When we had a few friends up for a Sunday roast the other day, I decided I wanted to do something a little more interesting than the usual roast chicken, delicious as that is. So we popped into the butcher to see what they had available; as soon as I saw it I knew what we were cooking, and before long we were heading home with 3kg of prime rib on the bone.
Prime rib is considered one of the best cuts of meat on the cow, and if you can get it with the bones still in, then do so. Bones have a greater thermal resistance than meat, so the meat around the bones will cook more slowly than the rest of the roast, leaving it extra tender and juicy. If you want to make carving easier, cut the bones off and then tie them back on with kitchen string before the cook.
Having bought such a beautiful cut of meat, I wanted to make sure it got the treatment it deserved; I realised I had several options, all with strong merits:
- brining overnight, as with the roast water buffalo -leaving the meat extra juicy and tender.
- marinade it, as with the butterflied lamb – imparting flavour throughout.
- or sear and baste, as seen from my previous roast topside – searing in charcoal gives a lovely charred note, with the baste imparting flavour on the outside only.
I decided against the brine, as with the bones in, the meat should stay juicy and tender. I wanted to have the beautifully charred edge from a ‘dirty’ sear as it looks amazing and has a real wow factor; unfortunately that meant I couldn’t really marinade – you have to be very careful searing with a marinade, especially if it’s oil based as it can quickly catch fire leaving an overly charred and slightly bitter flavour.
Decision made, food went onto the bbq, and a few hours later this was the result.
prime rib of beef:
- 3kg prime rib beef roast
for the sauce:
- 1 onion, peeled and quartered
- 2 carrots, cut into rough chunks
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 tsp red currant jelly
- 250g vegetable stock
for the baste:
- handful fresh chives
- handful fresh parsley
- 1 tsp smokey chipotle rub
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
for the spray:
- 3/4 olive oil
- 1/8 cyder vinegar,
- 1/8 Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey
Light up your bbq with a half load of charcoal and bring it up to 160C. Once you have seared the beef, you’ll need to bank the coals to one side for an indirect cook.
Take your prime rib out of the fridge.
Throw all the ingredients for the baste into a mixer and blend till you have a paste. I use our nutribullet.
Once your coals are hot, lay your prime rib directly among them.
Leave for a minute…
…before turning over.
Knock off any chunks of charcoal.
Repeat until all four sides have been seared.
Take the rib off the bbq and brush it all over with the baste. Throw the onions, garlic and carrots for the sauce into a roasting dish.
Bank your charcoal to one side, placing your grill on the opposite side. Lay your meat bone-side down on the grill. Slide the roasting dish underneath the grill, making sure it is directly under the meat.
Roast at 160C indirect. To get a rough timing guide, meat is 20m + 15m per lb.
If you have a bbq thermometer, insert it into the middle of your beef – great for giving you early warning that the meat is nearly ready but make sure to use an instant read probe to confirm it is cooked. Have a look at UkBBQReview if you’re looking for one.
Every 30 minutes or so, spray the meat all over. This gives a lovely glaze and helps to keep the meat moist and tender.
As soon as the internal temperature hits 52.5C, take your meat off the bbq, wrap and leave to rest for at least 15 minutes. We wanted it rare, but check out Knorr Temperature Guide depending on what you like most.
While you wait for your meat to rest, throw the caramelised vegetables from the roasting dish into a blender, add your red currant jelly and 200g vegetable stock and blend for 50 seconds – 1 minutes. Depending on how thick you like your gravy/sauce, add a little more vegetable stock and blend again for a few seconds.
After 15 minutes or so of resting, carve into thin slices and serve.