Herb-Roasted Rib Roast
by Molly Stevens, Cooking Teacher & Author, , Burlington, Vt.
A low oven is the secret to turning out a juicy roast. Make sure to allow time to salt the beef a day or two in advance. This simple step enhances the flavor and ensures that this magnificent roast will brown up handsomely.
- 1 Certified Piedmontese rib roast (3-rib roast, about 5 to 6 pounds)
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons mixed fresh herbs, such as sage, thyme, and rosemary
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 2 teaspoons dry mustard powder
- 2 teaspoons fresh cracked black pepper
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
One to two days before roasting, season the roast all over with the kosher salt, being sure to season the bones and bone ends as well as the meat. Set the roast, (bone-side down), on a tray or shallow-sided dish, and refrigerate, uncovered for 24 to 48 hours.
Let the roast sit at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours before roasting. Heat the oven to 325°F (or 300°F convection). In a small bowl, combine the herbs, butter, mustard, and pepper. Stir with a wooden spoon to make a smooth paste and set aside.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat until quite hot. Add the oil and when it begins to shimmer (about 30 seconds) place the roast in the skillet, fat side down. Sear the surface, tilting and adjusting the meat to get it evenly browned; don’t bother browning the bone side. Transfer the roast to a roasting pan, setting it bone-side down, and let cool off slightly. Spread the herb butter over the entire surface, and slide the roast into the oven.
Baste the roast occasionally by spooning the pan drippings over the meat. After 1 3/4 hours, begin checking the internal temperature of the roast with an instant-read thermometer. You are looking for an internal temperature of 115 to 120°F for rare and 120 to 125°F for medium-rare. (Cooking beyond medium-rare is not recommended). Because you’re roasting at a lower oven temperature, there won’t be as much carryover cooking as there would be in a hot oven; the recommended temperatures take this into account.
Transfer the roast to a carving board, preferably one with a trough, and let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes. Before carving, add any juices from the carving board to the pan drippings. Start carving by first cutting the meat away from the bones: slide a long knife crosswise across the bones and lift the roast away. Next carve the meat across the grain into 1/4- to 1/2-inch slices. Spoon pan drippings over the meat before serving. (You can also slice the bones into individual pieces and offer them to anyone who might enjoy the pleasure of chewing on a meaty bone—or save them for a midnight snack).
Pairing: This luxurious cut of beef deserves a richly flavored California or Washington state merlot or merlot blend.