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Wednesday, May 05, 2010

ad hoc's Blowtorch Prime Rib

For MFM and probably most guys, there's not many better combinations than meat and fire. Especially when the source of fire is a hand-held propane blow torch purchased from Home Depot.

I've always been a fan of ad hoc's owner/world famous chef Thomas Keller. A groupie, actually. I haven't dined at many of his restaurants, but have admired everything single thing I've ever seen or read about him - he's a rock star chef with a humble charm and graciousness.

MFM got wind of this recipe one Friday afternoon, and by Friday evening we were ready to go with a newly purchased cookbook and a $20 blowtorch (Keller recommends getting a propane torch from a hardware store, rather than the butane-fueled ones they sell in gourmet shops.)

I was totally intimidated by Keller's beautiful (but not for novices) French Laundry cookbook, but the ad hoc at Home cookbook is this groupie's dream come true. Mouth-watering pictures, witty stories, and great, accessible recipes for favorites like buttermilk fried chicken, braised short ribs and pineapple upside down cake. I can't wait to try the one for grilled cheese sandwiches.

And the prime rib? It came out beautifully, and was surprisingly easy. The torching, slow roasting and simple salt & pepper seasoning was just an amazing formula. The blowtorching ensured that the outside roasted to the dark, carmelized perfection that only happens when cooked at a high heat, while the center was a juicy, succulent medium rare throughout.

Keller really delivered with this recipe, down to the carving/plating instructions that was a hit with our dinner guests, my mom & sisters, for its smaller pieces and family-style appeal. It was a success, and the first of many blowtorched meals to come, I'm sure.

recipe adapted from ad hoc at Home
cook time: 1 1/2-2 hrs

roasting pan
roasting rack
meat thermometer

1 two-bone center cut rib roast (ours was approx. 4 3/4 lbs)
kosher salt
coarsely ground black pepper
gray salt or coarse sea salt
* we omitted this, and it was still delicious

Let roast sit at room temperature for an hour.
Preheat the oven to 275˚ F.
Put the roast on a roasting rack (we used a v-shaped rack) in a roasting pan.
Hold a blowtorch about 1 inch from the roast and turn to lightly brown the fat on all sides to start the fat rendering. Torch the meat just until the surface begins to turn gray.
Season all sides generously with salt and pepper.
Transfer to the oven, with the meat toward the back of the oven, and cook until roast registers 128˚ F in the center.
Total cooking time will be approximately 2 hours, but begin to check the temperature after 1 1/2 hours. (For a little bit rarer than medium-rare, 1 hour and 45 minutes is perfect.)
Remove from the oven and let rest in a warm spot for at least 30 minutes for medium-rare.

Cut the meat away from the bones.
Separate the bones and put them on a serving platter.
Cut the roast in half through the center, turning each piece cut side down, and slice straight down into slices that are 1/2 inch thick.
Arrange meat on a platter and sprinkle with gray salt and pepper.
Serve with au jus or creamed horseradish if desired.




Anonymous said...

I would eat it if it wasn't medium rare on the inside.

Unknown said...

This looks delicious. I like my meat rare. So the meat actually gets hot inside?

Sami and Addie said...

@BlamEN - what? that's the only way to eat it!

@Jeannette - you torch the outside to render the fat, then stick it in the oven at a lower temp for 2 hours. So it does get cooked!

Galen said...

For some reason I kept expecting a sandwich! I think I will have to try this :)

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