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Friday, April 28, 2017

Prime Rib Show Stopper


If I title my post "Prime Rib Show Stopper, I'd better damn well have a show stopping recipe...I think I do...

Cooking expensive cuts like prime rib can be intimidating, but all you need is the right technique. However, you can make a better-than-the-steakhouse rib roast at home.

When it comes to meat, most people's everyday lineup is pretty average. Chicken breast, pork tenderloin, ground beef—you get the idea. Although you can make some pretty cool dinners with these ingredients, they'll never be met with the same kind of celebratory excitement that comes from roasting a big, juicy cut like prime rib.

It's not just because prime rib is tender and delicious. Or because there's an unmistakably primal feeling when sinking a carving knife through its heavily seasoned crust. For me, bone-in, standing prime rib is reserved for holidays and special occasions. This special cut always brings to mind big family gatherings and a kitchen that's rich with the heavenly smell of a slow-cooked roast.
So on these special occasions, how do you cook prime rib that won't disappoint? Luckily, our Test Kitchen is here to help. We've pared down the best tips and tricks for how to cook prime rib. Follow along and you'll be dishing out a celebration-worthy roast in no time.
What Makes Prime Rib—er—Prime?
Prime rib is sourced from the rib section of a cow, an area that's extra-tender and marbled with fat. Marbling is the streaky white fat that runs throughout a good cut of meat. This type of meat packs plenty of flavor on its own, so it doesn't need to be marinated.
Though this meat receives top marks from dinner guests, the word "prime" in prime rib has nothing to do with the quality of the beef. The USDA gives separate grades to beef according to the amount of marbling it contains. Prime-grade is the best, but most supermarkets will only carry choice-grade meat. So it's possible to have a prime-grade prime rib or a choice-grade prime rib. Either way, it's gonna be tasty.
Choosing Your Cut
Go for bone-in beef. The bones help control the meat's temperature as it cooks. Their extra surface area prevents the temperature from rising too quickly, making sure your roast is nice and juicy. If your butcher has strung your meat, go ahead and leave the twine on while you cook. This simply keeps the ribs attached to the roast. Just remember to snip it off before you serve.
Seasoning the Meat
Seasoning prime rib isn't like seasoning pork chops, chicken breasts or single slices of steak. This is a huge piece of meat, so go ahead and pack on the flavor. We'll teach you a homemade version with lots of garlic, shallots and herbs. If you're going with the store-bought version, try something like herbes de Provence.
Picking Your Pan
Our rib roast recipes usually call for you to lug out a large roasting pan, but a 13x9-in. dish works, too. If you're opting for this rack-free baking dish, however, layer the bottom with veggies and place your roast on top. We'd recommend a mirepoix (pronounced: meer-pwah), which is a fancy French term for coarsely chopped onions, carrots and celery. The veggies will cook gently and help form a flavorful sauce from your drippings. Jump below to read about serving your prime rib au jus.
Now that you know the basics, let's get cooking! Follow the step-by-step as we cook a tender prime rib that's better than any steakhouse's...

Tomorrow...

(TO BE CONTINUED)

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Food Safety Tips
Protect yourself against food-borne illnesses.


1. Use a "refrigerator thermometer" to keep your food stored at a safe temperature (below 40 degrees fahrenheit).

Cold temperatures slow the growth of bacteria. Ensuring that your refrigerator temperature stays at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or colder is one of the most effective ways to reduce your risk of food-borne illness. You can buy a refrigerator/freezer thermometer at appliance stories, home centers (i.e. Home Depot), and kitchen stores including online ones, such as Cooking.com.

2. Defrost food in the refrigerator, the microwave, or in cold water... never on the counter!

Perishable foods should never be thawed on the counter for longer than two hours because, while the center of the food may remain frozen, the outer surface may enter the Danger Zone, the range of temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees fahrenheit, in which bacteria multiply rapidly. If you’re short on time, use the microwave or you can thaw meat and poultry in airtight packaging in cold water. Change the water every half-hour so it stays cold and use the thawed food immediately.

3. Always use separate cutting boards for raw meat/poultry/fish and cooked foods/fresh produce.

Bacteria from uncooked meat, poultry, and fish can contaminate cooked foods and fresh produce. An important way to reduce this risk is to use separate cutting boards for raw meat/poultry/ fish, and cooked foods/fresh produce.

4. Always cook meat to proper temperatures, using a calibrated instant-read thermometer to make sure.

One effective way to prevent illness is to use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of meat, poultry, and egg dishes. The USDA Recommended Safe Minimum Internal Temperatures are as follows:

* Beef, veal, and lamb (steaks and roasts), fish - 145 degrees fahrenheit

* Pork and ground beef - 160 degrees fahrenheit

* Poultry - 165 degrees fahrenheit.

Cook meats like roasts and steaks to lower temperatures, closer to medium-rare, so that they retain their moisture. It is recommended that those who are at high risk for developing food-borne illness (i.e. pregnant women and their unborn babies, newborns, young children, older adults, people with weakened immune systems, or certain chronic illnesses) should follow the USDA guidelines.

5. Avoid unpasteurized/raw milk and cheeses made from unpasteurized milk that are aged less than 60 days.

Raw milk is milk from cows, sheep, or goats that has not been pasteurized (heated to a very high temperature for a specific length of time) to kill harmful bacteria that may be present. These bacteria, which include salmonella, E. coli and listeria, can cause serious illness and sometimes even death. The bacteria in raw milk can be especially dangerous to pregnant women, children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems or chronic illnesses. Raw milk cheeses aged 60 days or longer are okay, since the salt and acidity of the cheese-making process make for a hostile environment to pathogens.

6. Never eat "runny" eggs or foods, such as cookie dough, that contain raw eggs.

Even eggs that have clean, intact shells may be contaminated with salmonella, so it’s important to cook eggs thoroughly until both the yolk and the white are firm. Casseroles and other dishes containing eggs should be cooked to 160 degrees fahrenheit and you can use an instant-read food thermometer to check. Eggs should always be cooked fully and those who are at high risk for developing foodborne illness (pregnant women and their unborn babies, newborns, young children, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems or certain chronic illnesses should follow the USDA guidelines. If you can’t resist runny eggs or sampling cookie batter, use pasteurized eggs. They’re found near other eggs in large supermarkets.

7. Always wash your hands in warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds before handling food and after touching raw meat, poultry, or eggs.

You can pick up a lot of bacteria out in the world, so it’s important to always wash your hands before you eat or prepare food. You should also wash your hands after touching any uncooked meat, poultry, fish, or eggs, as the bacteria from these foods can contaminate cooked foods and fresh produce. Use soap and warm water and wash thoroughly for at least 20 seconds.

8. Always heat leftover foods to 165 degrees fahrenheit.

The USDA recommends heating all cooked leftovers to 165 degrees fahrenheit in order to kill all potentially dangerous bacteria.

9. Never eat meat, poultry, eggs, or sliced fresh fruits and vegetables that have been left out for more than two hours or more than one hour in temperatures hotter than 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you leave perishable foods out of the refrigerator or freezer for more than two hours they may enter the Danger Zone—the unsafe temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, in which bacteria multiply rapidly.

10. Whenever there’s a food recall, check products stored at home to make sure they are safe.

You should discard any food that’s been recalled because it’s associated with the outbreak of a food-borne illness. But, according to a survey conducted by Rutgers University during the fall of 2008, only about 60% of Americans search their homes for foods that have been recalled because of contamination. For more information on food recalls, visit the website Recalls.gov






Cavier & Vodka
Courtesy of The Lady (Bug) of the Household