Prime Rib

This is how my dad (George) titled the directions to me, and I know we should credit our sources. Parenthetical remarks are mine.

The outside of the roast is nice and brown and tasty, and the inside is superb!

If you serve this for guests, the house will smell wonderful when they arrive!

Method Summary: You cook for a predetermined time, the roast rests with the oven off for 2 hours, then you re-heat the roast for 15 minutes. The cooking period is determined by the weight of the roast, whether or not it is boned or bone-in, and how well done you want the roast.

Here are George's steps:

(1.) Weigh roast or believe wrapper weight. (This is one of my favorite George-isms.) Let it come to room temperature. If you like, put slivers of fresh garlic several places in the roast: use a sharp paring knife to cut vertical slits and put part of a garlic clove in each.

Do not salt the roast, as this draws out the moisture. This is the same reason you don't drink seawater when you're adrift on a life raft in the ocean.

(2.) Plan. Use a clock and work backwards. (I write down my calculations and clock time. Your memory may be - - and probably is - - better than mine! I also triple-check.)

(3.) Decide what time you want to sit down to eat. This is the clock time you'll take the roast out of the oven.

(4.) From the dinner time the clock time, back up 15 minutes. Note this time. This is the time you'll turn the oven back on for the re-heat.

(5.) From the clock time of step 4, back up 2 hours. Note this time. This is the end of the "resting" time between the periods the oven is on. The "resting" time is always 2 hours.

(6.) From this clock time, you'll back up a number of minutes you'll calculate. Note this time. This is the time you'll turn off the oven to begin the resting period after the cooking period. More on calculating this number in a moment.

(7.) From this clock time, put the roast in the oven.

(8.) From this clock time, back up 15 minutes to turn on the oven to pre-heat.

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To calculate the number of cooking minutes (step 6), multiply the weight by one of the following "magic numbers":

Note: If yours is a bone-in roast, add a flat 4 minutes numbers for levels 5 through 6 (rare and medium rare); 5 minutes for the other levels (medium and on).

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The planning is done.

Now, let's cook.

Place roast on a rack and the rack on a shallow pan.

I put a piece of aluminum foil on a jellyroll pan, making a "French seam" if I must use two pieces to get the width. I spray the pan, foil, and roasting rack with Pam.

Turn oven on at 375 degrees at the clock time calculated.

Roast the number of minutes you calculated.

Turn off the oven.....BUT.....

***Do not open oven door*** now or at any time until you are ready to take the roast out to serve it.
Let roast sit in oven undisturbed. Do not even peek.

Choose your veggies accordingly because you won't have access to the oven (as for baked or oven-roasted potatoes).

15 minutes before you want to sit down, turn the oven back on at 375 degrees. You have not opened the oven door, yes?

Remove roast at the clock time you calculated to sit down.

Your salad is put together, right?  No? You have to start from scratch rinsing the lettuce?!  Ack! Your roast will be cold!  Skip the salad!

Call the family. By the time they all get to the table - - having stopped by the bathroom and done whatever else should have been done long before dinner was called because they knew exactly what time you'd be serving - - you will have carved the meat and be ready to serve.  If you have to wait just a tad longer to carve, keep the tinfoil tent over the roast and yell at your family again.  If you feel the need to yell for them a third time, don't.  Carve for yourself and sit down to dinner without them.

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Here is an example, using 7:30 as dinnertime and a 9-pound boneless roast done very rare. The magic number is 5 for "very rare" . 9 pounds x 5 = 45 minutes of cooking time. No need to add minutes of "flat time" because this is a boneless roast.

turn on oven for preheat at 375 degrees; preheat time is always 15 minutes

>turn on oven for pre-heat at 4:15 pm<

put roast in oven
>put roast in at 4:30 pm<

x minutes later, turn off oven; x is the magic number - in this example, it's 45 minutes

>turn off oven at 5:15 pm>

wait 2 hours; this is the "rest" time with the oven door closed; the rest time is always 2 hours

>go do something else for 2 hours<

after the rest time, turn oven back on to 375 degrees for the "re-heat" time; the re-heat time is always 15 minutes

>turn on oven at 7:15 pm<

15 minutes later, remove roast

>remove roast at 7:30 pm, carve immediately, and sit down to eat directly - - everything else is on the table and the family is seated, waiting for dinner<

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If you want to let the roast rest tented with foil for 10 minutes so the "juices retreat," push back the starting time by 10 minutes. In this example, you'd turn on the oven at 4:05 in order to eat at 7:30 pm, adjusting all the other clock times to 10 minutes earlier, removing roast at 7:20.

I usually don't bother with this step.

My family likes this with horseradish (sour cream plus a lot of horseradish), caesar salad, broccoli and béarnaise, and my mom's stuffed potatoes.

Stuffed Potatoes: Bake half as many potatoes as diners.   Large-diameter potatoes are better than long potatoes with a smaller diameter.  Cut in half lengthwise and scoop out flesh. (Mama cuts a little porthole in the top of the potato; that's more skill and patience than I have. I cut 'em in half. True, my method encourages the potato halves to "flop open"....) Mash flesh and mix in some sour cream, cream, and/or butter. Stuff skins; put a little cheese on top if you like; may be made ahead to this point. Refrigerate if you like.  (If it's the day of the prime rib dinner, I don't bother because the potatoes are already cooked.) Reheat in the microwave. I usually bake an extra potato to make sure there is enough stuffing and in case I damage one of the skin cases (especially if the potatoes halves were shallow and long), which I usually do.

Caution: Keep track of the time when cooking prime rib this way. One time, I forgot to turn off the oven after the magic number cooking time had elapsed and was very upset.

Note: When you buy your roast, ask for it to be cut from ribs 9-12, as these are the most tender. The largest ribs ("second cut" - ribs 6-8 - are not as nice). Inasmuch as you are paying premium dollar, ask for "small end" ribs; other ways to describe these ribs are "loin end" and "first cut."

Further Note: George is a superb sailer, and he has developed a freeware celestial navigation program: Azimuth, 3-star fixes, and so on. It is used by the U.S. Naval Academy and numerous sailors world-wide.

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