Friday, November 18, 2011

Prime Rib Cooking Demonstration.

It's always fun to see how someone else makes and prepares a dish that is one that you prepare yourself.   Last Wednesday at the Crooked River Grill the guest chefs were the "Dixie Chicks", the Griners, Hazel, Kay and Kellie.    Three lovely ladies who obviously love each other dearly, which is a good thing, since this trio were Mother and daughters.   They showed us how they prepare a Prime Rib, and let us in on a couple of their secrets.   One of the most important being to 'get to know your butcher', something I've advocated for years.   I feel very strongly that the training of your butcher is one of the most important tasks as a cook, especially a carniverous cook.   I've been privileged to have had a hand in the training and been trained by some excellent butchers over the years.    I've been known to be a pain in the b*** very picky when it comes to getting a nice piece of meat.  I've rejected more than I've accepted, let me put it like that.   Last year I made a  Prime Rib for Christmas Eve, as per usual, and will probably make one again this year, and I probably looked at 8 roasts before picking the lucky winner.   However I digress, the ladies showed us how they prepare the roast, and the flavor was lovely.   They actually put the seasoning underneath the cap, and let it roast that way.  In other words, cut the fat flap off, then add the seasonings which were some chopped   garlic and peppercorns, something I think I'll try this year as well.  Usually I just massage some butter and seasonings on top of the roast.   They also have the butcher cut the meat off of the bone or ribs, and then tie the whole thing together before placing it into the oven.  Another point they made was to let the meat come to room temperature before putting it into a 425 degree oven for the first 10 minutes to develop a crust.    They also prepared some really scrumptious green beans, potatoes and made some pecan tarts in phyllo dough.   (I didn't get a picture of those, I popped mine right in my mouth and it was good).
These cooking demonstrations are great, you pick up tips, some wonderful recipes, get a good meal and get to hang out with friends.

The demonstration table was laid out very nice,
And the the fun began;
Showing how the roast is to be prepared.

Tying up the roast, you can see the peppercorns

Explaining some of the steps
Here's the menu that was presented:
Prime Rib of Beef au Poivre with Cognac Au Jus
French Onion Casserole
Fabulous Potatoes
Green Beans with Mushrooms and Shallots
Angel Biscuits
Apple Salad with Carmelized Walnuts or Pecans and
Cranberry Dressing
Mini Pecan Pies in Phyllo Shells
Spiced Apple Crisp 
Orange Blossoms (a mini muffin)

I'm not going to share all the recipes here, but wanted to highlight the Prime Rib recipe since that was the point of the cooking demo.   I'll share some of the other recipes another time.

Prime Ribs of Beef au Poivre with Cognac Au Jus

1 (7-8  pound four rib)  Prime Rib roast
3 Garlic Cloves, peeled
1 Tablespoon coarse (kosher) salt
3 Tablespoons mixed peppercorns (black, white, pink and dried green, or any combination) crushed
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 shallots, minced
1/4 cup Cognac
1 1/2 cups unsalted beef stock or canned unsalted broth
Salt and freshly ground Pepper, to taste.

Using a sharp knife, cut off the 'cap' from the roast in one piece.   Cut just where the fat is attached to the meat, trimming off as little as possible.  Reserve the 'fat' cap.

On a work surface, sprinkle the garlic with salt. Crush and smear the garlic while chopping to create a garlic paste.  (*my note, this could also be done in a mortar and pestle)  In a small bowl, combine the garlic paste and peppercorns.   Brush the top of the roast with the oil.  Spread the peppercorn paste on top of the roast with the heel of your hand.   Replace the cap and tie it back onto the roast with kitchen twine.   (The roast can be prepared up to a day ahead, covered loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerated).

Preheat the oven to 500 deg F.   Place the roast, fat side up without a rack, in a large roasting pan.   Roast for 15 minutes.   Reduce the heat to 325 degrees F., and continue roasting about 17 minutes per pound (including the first 15 minute period), for medium rare meat, until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the roast reads 130 degrees, about 2 1/2 hours for an 8 pound roast.   Remove the roast from teh pan and transfer to a cutting board to rest.  Let it rest at least 15 minutes before carving.

Meanwhile, pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat in the pan.   Place the pan on top of the stove over medium heat.  Add the shallots and cook, stirring until softened, about 1 minute.  Add the cognac.   Averting your face, light the cognac with a match, let it burn for 10 seconds, then extinguish the flame by covering it with the lid of the pan.   Add the beef stock and cut until the liquid is reduced to about 1 cup, 8-10 minutes.  Transfer to a glass measuring cup and let stand 5 minutes.  Skim off any fat that rises to the surface and pour into a warmed sauce boat.  

Now back to the roast;  Discard the kitchen twine.  Remove the fat cap to reveal the peppercorns crust.   Carve the roast and serve with the sauce on the side.   There will be guests who would like a taste of the roasted fat, so place it to the side and make it available to them.
Makes 8 servings.
Apple Salad with Cranberry Dressing, the potatoes, beans and the Prime Rib.

 Can't wait for next month, there's going to be a Madrigal, and yours truly will be one of the performers.   I'm told Roast Suckling Pig will be one of the featured meats and lots of other surprises.   

Sidsel Munkholm - Author
Sidsel Munkholm - Author

Sid loves to cook, feed people and have fun in the kitchen. She shares her successes and the involuntary offerings she sometimes gives the kitchen goddess as well. And she's still looking for the mythical fairy to help her clean the kitchen after a marathon cooking session. Currently working on a cookbook showcasing the recipes from her Danish heritage.

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