A perfectly cooked prime rib is truly a thing of beauty. When prepared properly, there will be a dark brown, salty caramelized crust that locks in the sumptuous juices of the medium-rare meat on the inside. Prime rib marries the very best qualities of beef into one cut, but achieving the full flavor potential is something of an art form. Delicate as the process may be, however, it doesn’t have to be a mystery!
To understand the process of slow roasting beef, you have to first understand the role moisture plays. Keep your end goal in mind: a dry exterior and moist interior, without much grey gradient (a sign of overcooking) in between. While it’s obvious that the outside will cook faster than the inside, the key factor is controlling how much faster that happens. A 200-degree oven will overcook the outer layers before the inside has reached the ideal temperatures. On the other hand, 100-degree heat will allow the center to cook perfectly without creating that undesirable grey layer beneath the crust. The downside, however, is that your exterior won’t be crusty at all.
Common wisdom dictates that searing the meat before you slow roast it will allow you to trap the juices inside while browning the crust. Unfortunately, you’re actually setting yourself up to overcook a greater volume of meat than you would without searing. The solution is to sear the meat after slow cooking at 100 degrees, though your prime rib may be too large for a pan. The solution is elegant: rib roasts require 20-30 minutes to rest (which is to say, the final phase of cooking for the interior that occurs after having been removed from direct heat), which gives you plenty of time to heat your oven up to a temperature suitable for catalyzing a Maillard reaction (200-230 degrees) on the surface of the beef.
The result will be a juicy center with a perfect crust! While it takes care and attention, the results are worth the effort. However, you might also consider a trip to Kelly O’Bryan’s, where you can enjoy the fruits without the labour. We offer top-quality grass-fed beef cuts that have been roasted in our legendary Alto-Sham oven for delectable results every time. Come treat yourself to the best prime rib in Kamloops!