Salt-Encrusted Prime Rib
by Johnny Loua, Chef, Seattle, Washington
Salt encrusting is a unique cooking method that requires a salt-and-water paste, which encases meat to cook it gently. The crust is removed before serving, and the result is an evenly cooked rib roast that’s perfectly tender with a slight bit of saltiness around the edges.
- 1 (5-pound) Certified Piedmontese standing rib roast
- 5 pounds kosher salt
- 1 cup chopped herbs, such as thyme, rosemary, oregano, parsley (optional)
- 2 cups water
Preheat the oven to 220°F. Pat the roast dry with paper towels and let it rest at room temperature for 20 minutes. In a large mixing bowl, combine salt and herbs and slowly add water to form a paste. Cover the bottom of a thick cast iron baking pan or thick casserole pan with some of the salt mix, then place the rib roast on top of it. Pack the rest of the salt mixture around and on top of the roast, fully covering it until all the salt is used. Roast for 4 hours, then lower the temperature to 180°F and continue roasting for 1 more hour. Remove from the oven and let rest for 30 minutes before removing the salt crust. Transfer to a carving board and serve.