Prime rib, Baby.

When Mr. Meat and Potatoes asked me to make a prime rib dinner for him for Father’s Day, at first I was all for it. I felt like he deserved such a treat, seeing as he works hard every day lugging kegs up the looong staircase to the Jazzhaus so people can have their beer and we can have a roof over our heads.

He’s patient with my demanding, OCD, ADD, control-freak self.

He’s not afraid of a poopy diaper.

He loves me and Johnny more than golf, whiskey, and Netflix combined. And that is saying a lot.

He’s really a great, impressive, hero of a dad. (Photo credits go to Trina Baker.)

And then my practical side kicked in. “Too expensive! Plus, I’ve never done one – what if I ruin it! Will I have time for such an endeavor?”

I made him compromise. Lasagna. Boring.

Then I went to Checker’s, and just out of curiosity I asked the butcher about prime rib. How much do I need? What would it cost?

And I caved. Twenty-seven dollars later, I had me a hunk of meat and a happy husband.

So I cooked a prime rib for the first time. My palms were sweating, and not just because I had turned my oven up to 500 degrees.

Really, doing a prime rib isn't that hard at all, and if you're into practically raw meat (which we are) it's a real gem.

Special Occasion Prime Rib

1 4 lb prime rib (should serve 5-6 people)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced thin
2 T Rosemary
Kosher salt
Cracked black pepper

Step 1) Buy your prime rib a few days early. I suggest you buy a boneless rib roast rather than a standing rib roast, if you don't want to pay the extra price per pound for the bones. Get your roast home, give it a good rinse, and pat it dry. Completely dry.

Step 2) Begin dry aging. Now, this is not a totally necessary step, but it really does enhance the flavor of the meat. I don't suggest you dry age your meat for more than two days if you don't want to lose part of it. Sometimes, you have to cut the dry and blech parts off of meat that has been dry aged for a week or so. To dry age, just wrap the meat in cheesecloth or a tea towel and put it in the fridge. Once a day, unwrap the meat, turn it over, and rewrap it. That's all.

Step 3) When you are ready to cook, preheat your oven to 500 degrees or as hot as it will go. Cut small slits in the peat and poke your sliced garlic cloves into them. Then put your roast (if it's boneless) on the rack in your roasting pan, cover it on all sides with cracked pepper, salt, and rosemary, and stick it in the very hot oven. (If you have a standing rib roast, there's no need for a rack, but you might have to tie it up.)

Step 4) Cook at the high heat for twelve minutes, or until the outside of them meat is nice and brown and has formed sort of a crust. This is basically the equivalent of searing.

Step 5) Remove the roast from the oven, and reduce the oven temp to 230 degrees.

Step 6) When the oven has cooled down to the lower temp, put the roast back in, with a thermometer inserted into the center of the meat.

Step 7) Cook until the internal temp is at least 120 degrees. I was afraid of overcooking my meat, and since Mr. Meat and Potatoes likes his prime rib RARE, and a little bit rarer please, I really watched that temp and took it out the second that thermometer pegged over to 120. It certainly was rare, and most normal people would probably like to cook to an internal temp of 130.

Let the roast rest for ten minutes or so before slicing.

I served mine with some au jus that I made by simply simmering some beef stock (left over from a roast I'd done last week) with some hunks of onion and garlic. I strained out the pieces before I served the au jus. I also whipped up some horsey sauce.

Horseradish Sauce for Prime Rib

2 T horseradish
4 T mayonnaise
2 T half and half
1 T sour cream
cracked black pepper

Whisk the first four ingredients together and then crack the pepper on top for a sort of garnish.

And all of this was good, and the world was right.

However, my favorite part of the meal, I am sort of ashamed to admit, was the salad we had.

You know the salad dressing that comes on the house salad of every single Italian restaurant in the country? The tangy Italian dressing that tastes nothing at all like the stuff in the bottle in the grocery store? We love it. Mr. Meat and Potatoes LOVES it.

I make fresh ranch dressing all the time. I whip up a balsamic viniagrette or a honey-lime mustard dressing on a nightly basis. But I have never tried to make that favorite Italian restaurant dressing. I assumed it was a magic elixer that I could never replicate, much like the ginger dressing on the salad you get in sushi restaurants. I just left it to the professionals, assumed it Could Not Be Done.

But I was wrong. I figured it out. I looked at a couple of ideas online, and concocted what I thought was the best of all possible worlds. I think I was right. YUM.

Restaurant-style Italian dressing

1/2 C olive oil
1/3 C mayonnaise
2 T corn syrup
1/3 C white vinegar
2 tsp minced garlic
1 T Italian seasoningv 2 T grated parmesan or romano (I had a tub of asiago/parm/romano mix that worked great)
dash of ground red pepper
pinch of salt
cracked black pepper

Whisk together vigorously. Pour with delight over salad.

The dressing is fresh and tangy and delish, and truly easy to make with ingredients we usually just have laying around as staples.

My husband can never leave me, if I keep pulling these little tricks out of my sleeves. I will trap him with salad dressing, chain him with prime rib.

There are worse things.


Megan Green Stuke 12 years, 11 months ago

Hey! Thanks for the head's up. That might be the only Smitten Kitchen recipe I've never seen before!

Megan Green Stuke 12 years, 11 months ago

Hey! Thanks for the head's up. That might be the only Smitten Kitchen recipe I've never seen before!

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