Whenever my husband and I go out to a steakhouse for dinner, he will usually order the prime rib. It is typically one of the most expensive cuts on the menu, for good reason. This roast is cut from the rib section of the cow and includes the rib "eye" as well as a muscle cap, making for a tender and flavorful piece of meat. You can buy these roasts bone-in (also known as a standing rib roast) or boned and tied. If you choose to buy bone-in be sure to get a roast with not less than 3 bones. If you are able to get a roast cut fresh from your butcher, ask for ribs 9-12 (for a 3-rib roast) or 8-12 (4-rib roast), etc. A whole roast consists of ribs 6 through 12- the latter being the most tender part of the roast because it has a larger "cap" which is the tastiest and most tender part of the whole cow.
The first time I bought a rib roast I was expecting to pay a good dollar for it and once I had, I became terrified of ruining it...what a waste of money that would be! I think this is a common fear and why so many folks don't want to take the chance of investing in this beautiful piece of meat while not quite knowing how to prepare it. Well fear not! After some trial and error, I have discovered a fool-proof method of preparing this roast...it will not fail- ever! This method will produce a medium-rare roast with very little shrinkage, and the roast will have cooked evenly throughout, meaning that when you slice it the whole slice will be medium rare, not just the center. If you have guests that prefer their meat a little more done, simply place their slices into the pan juices at the bottom of the roast pan and simmer for a minute.
Today I prepared a boned and rolled roast which was about 5 pounds raw. I seasoned the outside of my roast with salt, pepper, granulated garlic, dried rosemary and a crumbled bay leaf.
Let's say you want to eat at 6 pm. Start at 1:00 pm with a roast that is close to room temperature. The size of your roast doesn't matter...it could be 2 pounds or 9 pounds- whatever, the method and timing is the same. Place the seasoned roast on a rack in a roasting pan that is not more than 2 inches deep. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place the roast pan on the lower oven rack and close the oven door. Roast for one hour- do NOT open the door. After one hour turn off the oven. Let the roast sit in the oven for 2 1/2 hours (yes, two- and-a-half hours). Do NOT open the door during this time. After this time is up (at around 4:30), turn the oven back to 375 degrees. Cook the roast for one more hour (including the time it takes the oven to heat). Remove the roast from the oven and tent with foil. While the roast is resting is the time to put your Yorkshires in the oven.
Yorkshire puddings are surprisingly easy to make; you just need to know 3 easy tricks to get the biggest, fluffiest yorkies ever:
1) There are 3 main ingredients in Yorkshire pudding: egg, milk, flour. No matter how many yorkies you want, just remember that the quantities of these three ingredients are always equal by volume; i.e., if you have 1 cup of egg, use 1 cup of flour and 1 cup of milk, plus salt and pepper.
2) Once your batter is mixed, let it come to room temperature.
3) Always heat your muffin pan, then heat the oil in the muffin pan before pouring in the batter.
Crack 4 eggs into a measuring cup and whisk. Check the volume of egg in the cup; measure this same volume of flour and milk and combine all three ingredients in a bowl. Using a hand mixer, mix until smooth. Whisk in some salt and pepper. Pour into a liquid measure with a pour spout. Let come to room temperature.
Once your roast has come out of the oven, turn the heat up to 450 degrees. Put your muffin pan into the oven (the heavier the pan the better); let it heat for a couple of minutes. Remove pan from oven and spoon the clear fat drippings from the roast into the muffin holes. Divide the fat evenly. Add more vegetable oil as necessary to get approximately 2 teaspoons of fat in each cup (it doesn't have to be exact). Put the pan back in the oven and heat until the oil is hot, a minute or two. Open the oven door, pull out the rack a bit to expose the muffin tin and divide the batter evenly into the holes about a third of the way up. Close the oven and bake for 20 minutes or so, until the yorkies have puffed up and browned. Remove from oven and serve.
In the photo above, you will see that today I used a mini-bundt tin. The yorkies puffed up beautifully but ended up with a huge hole in the center. I think I'll stick with a regular muffin tin next time.