Oh where to start? I guess with the prime rib. I keep going back to The Perfect Recipe: The Ultimate, Hands-Down Best Way to Cook Our Favorite Foods by Pam Anderson because every single recipe I’ve tried has come out fantastic. Once I decided to try a prime rib, my first, I read a dozen recipes. ALL of them, except the one in this book, had it cooking at 350 or more. So when Anderson says to cook it at 200, I felt like I was taking a risk, a $75 risk, not to mention 14 hungry people dependent on me for Christmas dinner! I did do a ham as well, because, well, we love ham and the kids begged. So Anderson’s ham recipe says 250 and the prime rib says 200. I’ve got one oven so I split the difference.
I carefully measured ahead of time to make sure each hunk of meat would fit in my roasting pans and the two roasting pans could sit side by side. Otherwise, I was going to have to experiment with the ham in the convection oven or the crockpot. I actually tried to go buy one of those electric roasters but couldn’t find any.
So, the prime rib. I tied it up, as instructed, with three pieces of twine. I seared it in a stockpot, browning the outside. I salted and peppered it. And I stuck it on a rack in one of my roasting pans and put it in the oven at 225. (Anderson says 200, but I had the ham to consider.) She says about 30 minutes per pound and that was just about perfect. I had a 10 pound prime rib. I checked it an hour before I thought it would be done, then again 30 minutes later, then again. The meat thermometer said 130. And it was truly just about perfect. I know my brother and a few other guests like it rare, but most of us like it medium. Everyone found just what they wanted and my brother pronounce it “perfect,” high praise from a guy who eats a lot of beef.
Since my site is mostly about cheap cooking and frugal recipes, I have to point out that this cut of meat is pure luxury. If you want to make a big splash with a hunk of beef, it’s pretty hard to beat. And it’s easy, so even if you’re new to cooking, you can easily serve a pretty impressive dinner here.
Value is a personal thing. For me, it was fun to try once because I’d always wanted to cook one. However, at $75 to feed 14 it’s definitely a luxury. I suspect everyone would have been just as happy with a $20 ham and/or a $20 turkey or a big hunk of salmon (another family favorite) or a few pork tenderloins. It was fun though.