Thursday, June 13, 2013

Horseradish and Herb Crusted Standing Rib Roast

I know,  I keep promising that I will come back. And then I come back for one or two posts and then I vanish. But this time, since things have died down a bit in my personal life, I promise I'm back. For real. You see, the wedding is over! We are married! And now I have TONS of fun wedding gifts for the kitchen to play with. My posts in the future should be more aesthetically pleasing, at least. 

This is a very impressive dish that is actually quite easy to make. My mom originally gave me this recipe and I make it pretty much any time I see a standing rib roast on sale at Publix. The great thing about the dish is that it's easily modifiable based on how many people you're having for dinner, and once you get it in the oven, it's very low maintenance. And it's VERY pretty.

Oh, and by the way, I've come up with a new trick for the blog. Whenever there is a step or a tip that I have that is optional, but will really elevate the end product, I'll insert it with the heading "Gourmet Tip."

Total Prep Time: 15 min (not counting time it may take to soften butter and let meat come to room temperature)

Total Cook Time: 1.5 hrs-3 hrs depending on size of roast


Standing Rib Roast (the size you get will depend on the number of people you are cooking for. The general rule of thumb is that one rib will typically feed about two people, but since we are typically hungrier, I try to think more that one person will eat 2/3 of a rib--also they typically don't sell them any smaller than two ribs at a time, otherwise it's just a bone-in rib-eye steak)
1/2 cup bread crumbs
3 tbsp prepared horseradish
3 tbsp softened butter
finely minced thyme, rosemary and sage to taste
salt and black pepper to taste

Gourmet Tip: Meat cooks so much better if you bring it out of the fridge anywhere from 15 minutes to 30 minutes before you plan on cooking it. Why? You want your meat to rise to its cooking temperature quickly--whether you are searing it or roasting it. Otherwise there's a better chance the meat will steam, which will leave it colorless, crustless, gray and rubbery. Or just won't have as good of a texture. My tip is to just pull the meat out of the fridge before you do any of your prep work and set it on the counter so it can warm up a little bit. I typically will open the package, rinse the meat, and then let it dry on some paper towels and covered loosely by a paper towel, since we all know that dry meat cooks better than wet meat.

Preheat your oven to 350. 

If you have softened butter by leaving it on the counter, good for you. I commend you. Otherwise, put your butter in a microwave safe bowl (don't slice it, just put the whole hunk in there) and nuke it for 10 seconds. You want it to come out at this consistency:

Add the horseradish and the finely minced herbs to the butter and mix well, creating a paste.

You want there to be enough herbs in the butter mixture so that you can see them, but you don't want to be entirely herby. I can't tell you how many sprigs of each herb to use, but try to evenly distribute them throughout the butter mixture.

Place your roast a small roasting pan where your standing rib roast fits snugly (I typically use a square 8X8 non-stick pan for a smaller roast). Salt and pepper all surfaces of the roast. Then, stand your roast up so that the bone is closest to the pan, and coat the top of the roast with your butter mixture.

After you evenly coat the butter mixture on top of the roast, sprinkle with bread crumbs. If you want to get super fancy, you can put parmesan cheese in with the bread crumbs, but just a tiny bit.

Then, put your roast in the oven. For cooking times, I have calculated that the roast cooks best at approximately 22 minutes per 8 ounces. That will give you a pretty rare roast, but I'd rather you undercook at first, and then put a meat thermometer in to find out it needs a little more time, rather than end up with an overcooked piece of meat. 

When you check the temperature, make sure you don't touch the bone with the meat thermometer. I like to check it in a couple of places in the center of the roast so that I can get an "average" reading. For medium rare center, you want the center to be at about 140. Remember, you're going to let it rest for about 15 minutes after you pull it out, and the temperature will continue to go up about five degrees.

Shhh, it's resting.
After you let it rest (some people tent tin foil over it while it rests but I tend to find that this steams the crust that I worked so hard to make crispy), you will slice it and serve. The best way to slice is to go vertically between the bones, then carve off of the bones. 

Serve, and enjoy!!!

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