THE ART OF PRIME RIB
See Dialog below
Roasting is one of the oldest methods of cooking and one of the most wonderfully simple, classic techniques. But simple is not always easy. Roasting comes down to meat and heat, and several things happen when you cook a roast. As Russ Parsons, Food Editor for the L.A. Times wrote, “It is one of the oldest forms of cookery, and it is one of the grandest. For most cooks, it is also one fraught with concern.”
The earliest form of cooking was direct heat over an open fire. And then came roasting, probably by accident; where the raw meat was left near the open fire and the indirect heat cooked the meat more gradually. Eventually, the meat was threaded onto a stick and turned over the fire, and spit-roasting was born. Then, a culinary genius, somewhere, created a box that would absorb the heat from the fire and radiate it back at the food, and ultimately, oven roasting was born.
A few scientific things happen when you roast; the texture of the protein changes, from tough and sometimes stringy, to firmly textured but creamy in consistency. And if you roast too long, you will always reach the “dry and tough” stage. The color of the meat changes and the succulence, or juiciness develops, when the natural water content of the meat evaporates and the fat is rendered. But, it’s the flavor that is created while roasting that we all love, which comes from the browning process…So knowing how to create caramelization is the true secret.
First, you need to start with the best quality meat. A well-marbled Prime Rib Roast will ensure incredible flavor and texture, and Bristol Farms certainly has the top notch offerings. During the Holiday Season, you’ll find hand-cut Prime Rib, American Lamb and All Natural Pork, and new this year, fresh Geese. A Roast Goose for the holidays, you say? How triumphant! (I know!) Stroll through the butcher shop at your favorite Bristol Farms Store and prepare to impress your guests, then keep reading for some juicy tips.
I believe in high heat roasting, to sear in the flavor and the juices of a large roast, so start the oven high for the best flavor. The trick here is to make sure that your oven is super-clean. High heat roasting does create smoke if your oven is not clean or if the grease burns on the interior of the oven. To ensure the safety of you and your roast, I recommend placing a baking sheet with a bit of water in it on the bottom rack of your oven to catch any fat drippings or grease splatters.
After starting the initial browning process, I turn the oven down to cook the interior of the meat to perfection. And after the cooking process, and this is a vital step, you must consider carry-over cooking and the importance of “resting”. Any protein, beef to poultry, will continue to cook after it is removed from the often because of the heat retained within the meat itself. I always suggest at least a 10-minute rest, preferably 20 minutes for larger cuts, before you carve or slice. I guarantee that this simple trick will garner you juicier, better tasting results.
The finest tip I can share though, is the importance of placing a close-to-room-temperature roast (not cold!) into the oven, when you begin roasting. If you place a cold dense piece of meat in a hot oven, you risk drying out the exterior of the meat before you've given the inside a chance to cook through. A cold piece of meat will cook unevenly and much more slowly.
The proper tools are essential, too. Invest in a good meat thermometer to determine the doneness of your roast. And, when inserting the thermometer, find the thickest area of the meat and keep the thermometer away from any bones, for an accurate read. An oven thermometer is most important too, as it will allow you to check and see if your oven is actually the temperature you set the knob to. If not, adjust the temperature, then be sure to have your oven calibrated after the season of feasts!
And then there are the subtle nuances of roasting that make the process signature to each cook’s kitchen. To baste or not to baste, to brine or to marinate…the list goes on. Just having the right tools, maintaining a clean oven and buying grand quality proteins will surely make you a better cook this holiday season. No matter how you slice it, I know that your holiday centerpiece will be a delicious one. Wishing you a delicious holiday season, from my kitchen to yours~