juicy prime rib. over-the-top goodness.

i dragged two girlfriends with me to a cooking class just after Thanksgiving.  the class was led by Nick Wynn and newly appointed Sous Chef Chris Chun at Big Canyon Country Club.

the master sommelier, Steven Poe, paired delicious wines with the foods that were cooked.  my favorite was the reisling, but i never did get the name of it.  i’ll update this post once i do!

anyway, the highlight of the class was Chef Nick’s famous prime rib.

i made it for Christmas and it was a HUGE hit.

so here we go.

first off, prime rib ain’t cheap.  second of all, costco carries incredibly fresh meats.  their volume is so humungous that they get meat delivered directly to them and it’s butchered on-site.  get your meat there!

there are different top grades of meat in the following order (info from Wiki):

  • U.S. Prime – Highest in quality and intramuscular fat, limited supply. Currently, about 2.9% of carcasses grade as Prime.
  • U.S. Choice – High quality, widely available in foodservice industry and retail markets. Choice carcasses are 53.7% of the fed cattle total. The difference between Choice and Prime is largely due to the fat content in the beef. Prime typically has a higher fat content (more and well distributed intramuscular “marbling”) than Choice.
  • U.S. Select (formerly Good) – lowest grade commonly sold at retail, acceptable quality, but is less juicy and tender due to leanness.

so there i was amongst the thousands of other costco shoppers on Christmas Eve.  luckily my costco-loving Dad was with me and we had a detailed strategy for this surgical strike shopping trip.

i took a few deep breaths before entering.  i may have even done a few stretches and jumping jacks.

then we did our usual: cut down the far right side and head directly to the meat department.  we successfully avoided all the extremely last-minute photo shoppers enlarging their iPhone pix into Christmas cards.  we maneuvered directly through a less-traveled electronics aisle.  we didn’t check out any mattresses.  we almost got sucked into the lure of a $29.99 toaster.

then we remembered that this was a surgical strike.  get in, get out.  no food sampling!

Dad parked the cart off to the side near the gigantic stand up paddle boards while i walked up to the prime rib frozen bin.  i immediately found a 7 lb. roast with the bone in!  another woman was eying it, but she hesitated and it was mine.  fewer than 15 seconds later, i was back at our cart.

sure, we picked up a few other key items.  i mean, who doesn’t need chocolate frosted flakes?

why bone-in, you ask?  one of my very first bosses, former executive chef at Asia de Cuba and Universal Studios, Richard Kaupp, explains that cooking the meat with the bone retains the juices.  i’ve read plenty of recipes that tell you to slice the meat from the bone before cooking and tying it all together with twine.  DON’T do it!  that defeats the whole purpose of buying the meat with the bone!

take the meat out of the fridge at least an hour prior to cooking.  place it fatty side up (bone down) on a cooking rack inside a roasting pan.  this brings the meat to room temperature, which will reduce cooking time.  score the fat that that it soaks into the meat as it cooks.

using a food processor, or my favorite, the Magic Bullet, combine these ingredients for the rub:

  • 2 Tb coarse kosher salt
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • rosemary
  • 10-12 garlic cloves

add 3/4 stick of softened butter to the combined ingredients.  rub this all over the meat.  top, sides, bottom.  THEN, combine another 2 Tb coarse kosher salt and 2 Tb freshly cracked pepper and run over the entire roast.  let sit for at least an hour.  it will look like a LOT of junk on there, but believe me, it’s all worth it!

heat oven to 400.  after the meat has warmed up for about an hour, put it into your oven on the lowest rack.  as you can see, i added some fingerling potatoes, onions and carrots to the roasting pan.  they were too crispy by the time the roast was done, so i’d suggest adding these during the last hour of cooking.

cook the roast for an hour and take it out of the oven for 30 minutes.  what this does is allows the inside of the roast to continue cooking and catch up with the outside of the roast.  don’t ya hate it when you cook a roast and the outside is crispy and the inside is rare?  this is Chef Nick’s little trick to avoid that.

here’s a picture of the roast during its 30 minute time out.  you can see the crust of garlicky buttery rub on the outside.

prime rib roast mid-way through cooking

and you can see the inside is still very red.

close-up of prime rib roast

throw the roast back in until the inside reaches 115, then pull it out of the oven to sit for another 20-30 minutes.  letting the meat sit allows the inside to reach 120, which is the perfect medium rare temperature.  it also allows the juices to permeate throughout the entire roast.

see how juicy this was?  absolutely divine.

juicy prime rib roast on cutting board with au jus

i also made baked potatoes and mashed yams, and my hubby’s favorite…creamed corn.

creamed corn close up

my costco partner in crime got his favorite blueberry sour cream pie.  this was before i put the top pie crust on. blueberry sour cream pie

and here’s my really sad attempt at making the table look festive.  table settings aren’t my forte.

rustic Christmas dining table setting

anyway, the meal was a hit and we demolished every bit of it.  i highly recommend trying this for New Year’s.  it’s too easy and will make you look like a rock star!

linked to: i should be mopping the floors

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  • Christine

    I can’t read enough about how to make a perfect prime rib. It’s got to be my favorite meal, ever. That +wine +_some kind of chocolate +espresso +corn. Ok, +potatoes. I’ve never read this in-out method, but it makes perfect sense! I’m saving you to try myself.
    I was drooling….

    • imeeshu

      Right!?? Christine, this method is so easy and won’t disappoint!! Let me know how it goes.

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