Every Christmas Day our family cooks a prime rib with Yorkshire pudding and a beef jus (made from beef-veal stock), and there’s no better way to cook a rack of beef or a whole beef tenderloin than this combination grill-roast method, which I've written about here before and in Ruhlman's Twenty: A Cook's Manifesto. It gives the meat great grilled flavor and allows you perfect control of temperatures and timing (the grilling can be done up to three days before the final cooking).
The ribs themselves are an added benefit. You can serve them immediately, but I like to save them for a second leftover meal the next day. They’re delicious spread with some Dijon mustard and bread crumbs, cayenne if you like it hot, then broiled. When ordering the roast, I plan on 1 pound/450 grams per person, which is usually enough to have leftovers.
This method must be done on a charcoal grill. Gas grills give you nothing but flame-ups and bitter black smoke. The meat is first seared over high heat, then moved to the cool side of the grill and covered so that it’s smoke-roasted. It’s then put in an oven and brought to a temperature between 120˚F/50˚C and 125˚F/52˚C if you want it rare. I then crank the oven for the Yorkshire pudding (poured right into the roasting pan or into popover molds). The beef will rest for 30 minutes while you finish the meal. See below for carving info.
It’s a great way to serve this special cut of beef to a big group and enjoy yourself in the process.
Pre-holiday days can be stressful; plan ahead to reduce the stress, and enjoy what should be happy days with friends and family. Happy holidays to all!
Grilled and Roasted Beef
- One 6-pound/2.7-kilogram rack of beef
- 2 to 3 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons canola or olive oil
- 2 teaspoons coarsely cracked black pepper
- 2 teaspoons coarsely cracked coriander seeds
- Rinse the beef and pat it dry. Line an appropriately sized baking sheet or platter with paper towels. Liberally sprinkle the beef all over with the kosher salt. You should have a nice crust of salt on the exterior. This is best done several days before cooking; refrigerate the beef, uncovered, until the day you cook it.
- Remove the beef from the refrigerator 3 to 4 hours before grilling. Rub the beef with the oil and sprinkle all sides with the pepper and the coriander.
- Build a hot fire in one half of the grill (you’ll be searing all sides of the rack of beef first). Spread the coals out, put an oiled grill rack over them, and allow it to get hot. Put the beef on the rack over the coals, and cover. Sear it on all sides (covering will keep more smoke on the meat and reduce the flames from the rendering fat). When all sides are seared, a few minutes on each side, move the roast to the cool side of the grill cover and cook another 10 minutes.
- If you’re serving the beef immediately, preheat the oven to 250°F/120°C. Put the beef on a rack in a roasting pan or on a baking sheet and roast it to an internal temperature of 125°F/52°C for rare or 130°F/54°C for medium-rare. This will take 15 to 20 minutes per pound, but can vary depending on the internal temperature of the meat when you began cooking it. I recommend a cable thermometer; I use my RediCheck or the cool new iGrill, both of which sound an alarm when it hits the desired temperature (the iGrill also sends the temperature to my iPhone!). This way, I can talk to family, enjoy myself completely, and forget about the meat till it’s ready.
- If you’re cooking the beef ahead of time, refrigerate it after grilling and cooling, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate it. To finish it, let it sit at room temperature for 4 hours or so before putting it in the oven. It should take 15 minutes per pound at this point. If you're grilling and roasting on the same day, it can be taken straight from the grill and left at room temperature until you're ready to roast it.
- Allow the meat to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature after you remove it from the oven.
- Remove the beef loin from the ribs, slicing along the ribs downward to remove the loin in one piece. It’s best to do this on a carving board with a moat, or channel, around the periphery. The beef will release a lot of juice, which can be spooned over the meat when serving. Slice the meat as desired. If you wish to serve whole pieces on the bone, simply slice them whole and serve with the juices.
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- Cookbook Picks of 2012
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© 2012 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2012 Donna Turner Ruhlman. All rights reserved.