Salt-baked Rib Roast

Juicier prime rib, we have never had.

Prime rib. Rib roast. Ribeye. A steak by any other name would taste just as good. How you prepare that steak may vary, however, and we’re pretty sure we’ve found our new go-to method for cooking roasts. By coating this beefy cut in a salt crust you create a self-marinating, sealing-the-juices-inside, hard to screw up, delicious hunk of bovine that will have you fighting for seconds.

Equipment Needed: Roasting Pan, Aluminum Foil, Mixing Bowl, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Fork

Serving Suggestion: Family Style

Servings: 6-8

Suggested Wine Pairing: Cabernet Sauvignon, Old Vine Zinfandel, Malbec, Shiraz

Suggested Beer Pairing: Pale Ale, Brown Ale, Porter, Bock

Ingredients:

  • 3 lb standing rib roast, bone-in (about $13.99/lb)
  • 4 cloves garlic ($2.99/lb)
  • 3 TBSP fresh rosemary ($1.50/sprig or bunch)
  • 1 1/2 C all-purpose flour ($1.89/2 lb)
  • 1 C water (free)
  • 1 egg ($2.79/dozen)
  • 4 C kosher salt ($2.29/48 oz box)
  • 4 TBSP Black Pepper

Preparation:

  • You’re gonna have to actually talk to a butcher for this one. Don’t be scared, just be honest about what you’re looking for and how you’re going to prepare it and any butcher worth his or her meat will steer you in the right direction (pun somewhat intended). Figure about 1/2 a pound to 1 pound per person depending on how hungry your crowd is. Ask for a standing rib roast with the bone, but ask them to separate the meat from the bone and truss it back on for you. This way you get the extra flavor the ribs will provide without the added pain of having to carve the meat off when you’re finished.
  • Preheat the oven to 325° F.
  • Mince your garlic and rosemary as finely as you can. On your cutting board, mix the two together and sprinkle some salt over it. With the edge of the blade of your knife, press down and scrape the mix against the board bit by bit to start to create a flavorful paste.

Meld those flavors together.

  • In a large mixing bowl add the salt, flour, the white of your egg and water and stir everything together until it has the consistency of wet sand.

Mix the crust ingredients thoroughly for a nice, even seasoning.

  • Ready your roasting pan by lining it with aluminum foil. Set your meat in there and try to coat it as evenly as possible with your garlic and rosemary paste. Crack on some fresh black pepper  but DO NOT add salt (you’re roasting it in a salt crust, remember?).
  • Now comes the really messy part. Scoop out the salt slurry a handful at a time and pack it firmly on the roast, taking care to cover the entire thing with the paste. Be thorough, adjust your paste according to how it’s sticking. Sliding off? Add more salt and flour in equal parts. Too cakey? Add a little water.

Cover that meat in its delicious self-marinating shell.

  • Once your meat is fully caked, pop it in the oven. For a delicious medium rare, roast it for 1 hour and 20 minutes; cook for about 10 minutes less for any hardcore, rare-loving carnivores and about 5-10 minutes more for straight up medium.
  • When the meat is done let it rest for 15 minutes before you do anything else in order to let the juices redistribute and to enable a little carryover cooking. This is no time to cut corners with a juicy, delicious piece of beef like this, so resist the urge to crack the salt crust and set a timer if you have to prevent temptation.
  • Reward your patience by using a large spoon or the back of a chef’s knife to crack the thing open. Brush off any large chunks of salt and remove the beef from the bone. Slice the roast on the bias and get in there.

Like opening the lid of a meat treasure chest.

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