Happy Easter everybody. I love holidays for many reasons, but I especially love holidays that come with the expectation of a delicious roast dinner. This year I decided to try out a ribeye roast.
Ribeye steak is one of my favorites, second only to T-bone. The succulent fat keeps the meat moist during cooking, and even if you decide to cut if off (blasphemous!) it’s already served its purpose.
Having never before roasted a ribeye, I toodled over to my local butcher and peppered him with questions. Easter dinner this year was for 4 people, so I walked away with a 2 rib roast and believe me, it was more than enough. Just look at the size of those steaks! The mash and carrots were hardly touched and really only present so that I could ease my foodie conscious and say that there were, in fact, vegetables on the table.
If you have more folks at your table, estimate two people per rib, but be sure to have at least two ribs otherwise what you’ll have is a very thick steak instead of a real roast.
Another wonderful thing about cooking a ribeye roast are the ribs! Cooking meat on the bone is a deliciously easy way to ensure optimal nutrition by way of minerals, collagen and the healthy fats located in the marrow. And what omnivore doesn’t enjoy gnawing on a rib now and again?
· 2 rib ribeye roast
· 1 large bunch rosemary, chopped
· 6 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
· 2 tablespoons crushed red chili flakes (optional)
· olive oil (enough to make a thick paste)
· 3 tablespoons black pepper
· salt to taste (only after the roasting is complete!)
Allow the roast to come up to room temperature by setting it covered on the counter for 2-3 hours. Heat your oven to 500F (230C). Chop the rosemary, garlic and chili flakes together. Pour over a glug of olive oil and chop some more until you have a thick paste of rosemary leaves and garlic chunks. Remember, do not salt red meat before cooking. Salt draws moisture out of the meat and will leave you with a tougher result. Salt after all the cooking is complete, during the resting period and/or after serving.
Thickly coat the ribeye with the delicious smelling paste, working it into all the little nooks and crannies you can find. Don’t neglect the bones, they’ll impart lots of flavor too.
Balance the roast on its ribs — fat side up, on a roasting tin. You want that succulent fat to drip down into the meat while it’s cooking. The ribs offer a natural platform for hot air circulation underneath.
I highly recommend purchasing a meat thermometer that is safe for cooking. Plunge it into the very middle of the roast to ensure a perfect result. I did not have one (but it’s on my next shopping list), and so my cooking time was extended because of my obsessive temperature-taking for fear of overcooking. Don’t do that to yourselves. Buy a heat safe thermometer.
Place the roast in the oven, quickly close the door and immediately lower the temperature to 325F (160C). The high temperature at the beginning will lightly sear the fat and meat, then settle down to a gentle roasting for tender meat.
You can estimate about 18 minutes of cooking per pound for a good medium – medium rare result. Please do not overcook the roast. You’ll ruin its integrity and ensure a tough, tasteless result. Aim for 125-130F for rare (51-54C) or 135-140F for medium (57-60C). Remember, the roast will cook another 5 degrees (F) or so while it’s resting, so take it out of the oven at the bottom of the above temperature ranges.
Once you’ve reached the desired temperature (checking the thermometer obsessively towards the end), take the roast out and allow it to rest, covered with some aluminum foil, for at least 10 minutes. Resting is not optional! I have ruined many a roast and steak because of greediness. Resting allows the meat to reabsorb some of the moisture lost while cooking, so if you want to impress your guests with your masterful meat skills, let it rest.
When it’s fully rested, cut the entire roast off the bones, slicing as close to the bones as possible. Trim off any hard fat or sinew, then slice the roast into your desired thickness. I sliced mine into 5 equal-sized steaks, but feel free to slice into many thin slices. To be honest, the size of the steaks was rather overwhelming, so next time I do believe I’ll be slicing thin myself.
Then you may slice apart the ribs and gnaw at leisure. Serve with nutmeg mashed potatoes (potatoes, cream, butter and a dash of nutmeg), and roasted carrots (drizzled with coconut oil and sprinkled with coriander and cumin), then dig in! I hope everyone’s had a lovely holiday and has eaten quite a lot of whatever it is you’re not supposed to eat.
Images courtesy of Shana Sammons, © 2013