A foolproof prime rib recipe with a multitasking herb rub -- plus an introduction to reverse-searing, a technique for beautifully even cooking that you can use on just about any hunk of meat you want to roast (just be sure to rely on temperature, not time, and the technique will always work the same). According to Curry, another alternative to steps 4 and 5 is to finish searing on a hot grill. Adapted slightly from "Sear Genius" by Lynne Curry (Fine Cooking, December 2014). —Genius Recipes
8 to 10
For the Mustard and Herb Butter
(1/2 cup or 1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
medium cloves garlic
loosely packed fresh rosemary leaves
loosely packed fresh sage leaves
loosely packed fresh thyme leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Prime Rib
5- to 6-pound boneless beef rib roast, patted dry
olive oil, if needed for searing
In This Recipe
Melt the butter in an 8-inch skillet over medium heat. Let it foam until it turns light brown and smells nutty, about 5 minutes. Immediately pour the butter into a small heatproof bowl, leaving most of the milk solids in the bottom of the skillet. Refrigerate the butter until solid, about 1 hour (or freeze, to speed this up).
Purée the garlic, rosemary, sage, thyme, mustard, Worcestershire, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper with the solidified browned butter in a food processor to make a thick paste. Reserve 1/4 cup of the butter and rub the rest all over the roast. Put the roast fat side-up on a rack set in a roasting pan and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour before roasting.
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 300° F. Roast the beef until an instant-read thermometer registers 110° F for rare, about 1 1/2 hours, or 115° F for medium rare, about 10 minutes more. Remove the roast from the oven. Let sit, tented loosely with foil, for up to 2 hours (or continue with the recipe).
To sear in the oven: Heat the oven to 475° F. Roast until 125° F for rare or 130° F for medium rare, about 10 minutes.
Or, to sear on the stove: Heat the oil in a heavy 12-inch skillet until shimmering hot. Sear the beef, turning and pressing down with tongs, until browned all over and cooked to desired temperature, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board. If there was no earlier rest between roasting and searing, let the roast rest for 15 to 20 minutes. Slice and serve with the reserved mustard butter.
The beef can be roasted and then sit at room temperature, tented with foil, for up to 2 hours before the final sear.
Genius recipes surprise us and make us rethink cooking tropes. They're handed down by luminaries of the food world and become their legacy. They get us talking and change the way we cook. And, once we've folded them into our repertoires, they make us feel pretty genius too. Watch for new Genius Recipes every Wednesday morning on our blog, dug up by Food52's Senior Editor Kristen Miglore.