Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Standing Rib Roast From Laurel Meat Market

If you're building a party around beef, then you need to buy it from someone who put as much effort in the butchering as you put in the kitchen.

Standing rib roast was the Christmas Eve centerpiece for my friend The '34 Act Gourmet, and he bought his beef from the professionals at Laurel Meat Market.

Unless you cook way more meat than I, you need professionals.  Roasts and steaks can be cut an endless number of ways, and they can be cut well or poorly -- a difference that will affect how your meat cooks, cuts and tastes.

The Gourmet's roast tasted delicious.  He had done research to know that he wanted a seven-rib roast and wanted the chine bone removed to make it easier to carve.  But the Laurel Meat Market butcher also suggested that they remove the ribs and tie up the roast -- something the Gourmet hadn't considered.
They did this and tied up the roast for me, which I learned is important - you want the roast tied up so that it stays together during the roasting process.  They estimated that a seven rib roast would be between 15 and 18 pounds.  I think the roast was close to 18 pounds.  Last year I bought a similar-sized roast from Harris Teeter because they offered a good deal on it.  I remember it tasting pretty good, but they did not tie the roast up.  I think the tying made a difference -- it kept the juices of the roast in.
With the roast in hand, the Gourmet was left to season, roast and baste for the day of the party.  He says he wishes that the butchers had left just a little more fat for basting, but the roast carved beautifully with my well-done pieces on the end and the red medium-rare through the center.

If you're interested in this kind of roast, you should order ahead.  Laurel Meat Market was packed even on December 23, but the Gourmet said that the line moved quickly.  He said he heard some people trying to get roasts that they hadn't ordered ahead.  The butcher said he could probably get them something, but they would have to wait.  In addition, calling ahead lets you ask questions to the real butchers at places like Boarman's in Highland or J.W. Trueth in Oella.  Check out my 2009 post about local meat markets.

The Gourmet really put on a culinary show at his party, and many dishes showed off local stores.  Bacon from Laurel Meat Market wrapped dates.  Ground lamb from Nazar Market in Columbia made meat balls.  Beets and mozzarella came from Roots in Clarksville and Trader Joe's in Columbia.  You really can great food around here, and you don't have to drive that far.

Standing Rib Roast
(more of an art than an exact science):

 Put it in the roasting pan. Rub the entire roast generously with dijon mustard. Coarsely chop 8-12 cloves of garlic, 4-6 shallots; press some into the roast and put the rest in the pan. Grab several sprigs of fresh rosemary and thyme, take off the stems so that you have a generous amount and press that all over the roast. Season generously with pepper.

 In the morning I took it out about 2-3 hours ahead of time and let it become room temperature. Right before I put it in the oven I smeared 1/2 a stick of room-temperature all over the roast but especially on the ends. I also seasoned somewhat generously with Lawry's garlic salt. People are split on whether this is a good idea - some say that it dries out the meat but I never found that to be a problem.

 Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees and put the roast in for 15 minutes. Then reduce the temperature to 325. Roast of that size should be done in about four hours. Start checking the temperature at the 3.5-3.75 mark - I took the roast out of the oven when internal temperature was between 125-130, which resulted in a medium-rare roast. Let the roast rest 15-20 minutes. If the roast finishes early, turn the oven off and put the roast back in the oven until ready to serve.


Anonymous said...

Sorry, HowChow but in this house the bones stay on the beef! The ribs are the best part. Cook at high temp (450 for 20min to sear) & the then lower temp to 350 for the rest. The real flavor difference came from the meat itself. Laurel Meat Market is excellent. So is the place in Oella.

HowICook said...

I agree, bones stay on. The butcher or cook can french the bones and still tie string between them to hold the roast together.

HowChow said...

@Anon and @HowICook -- I would welcome any Trolling or guest posts -- with cell phone photos? -- about where and what to buy for the "big meat" chef. What are you seeing/tasting that tells you the meat is better? What cuts do you like? What do you do with them?

With no real intention, I have developed a kitchen repertoire on top of the stove -- stir fries, pasta sauces, grilled steaks, etc. My oven has seen 1000 pizzas, but its only roasted meat has been a few chickens and Thanksgiving turkeys.

Marcia said...

Good thread. Many of us don't cook roasts much these days except for special occasions. Which means we really want the roast to be good. A good butcher who will work with you makes all the difference. It may cost a bit more than from the grocery store but well worth it! I hope people contribute, it will be a good resource for us.

Morty Abzug said...

+1 to calling ahead. This is especially true if you are buying meat from a supermarket; if you have very specific preferences; like obscure cuts; or want large quantities. I usually call the butcher (or supermarket) a week ahead of time when planning a meal for company.

Mo said...

Wow, that sounds great! Thanks for sharing the recipe :)

UhOhBadDog said...

Laurel Meat Market is one of the best, and honestly, their prices are very competitive, and the quality is generally better. I too am a fan of 'Bones On', but well tied, as I believe they add flavor.

For prep, the night before or early the morning of cooking, I lightly coat with olive oil, and then season with generous amounts of granulated garlic, fresh ground black pepper, a bit of kosher salt (never table salt), and even more garlic. I also allow the roast to warm at room temp for a couple of hours prior to cooking.

For cooking, I prefer the rotisserie. I have a vintage Farberware indoor grill that does the job perfectly, but this can also be accomplished with indirect heat and proper equipment on a good grill. The biggest challenge is achieving good rotation/spin balance. Once the internal temp reaches 145F, remove from heat, allow to sit for 10-15min, and then carve. Perfect every time!

EastCoastMatt said...

incredibly thorough post on re-inventing how to cook the rib roast.