Grillin’ In The Chillin’…Prime Rib
We got a bit of snow in southeast PA last weekend…a wee bit to the tune of 14 inches or so. When I finally dared to glance at the back yard, the dark outline of our Weber gas grill loomed like a submarine churning the Arctic ice. It was very cold and very nasty out there. Our curious dachshund, Mr. Darcy, glanced up at me from the doorway with an icy stare as if to say, “You want to go out there…go right ahead.”
In our fridge in the garage a small prime rib roast sat patiently waiting to share a hot oven with two sweet potatoes hiding in the crisper. Marge and I had planned to enjoy the snow-day with an elegant and hopefully romantic meal…cooked in our warm and cozy kitchen.
I’m not sure when I realized that our lonely Weber, quietly freezing in the empty yard, had been desperately trying to catch my attention. It craved the heat and begged for my help. There was only one thing to do.
I lost no time in trimming and tying the roast, dusting it with salt and pepper, and giving a quick massage with olive oiled fingers. After donning a scarf, gloves, hat and coat to ward off the frost, I entered the icy abyss, meat in hand. Marge seemed quite amused as I fired up the black monster to nearly 600 degrees. The snow and ice began to melt into little puddles around the base of the grill. The warmth felt grand. I slid my trophy roast onto the blazing grates, listened to the screaming sizzle, got my first nostrilful of caramelized fat, and settled into my frosty backyard chair. It had a sort of ‘Survivor” feel.
Marge pretended to participate by wrapping the two sweet potatoes in layers of aluninum foil (a warm sweet potato coat against the harsh wind). We threw the shiny packets onto the grill with the roast, lowered the heat, dropped the cover, and retreated to the warm kitchen where we kept vigil through the small window over the sink.
Two hours later, our table was decked out with buttered veggies crusted brown with parmesan bread crumbs, a zingy horseradish sauce for the ribs, and a lone stick of very soft butter. The temperature on the meat thermometer signaled a 130 degree warning, so I ran outside and carted the meat and potatoes into the kitchen (I would have preferred 125 degrees but you have to know which battles to fight). The sweet potato packets felt awfully soft through the hot foil. They probably had been done an hour earlier and were quite peeved about having to stay outside.
After a ten minute rest (for the beef), we reverently sliced through the center of the wonderfully crusty two-rib roast. It glowed crimson and juicy. We dug into the meltingly delicious meat with the horseradish sauce providing a zingy zap. Mr. and Mrs. Sweet potato wore very charred exteriors and harbored a sweet, orange flesh made better with tiny pats of sweet butter. This had to be heaven, made even more cherubic with a swig of young and frisky Pinot from Sonoma.
Our trusty Weber did us proud this icy December, and right after a near blizzard. We cherished the food and the day. Then again, maybe we felt the promise of a warm spring yet to come. Happy Holidays!
Marge and Jim.
For anyone who wants info on how we prepared our roast on the grill, here goes. Our roast rib weighed in around 4 pounds and had two ribs.
Trim the fat very lightly if desired and tie the roast between the ribs with one length of butchers twine to keep meat and fat layers together during roasting. Allow the beef to come to room temperature so the meat cooks evenly. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and rub with olive oil.
Heat your grill on high for at least ten minutes. Quickly brown the roast on all sides over high heat. Turn off all but one burner, preferably in the front, and moved the roast to the back of grill off the direct heat. Close the grill cover. Our grill thermometer registered around 300 degrees with one burner on full and the others shut off. Cook to 125 degrees internal temperature for rare, and 130 degrees for medium-rare to medium. Remove meat, cover loosely with foil, and allow to rest for at least 15 minutes before serving.