Episode 58 – “Family Roast”

Posted: April 11, 2016 in Season 5
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When I think of a standing rib roast, I think of Christmas or another special occasion. When your spouse has cancer, you find yourself creating special occasions to celebrate, whether they be great or small. So, on a random Friday evening in March I cooked Alton’s standing rib roast… just because.

Dry-Aged Standing Rib Roast with Sage Jus

For Alton’s standing rib roast, you will only need a few ingredients:  canola oil, Kosher salt, black pepper, water, red wine, fresh sage, and a standing rib roast. Alton used a 4-bone-in roast, which was about 10.5 pounds. I opted for a smaller, 3-bone-in roast that was about 7 pounds. Our roast came from Costco, and they also had 2-bone-in roasts.

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My 3-bone-in standing rib roast.

Note:  for this recipe, you will need to start prepping 72 hours in advance. In the episode, Alton explains that a standing rib roast is different from prime rib simply because prime rib is from prime beef, while a standing rib roast is not from prime beef. When purchasing a standing rib roast, it is best to get one from the loin end, as the loin end has less bone and connective tissue.

The first step of Alton’s recipe is aging the beef. Place your roast, lightly covered (I used paper towels) in your refrigerator for 72 hours. This aging process will intensify the flavor of the meat.

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My roast, getting ready to age for 72 hours.

After the aging period is complete, remove your roast from the refrigerator and allow it to sit at room temperature for an hour, covered. Your roast will look quite leathery from the aging; Alton says you can trim off any super leathery portions, but I just left my roast as it was.

Now, to cook your roast the Good Eats way, you will need a large, domed terra cotta planter. Place the base of the planter in your cold oven, along with a vessel to hold the roast; I used a glass pie plate. Place the dome of the planter on top and heat your oven to 200 degrees. While the oven is preheating, rub your roast all over with canola oil, and sprinkle with Kosher salt and pepper.

Insert a probe thermometer into the center of the top of the top of the roast, place the roast inside the vessel, and cover with the dome.

Set the probe thermometer alarm to go off when the internal temperature of the roast hits 118 degrees.

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Probe thermometer, set to go off at an internal temperature of 118 degrees.

It took my roast 4 hours and 25 minutes to hit 118 degrees. When your alarm goes off, remove the roast from the oven and let it rest on a rack, covered with foil. Leave the probe thermometer in the roast.

Keeping the dome and vessel in the oven, increase the oven’s temperature to 500 degrees. This is where the online recipe differs from the recipe in the episode:  the online recipe tells you to let the roast rest until it reaches 130 degrees, while Alton simply let his roast rest until its temperature plateaued. Since I prepare everything as done in the episode, I allowed my roast to rest until its temperature was steady at 121 degrees, which took about 25 minutes. Once your roast has rested, remove the foil and place the roast back in the vessel/dome.

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My roast, going back into a 500 degree oven to “sear” for 15 minutes.

Cook the roast for 15 minutes. This 15 minute cook at 500 degrees essentially serves to sear the roast, giving it a crusty exterior. When the 15 minutes are up, remove the roast from the oven, cover it with foil, and let it rest on a cutting board while you prepare the sauce. This is where the cooking vessel comes into play. Discard any excess grease from the vessel – I forgot to do this, so had to skim the grease off my sauce later. If you have a vessel that can go on a burner, place the vessel on a burner over high heat and deglaze the vessel with 1 C water and 1 C red wine.

I did not have a stove-safe vessel, so I had to deglaze with the residual heat of the vessel before transferring to a pot. Bring the liquid to a boil and scrape the pan with a spatula. Cook the sauce until it has reduced by half. Finally, add 3-4 bruised sage leaves to the sauce for 60 seconds and strain.

Carve your roast with an electric knife, first removing the slab of bones. Cut off any large pieces of fat and slice the meat into 1/2-inch or larger slices. Serve the meat with the sage jus.

We ate this for dinner, along with some side dishes and a good bottle of wine. The meat was delicious and tender with a nice crust on the outside, and we both thought we could really taste the aging of the meat.

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Alton’s standing rib roast.

The sauce, in my opinion, was just okay. I think I would have preferred a nice horseradish sauce. Still, if you are looking to celebrate a special occasion, Alton’s standing rib roast is an excellent choice. Follow his protocol and you will not be disappointed. Oh, and if you have leftovers, you can slice them thinly and make fantastic sandwiches!

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