, there are hundreds of “the very best way” to prepare. To be completely fair, there really are!
I have always done the more traditional method: high heat to start, reduce to low and let it slowly cook. This time, I took the opposite approach: low heat, finished off with a high heat. The reasoning? It takes too long for the oven to reduce its interior temperature. I got a seared crust but the outer layers of the roast are overcooking and can turn a grayish color.
Two important facts to take into consideration: searing does not seal in the juices and the optimum temperature for the perfect standing rib is 125 degrees in the center.
Therefore, searing at the beginning of the cooking time isn’t necessary. So to achieve this perfect roast, I cooked it at a low oven temperature of 200 degrees to reach the optimum 125 degrees.
The exterior has to reach 310 degrees to create that enticing seared crust. Back to the dilemma of my oven not being able to go from 200 degrees to a high temperature in seconds (even minutes), or vice versa. The solution. Take the roast out of the oven when it has reached that perfect temperature of 125 degrees. Let it rest for up to an hour. Turn your oven on to 500 degrees. Once the oven has reheated, place the roast back in for eight minutes. Viola! A perfectly cooked standing rib with a seared crust. Sounds like the roast might loose a lot of temperature in an hour? Keep in mind, it’s a large piece of meat. It will remain hot. You don’t need to let the roast rest after the final high heat step (it’s done lots of resting by this time). You can serve as soon as you’re ready. And the best part, it gives you more flexible timing in the kitchen.
Now, what about the au jus? Wait, there’s no fat in my roasting pan. It all stayed in my perfectly cooked roast and made it so moist and flavorful. Once again, there are hundred of “the very best solution”. But, for sure, I was not about to create an au jus separate from my roast. I’m not crazy, you can only do so much! The solution: roast oxtails, vegetables and stock under my roast while it was cooking. Granted, I did have to sear my oxtail and vegetables before hand. But that’s hours before my meal, leaving plenty of time to clean up. When you pull the roast out after reaching that perfect temperature and before you return it to the hot oven, strain the au jus and keep on a low heat on the stovetop. How perfect is that?
And, just to have a little more fun with this article, I made fluffy horseradish potatoes. I LOVE mashed potatoes and horseradish LOVES prime rib. So why not combine the two? I’m a huge fan of a potato ricer, it makes the most luscious potatoes. You can make these potatoes and keep them in a warm oven till your dinner is ready. They’re so light and fluffy they’ll stay moist in a warm oven. They even reheat well after being refrigerated.