Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Standing Rib Roast

I'm still without my computer so today's post is another one that has been hanging out in my drafts for several months waiting for a new photograph. 

For me, the most difficult part of flood blogging is photography. Yes, I struggle finding time to post, tweet, and follow up on Facebook and blogs but taking pictures will always be my greatest challenge. One reason can be attributed to lack of skill and equipment. I know these are things I can improve with time and practice. My other reason is lack of patience, no not mine but those that are waiting to fill their bellies with yummy food. 

I originally made this roast for my dad's birthday dinner. Dinner was right on schedule and I didn't want to make people wait so I could take the time to stage a photo. Thus the photo you see below is the roast resting on my kitchen counter before it was carved.  It was rushed and it shows. I have a similar problem during the week trying to take photos before getting the meal on the table for some very hungry diners. Typically I will get everyone settled with their plates then use my plate to photograph. Sometimes I am too tired and hungry and I won't bother, hoping I can take photos of the leftovers the next day.

So tell me, how do you hold off the ravenous masses so you can take all those tantalizing food photos? Any advice for taking photos without natural light?

Standing Rib Roast
recipe adapted from Anne Burrell

2 tablespoons fresh thyme, minced
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, minced
2 tablespoons fresh oregano, minced
6 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 (5 to 6½ pound) bone-in standing rib roast
Kosher salt
1 onion, cut into ½ inch dice
1 pound baby carrots, tops trimmed
3 ribs celery, cut into ½ inch dice
1 cup red wine
2 cups rich beef stock
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 450ºF.

In a small bowl combine the thyme, rosemary, oregano and garlic. Add enough olive oil until it becomes a loose paste. Rub the roast with the herb-garlic paste and really massage it into the meat. Season generously with kosher salt.

Put the onions, baby carrots, and celery in the bottom of a roasting pan. Toss with a little olive oil and salt, to taste. Add the wine, 1 cup of beef stock and the bay leaves. Put the roast on top of the veggies and put into the preheated oven until the roast is really brown and lovely, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Reduce the heat to 350ºF for another 1 ¾ to 2 hours. Occasionally during the cooking time, spoon some of the juices over the meat. If the liquid level in the pan goes down too much, add the remaining 1 cup of stock. It also would be a great idea to rotate the roasting pan about halfway through the cooking process.

Check the temperature of the meat by inserting an instant-read thermometer into the center of the roast. For medium-rare it should be 125°F and 130°F for medium. Remove the roast from the oven to a cutting board and let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes before carving.

Pour drippings from roasting pan through a fine mesh strainer into a fat separator or large measuring cup, pressing on the vegetables with the back of a wooden spoon to extract any liquid.  Discard the solids and fat, saving the pan juices.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan. Whisk in flour until smooth and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in pan juices and bring to a simmer. Continue to cook until the gravy thickens, about 5 top 6 minutes. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Keep warm until serving.