What is a Christmas without a Prime Beef Roast?
This is a shortened recipe, no gravy involved, from Amazing Ribs and Meathead Goldwyn. If you wish the entire article, please click on Prime Beef Roast Above to go to Amazing Ribs.com for the full recipe.
1 beef rib roast, bones on, about 3 bones wide, about 8 pounds before trimming, about 5 pounds after trimming, cooking, and shrinkage
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt per pound of trimmed meat (1/4 teaspoon table salt)
1 teaspoon Mrs. O’Leary’s Cow Crust per pound of trimmed meat
1) 24 hours before cooking. Remove the rib bones and save them for the gravy or for another meal. The gravy is optional and most of the time I don’t bother since the meat is so juicy. There’s plenty of meat between the bones and these beef baby backs can be cooked just like pork baby backs for a real treat.
Trim off all the fat cap from the top. Go ahead and trim right down to the meat. Make sure to get the silverskin too, it can be chewy. Save any pieces that are more meat than fat for the gravy. Save the silverskin for the gravy too. Some of it melts into gelatin.I leave most of the fat on the side where the bones were because it is hard to remove and it’s not very thick. But the fat cap has got to go.
2) Make it as round as possible. When you have bare nekkid meat, it is sort of tear-drop shaped. Press on the sides squishing it into a round tube. If necessary, tie it with string every inch or two to hold it round.
3) Dry brine 6 to 24 hours before cooking. Sprinkle it with about 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt per pound of trimmed meat (1/4 teaspoon table salt). It’s a bit hard to measure so here’s how I do it. I use kosher salt which is a larger flake than table salt and it still dissolves easily on the moist meat. I sprinkle it from high above so it is evenly distributed. And I sprinkle about the same amount I would if I was about to eat the meat. Thick cuts need a bit more. Do not oversalt! Put it in the fridge. This is a method called dry brining. The salt is sucked into the meat, seasons it, and it messes with the protein structure to help retain moisture. There is a lot of meat to penetrate, so you can use the salt generously, but don’t make a thick cake of it, and you will not need to rinse it off. It will all be sucked in. You should wrap it with plastic wrap just to keep other foods from coming in contact with meat juice.
4) 1 hour before cooking. Make a spice paste with my recipe for Mrs. O’Leary’s Cow Crust, a blend of herbs and spices mixed with water. The water releases the flavors in the herbs and spices and helps with browning and forming a crust. Let it sit for at least 1 hour before applying it to the meat so the herbs can reconstitute and release their goodness. Pour most of the paste on top of the roast. Spread it around all visible surfaces working it into the meat. Turn the roast over and pour the rest on the bottom and work it around. It does not penetrate the meat so you can do this any time up to the time you cook. Do not use Meathead’s Memphis Dust or any rub with sugar in it because this meat doesn’t need sweetness and we don’t want the crust to burn. I usually just put it in the fridge without the plastic wrap because I want the flavorings on the meat, not the plastic. It’s only for an hour or so, just be careful not to cross contaminate other food with the meat.
5) Final prep. Set up your grill or smoker for 2-zone cooking and preheat the indirect zone to 225°F. It is very important that you not cook hotter than 250°F or so. I don’t care what the cookbooks or the TV chefs say. You don’t want to cook so hot that the meat gets dark on the outside before it is done on the inside.
6) Smoke. If you want a smoke flavor in the background add just a little bit of hardwood or fruitwood to the hot part of the cooker, about 2 to 4 ounces max right at the start of the cook. Don’t overdo the smoke. A little bit is nice, but too much can ruin it. I cannot overemphasize this. This cut of meat does not benefit from a lot of smoke. Keep it in the background. What kind of wood? I don’t think it makes a huge difference since you are using so little. Pick your favorite. I usually grab a fruitwood like apple.
7) Serving. There is no need to rest the roast. It is a myth that this makes it more juicy. Serve your meat hot! You will need a cutting board or a platter that can hold liquid. Even if you rest the meat a lot of liquid will flow. Don’t let it escape! First remove the string. Use a really sharp knife and cut servings about 1/2″ thick. Pour any drippings from the cutting board onto the platter of cut meat.
Thank you and Merry Christmas to Meathead Goldwyn and his Amazing Team at Amazing Ribs!!!!