The Weekly Dish – Prime Rib Sunday Supper
Prime rib is not cheap unfortunately, therefore I recommend keeping an eye out in the paper for butcher’s specials. Typically it is sold by the number of ribs attached. I recommend not going for anything less than four ribs – this stuff makes incredible leftovers if there’s actually anything left. Ask the butcher to cut it off the bone and tie it back on – he will know exactly what you’re talking about if you don’t.
Preheat your oven to 475° and get one rack placed in the dead center of the oven. Place your roast in a roasting pan – if you don’t have one, you can use a sheet pan but make sure it has at least a 1″ lip (so you don’t lose any juices when moving it around). Lightly drizzle olive oil over the roast and using your hands, smear over every square inch of delicious carnage. Next, season the hell out of it with Slavo Salt – I mean use 3 times what you would use if you were seasoning a steak. The idea is to create a kind of a crust here. I prefer to add some extra cracked black pepper here, I think it makes a big difference.
Now, place your roast (in the pan) in the oven and shut the door. Cook for 20 minutes at 475°, then reduce the oven temp to 350°. Cook an additional hour and fifteen minutes at 350°. At this point (after the alotted time) stick a meat thermometer into the center of the roast. You are looking for an internal temperature of 105-115° – once you get in that range, pull the roast out of the oven and let it sit on the counter top uncovered for no less than 20 minutes (no it is not going to get cold)!
Don’t Forget The Gravy!
Remove the roast from the pan you cooked it in after the 20 minute rest and place on a cutting board. The pan is going to have a bunch of crusty particles and fat(grease) floating in it, you can remove some of the grease if you want. Add 2 beef boulion cubes and 3-4 cups of hot water to the roasting pan over your stovetop on medium heat. Stirring constantly, bring this mixture to a simmer for about 7 minutes or so. Now take about 3-4 tablespoons of cornstarch in a small bowl and add about 2 tablespoons of cold water to the starch and mix well. This is called a slurry, you can use flour too but I prefer corn starch for sauce making. Your slurry should have a thick yet runny consistency – not pastey. With a wisk slowly stir in the slurry to the simmering broth – stir constantly and well to eliminate the chance of starch lumps. After a couple minutes your gravy will begin to thicken up. If it gets too thick add some more water – too thin and add more slurry. TASTE IT! Adjust your seasoning w/ Slavo Salt. One thing you want to make sure is that you cannot taste the starch – I don’t know how to describe the flavor but it shouldn’t taste “floury.” If your gravy doesn’t turnout very good – don’t serve it! Prime rib can stand solo very well and you don’t want to ruin a great slab of beef with a crappy gravy.
Take half of a yellow onion and small dice it. Put a small pot on the stove at medium high heat with 1/4 cup(half a stick) of butter. As the butter begins to melt – add in the diced onion. Stir your onion and butter around until the onion becomes translucent. At this point add in some flour, enough to make a light paste (less than 1/4cup). Stir over the heat for 1-2 minutes. Now add in 1 pint of cream or milk – your call. Continue stirring and cooking over the heat. The sauce will begin to thicken – if it starts turning to paste add a little more milk. Total cook time with cream/milk should be about 10 minutes. Think cream sauce at your favorite Italian joint – this should have that consistency. Now season to taste with Slavo Salt – yes stick your finger in it and taste it. If it taste grainy or like raw flour, cook it longer. This sauce should not taste bland!!! If it does add more seasoning to it, even a squeeze of lemon. Next you want to put your rinsed fresh spinach (about 2 pounds or more) into a bowl and pour about half of the cream sauce onto the spin. Stir the cream and spinach together – you want a creamed spinach consistency – use common sense. If it need more cream then add it, if it needs more seasoning then add it. An option here if you want, add in some grated Parmesan cheese – be careful though because Parma is salty so keep that in mind… You don’t want to do all this work and fumble on the 5 yard line by over salting.
For the potatoes…
I like to use Yukon gold potatoes for my mashed taters. They don’t have the gritty texture that Russet(the big brown ones) do. Peel 5 taters, you can cut them up or leave whole, but if you cut them try to make all the pieces relatively the same size so they cook evenly. Start w/ cold water. Never drop taters into boiling water. And there’s no need to salt the water either. To see if the taters are done cooking, take a sharp knife and stab one of the chunks, lift it vertically straight up and if the chuck slips off the end they’re done. Now drain the water out, toss in 1 stick of butter (this is a little excessive if you’re a health freak – you could go w/ ½ a stick but I wouldn’t) and toss in about 1/3 cup of blue cheese (I prefer Roqueforts blue cheese for its creamy consistency) and add about ¼ cup of milk. Now personally I prefer to use a hand mixer, you know the one you plug in w/ the 2 beaters… Whip the potatoes until just smooth, but don’t overwork them b/c they’ll become gummy and gummy potatoes are mediocre at best! Now taste them. What do they need in your opinion: salt, pepper, Slavo Salt, blue cheese, or more milk to loosen them up???
Slice your Prime rib about half an inch thick – be sure to remove the strings. Lay your taters and spinach out and allow your fellow diners to build their own plates.
I recommend a bottle of heavy red wine like a David Bruce petite syrah, Chateau St. Michelle cabernet, etc.