– Freshly ground black pepper
1. Remove roast from the refrigerator, loosely wrapped, 3 hours before cooking. Roasts should always be brought close to room temperature first, before they go in the oven.
2. Cookbooks often call for the excess fat to be removed. By “excess” fat they mean any fat more than an inch thick. The fat is what provides the flavour and what you are paying for with prime rib, so you want to leave it on. Your butcher should have removed any excess fat.
3.If your butcher hasn’t already done so, cut the bones away from the roast and tie them back on to the roast with kitchen string. This will make it much easier to carve the roast, while still allowing you to stand the roast on the rib bones while cooking.
4. Preheat your oven to 250°C. Generously sprinkle salt and pepper all over the roast.
5.Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the roast, making sure it doesn’t touch a bone. (Some meat thermometers require that you poke a hole first with a skewer, and then insert the thermometer.) Place the roast, fat side up, rib side down in a roasting pan in the oven.
6.After 15 minutes on 250°C, reduce the heat to 170°C. To figure out the total cooking time, allow about 25-30 minutes per kilo for rare and 30-35 minutes per kilo for medium rare. The actual cooking time will depend on the shape of the roast and your particular oven. A flatter roast will cook more quickly than a thicker one. So make sure to use a meat thermometer. This is not a roast to “wing it”. Error on the rare side.
7. Roast in oven until thermometer registers 50°C for rare or 60°C for medium.
8. Check the temperature of the roast using a meat thermometer a half hour before you expect the roast to be done. For example, with a 4kg roast, you would expect 2 1/2 hours of total cooking time (15 minutes at 250° and 2 1/4 hours at 175°). In this case, check after 2 hours of total cooking time, or 1 hour 45 minutes after you lowered the oven temp to 170°.
9. Once the roast has reached the desired internal temperature, remove it from oven and let rest 20 minutes, covered with tin foil, before carving. The roast will continue to cook while it is resting.
10. With a knife or scissors, cut the strings which attach the meat to the bones. Using a sharp carving knife, slice meat across the grain for serving, making the slices about 1/2cm-1cm thick.
11. Making gravy
12. To make the gravy, remove the roast from the pan. Place pan on stove on medium high heat. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the drippings to a separate container. Into the 2 tablespoons of drippings in the pan stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons of flour. Stir with a wire whisk until the flour has thickened and the gravy is smooth. Continue to cook slowly and stir constantly. Slowly add back the previously removed drippings (remove some of the fat beforehand if there is a lot of fat). In addition add either water, milk, stock, cream or beer to the gravy, enough to make 1 cup. Season the gravy with salt and pepper and herbs.