Christmas is a wonderful time of year for cooking. One popular main dish is a standing rib roast.
Albeit somewhat expensive, a rib roast is fairly straightforward to cook. Cover the roast with seasoning. Apply dry heat until the core reaches the preferred temperature.
The first step is to season the roast. Preferably, start 24-48 hours prior to cooking. (It can be done immediately prior to cooking, but salting it early helps retain moisture.) Coat the roast liberally with kosher salt and cracked pepper. The amount is not critical. It is hard to get too much.
Place the roast in the refrigerator uncovered. This will help to remove some of the surface moisture.
Create a rub with room temperature butter, garlic and spices. Work them together with a spoon until well incorporated. We are really making a compound butter that will be applied to the meat, basting it during the cooking process. Olive oil could be used instead of butter, but I happen to like the flavor of butter.
Paste the rub onto all sides of the roast until well covered. You really cannot use too much.
I chose to cook this roast on our pellet fired smoker. We happen to have a Davy Crockett by Green Mountain Grills. The flavor of wood-fired grills is amazing.
You could also cook this on a gas grill or in our oven.
Preheat the grill to 225 degrees. Place the roast on the grill grates. (If cooking in the oven, use a roasting pan.)
If you have an oven or grill thermometer, place the probe deep into the center of the roast. WARNING: These can be inaccurate. My preference is to check the temperature of meat regular with a Thermapen thermometer.
Remove the roast from the grill. Wrap in three layers of aluminum foil. It also helps to wrap it in another layer of towels or a blanket.
Let it rest for 30 minutes. This helps all of the meat juices reincorporate in the meat fibers, making it much more juicy.
This is a great time to prepare your side dishes.
Searing the roast increases the maillard reaction on the surface of the roast, increasing the crunch and flavor.
I like searing on my Weber Summit grill, which has a searing station that will reach about 850 degrees. Other options are to turn the heat up on the smoker grill to about 450 degrees, or heat a cast iron skillet on the stove.
Sear the roast on each side for 2-3 minutes. The resulting roast should look something like the following image.
The hardest part of serving this meal is deciding who gets the two tasty end caps. Once that fight is over, I like to serve it with the following:
- Garlic mashed potatoes
- Horseradish Sauce
- Sauteed mushrooms
- A vegetable of your choosing (if you want to appear to be healthy.)