Monday, December 27, 2010

Holiday Dinner Five - Christmas Dinner For Us And Others

When we decided to have smoked bone-in rib roast for Christmas and Kroger’s put them on sale, I decided to offer them to my BBQ friends for their Christmas meal - I ended up cooking three and a half whole roasts. I cooked two whole ones (one for us), a 4 boner and two 3 boners – with the other 4 ribs going into 2” thick bone in rib steaks for my freezer – I’ve wanted to grill steaks like these at home.  Click on any photo to enlarge.

The roasts were such a good deal, I bought another one and after it wet ages a while, I’ll cut it into boneless roasts, steaks, and a rack of beef ribs (with lots of meat on them).

I got my rub made up on Thursday and prepped the meat on Friday in preparation of a Christmas Day of cooking in the cold and snow. I’m sure glad I did a temperature survey on my smoker a couple of weeks ago so I’d know which pieces of meat to put where. For the prep, I cut all but 1/8” of fat from the roasts (including most of the tail fat which is still on the steaks above), then scored the fat cap on a 1” diamond pattern to allow the spices to get thru.  I got busy and forgot the pics. 

Let's get this salad out of the way so we can get to the serious food.

My plan was to have all of the meat ready by 3pm and to accomplish this, I fired up the smoker at 7:30am and got all of the meat out of the fridge and gave it a good coating of rub. I put it in the 230* smoker at 10am and cooked each roast in a foil pan to be sure I captured all of the juices (by cooking it at a low temp, there was nothing but a little fat in the pan). They were all pulled at 120* internal temp, wrapped in foil and stored in a pre-warmed cooler. Here's ours just out of the cooler.

Since I'd never done a bone-in roast, I wasn't sure when to remove the bones, so for ours, I decided to remove the rack of rib bones (for later use) before oven searing and I added a little more rub to the cut area. This is just after bone removal.

I put it on a jelly roll pan with a rack, cut side up, and into a 450* oven (ours won’t go to 500*) for 10 minutes to develop a crust on the outside. I turned the broiler on for a couple of minutes to give the cut side a little more of a chance to develop a crust.  This is the cut side after searing.

Since it had been resting in the cooler for over an hour, it was ready to carve when it came from the oven. I poured the small amount of pan juices into the skillet of simmering au jus on the cook top and commenced to carving. For those who wanted their meat beyond medium rare, I laid their slice in the au jus for 10-20 seconds per side (depending on desired color) and it sucked the red color out without really cooking it any more – this is a great trick.

The main goal of cooking at a low pit temperature and searing the outside at the end is to minimize the amount on well-done meat around the outside and try to achieve the same color across the roast. It’s called a reverse sear. Here’s my plate and I believe it worked just right (steaks can be cooked this way as well).

I bought the meat the week before Thanksgiving and it had been in the fridge wet aging in the cryovac packaging for a month (don’t try for a cut roast in super market packaging) and it was the most tender one I’ve ever cooked. I’ve always been a prime rib fan and I’m sure I’ve never eaten a better one - the other diners made the same comments. The spices and smokiness came through without overpowering the meat and I'm glad I removed the bone rack prior to searing. It was definitely worth getting started at first light and as a bonus, the cook forced me to be out in the snow, which I also enjoyed.  The only negative was the horseradish sauce I made and forgot to serve, but obviously wasn't missed as no one requested it.

All in all, it was a terrific Christmas at Almost Heaven South and I hope yours was as well.



  1. I am a HUGE prime rib fan and this looks amazing!!!!

  2. I can only imagine the flavor and I know for a fact that I've never had prime rib this good. Love that little "trick". I've never prepared a prime rib and have only ordered it a few times at a restaurant, and it's been years since I've had it. Those photos are making my mouth water. Way to forget the HRS, I do things like that all the time.

  3. Your prime rib is cooked perfectly in my opinion, Larry. I cooked a large roast for Christmas dinner but didn't achieve the uniform pink that you did. It was wonderful but I need to work on my skills.

  4. Lorie said it was the best she'd ever had, so the one you made for the Warren clan was a big hit. Way to go!

  5. This looks perfectly cooked, Larry. Bev set a gorgeous table for you dinner. I know that dining room was filled with happy people. Enjoy the remainder of the holiday. Blessings...Mary

  6. Oh WOW---we love Prime Rib...Yours looks incredible... I've caught up with your blog posts --so it looks like you had a fabulous Christmas. We did too--other than the fact that my sons and families could not get here --due to the snow... Oh Well!!!!

    Happy New Year.

  7. Larry, What can I say! That is some of the best looking prime rib I've ever seen! I've had smoked prime rib before, (at Jack Link's BBQ in KC), but your's is prettier. Add the double baked potato and that's about as good as it gets! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  8. HOLY SMOKES! 24 bones worth?????

    Those prime ribs look ABSOLUTELY PERFECTLY cooked for my tastes!!! Flawlessly medium rare. You rock, Larry!

    Email me about how much Kroger had them for because we got suckered into paying 7.99/lb for a choice at the only place we could find it (Fresh Market). I am going back tomorrow to see if I can get a whole prime rib to make steaks like the ones you have. Those look like some bad arse steaks!

  9. OMG! This looks divine! Melt in your mouth prime rib is my favorite. I have even left a loaded baked potato on my plate in order to finish a slab of prime rib. I especially liked your au jus trick. Once you can get a person who likes more well cooked beef to try it like this you should have a loyal fan!

  10. That prime rib makes my mouth water - a favorite dish for me! And it was cooked so perfectly!! Lucky guests.


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