Prime Rib Roast - Higher or lower heat? That is the question.
I pre-ordered a 22 lb. (whole rib roast) prime rib roast for Christmas from my butcher which consists of the first and second cut roasts. Some recipes I am reading call for a quick sear ( either at 450 deg oven for a few minutes or in a hot pan) then slow cook in a 200 deg oven for 8-12 hrs or should I just sear then lower heat to about 325-350? Also this is the other problems. At a low temp I have no idea how long this Behemoth will cook for. Guest come over at 2pm to eat at 3 so what time should the roast be started? This is an expensive cut of meat so please help!!!
Follow Fourunder's roasting method for roasting Prime Rib (adapted from Serious Eats' methodology) -- start with low heat roasting and FINISH with High Heat to sear.
I'm with the low and slow group. The methods they outline are great and should work well for you. But note that as a roast gets bigger, it requires less time per pound (as it's just getting longer, not wider). You may find that it gets done a lot sooner than you think, but that's okay because a roast cooked at a low temp can be held in a warming over (140F) almost indefinitely. Also note that with the low and slow method, the temp will not rise very much as it rests. Maybe 5 degrees.
I'm in the low heat camp. I usually roast mine at 250 degrees until the thermometer reads 125 degrees. It's uniformly pink throughout, including the ends & it does get a nice brown crust. If anyone wants a piece that is more well done, I "cook" it in the au jus for a minute or two. I don't think it actually cooks it much, but it takes the pink away & keeps it tender.
I plan on 20 minutes per pound at 250 degrees to 125 degrees internal temp. so a 22 pound prime rib would take about 7.5 hours if my math is correct. Granted each oven is different and if you don't want it rare, you'll have to roast it longer. I absolutely wouldn't go past 135 degrees but that's just me.
Another big thing to remember is to let it rest after you pull it from the oven. For that large of a roast I'd go 30-60 minutes. The temperature will rise as it rests, but it's important for it rest or you'll lose all the great juices. Add any juices to your au jus, it's just extra flavoring.
Another thing you can do is cut it in half at one of the ribs and roast them side by side. It should take about 4 hours, but could take a little longer with two roasts. Make sure you use a meat thermometer, it's the only sure fire way to make sure it's not too rare or overcooked.
I also put either beef stock or water at the bottom of the pan along with some onion, carrots & herbs to form the base of my au jus. Good luck, it seems intimidating, but really it's just a beef roast. Use a thermometer and you'll be fine.
A couple of other points to ensure a nice roast:
-Season it the day before with a generous amount of salt and pepper. This will give time for the flavors to pentrate the meat. The salt will also help dry out the outer edges ensuring you get a better sear on the meat.
-I always recommend searing the meat on the cooktop to start. It's just easier to manage versus in the oven and you can ensure you get the sear on each side. I sear it in canola oil. Once it's ready to go in the oven, I drain the oil and add butter along with other aromatics like jcattles suggests above.
I'd also recommend basting the meat every 20 to 30 minutes as you let it cook, either low or high. I'd suggest that you flip it from time to time as well to ensure even cooking. However, start with the bones facing up towards you. As the fat melts away from those bones, it will run through the meat giving it flavor.
-If you want to make a sauce, I'd recommend a bordelaise. You can find several versions on the Internet including Thomas Keller's from the French Laundry.
Good luck. You'll be fine either way you decide to cook it. Happy Holidays.