Engineering the Standing Rib Roast

In the past, I’ve mentioned how my family traditionally cooked porchetta, a fantastic pork roast, on New Year’s Day. To be sure, that is a remarkable main course for a New Year’s Day dinner — but it’s certainly not the only one. A number of years ago, I started serving standing rib roast for my dinner on New Year’s Day. At first, not knowing any better, I prepared it like I would any beef roast and, though the results were good, I was expecting fantastic. In the years to follow, I tried different roasting temperatures and even starting on a high temperature before shutting off my oven and letting the roast sit, undisturbed in the oven for 4 hours. Yes, that roast was cooked well but all the dinner’s side dishes had to be cooked on the stove top because the oven door was not to be opened under pain of poorly roasted meat. After I cooked a second standing rib following that method, I decided I wanted to try something else. Luckily, I stumbled upon a different approach. Analytical.

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Engineers can cook. Who knew?

Engineers can cook. Who knew?

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On another sleepless night — it’s 4:15 AM as I write this, by the way — I went surfing for a way to cook the perfect standing rib roast. I soon came upon a website, Cooking For Engineers, where an analytical approach is used for cooking — or so the site’s header claims. Well, I may not be aware of the analysis, if any, that lead them to this recipe but I do know a perfectly cooked roast when I see one. I have followed their instruction now 4 times and each roast has been roasted evenly throughout. There are no well-done slices at either end or gray area on the edges of each slice, with a medium-rare center.  As you can see in the photos, it is medium-rare throughout. And the best part of it all is that this is one easy roast to prepare. Incredibly so.

Day 1: Tsk. So young

Day 1: Tsk. So young.

One of the keys to this dish lies in the aging of the meat. As much as one week before the dinner, you’ll want to select your roast. Once you get it home, unwrap the roast and place it on a rack, bone-side down, over a baking sheet in your refrigerator, where it will age for at least a day and no more than 7. Don’t be surprised if the aging causes changes in the roast’s appearance. It’s normal for it to darken and to lose from 10 to 15% of its weight, depending upon how long it is aged. According to our Engineer friends, aging will lend a “buttery texture” to the already richly flavored meat. Believe me. You do not want to skip this step.

Day 5: Aged & ready to go.

Day 5: Aged and better than ever.

Once you’ve aged the meat, you’ll need to prepare it for roasting. Remove the roast from the refrigerator and let it sit on the counter top for a couple of hours. For an evenly cooked roast, it must be at room temperature throughout. You may notice some unusually dark spots on the roast. These should be trimmed away. Use butcher’s twine to tie the roast lengthwise, in-between each pair of bones. This will help to ensure that the roast’s shape is maintained during the cooking process. Once the roast has been brought to room temperature, place a roasting pan on to the stove top and begin heating it. When hot, add a little olive oil to the pan. Place the roast into the now hot oil and sear it on all sides, spending about 3 minutes on each side to do so. Pre-heat your oven to 200˚ F (93˚ C). That’s right: 200˚ F (93˚ C).

Remove the seared roast from the hot pan and place a wire rack into the roasting pan. Heavily season the roast with salt & pepper on all sides. Place the roast on to the rack, insert a meat thermometer into its center, away from any bone, and place the roast & roasting pan on to the lowest rack in the oven. Set the thermometer for 125˚F (52˚C) for rare; 130˚F (55˚C) for medium rare; 145˚F (63˚C) for medium. Sorry but you’re on your own if you want to cook a fine piece of beef like this beyond medium.

For roasts under 5 pounds, it should take about 45 minutes per pound to roast. For roasts greater than 5 pounds, it will take between 4 and 5 hours to cook properly. Once your target temperature has been reached, remove the roast from the oven, place it on a cutting board, tent it with aluminum foil, and let rest for 20 minutes. In the meantime, you can deglaze the roasting pan and use the drippings to create a sauce or add flour to make a roux before adding beef stock to make a gravy. Once rested, use your carving knife to first trim the entire roast off of the rib bones. If you prefer, you can also trim off the fatty end of the roast. Once trimmed, slice the roast in however many slices as are needed to serve everyone. Serve with a little horseradish sauce on the side. (Recipe to follow.)

Now, I ask you. Could it be any easier to cook standing rib than to age, season, sear, and roast at a low temperature? Once again, look at the photos. Each time I’ve listened to the Engineers, I served a roast that was evenly — dare I say perfectly? — cooked throughout.

Oh, one more thing. Leftovers. If you’re blessed with an extra slice, it will make a delicious sandwich the next day. Just sauté it in a little butter until heated through and serve on a favorite bun with a bit of horseradish or horseradish sauce.

To make horseradish sauce: combine equal amounts of plain yogurt (Greek pref.) and sour cream. Add horseradish to taste, some brown whole grain or Dijon mustard, a dash or two of Worcestershire Sauce, and salt & pepper to taste. Mix well and set aside. Serve at room temperature.

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The original recipe specifically mentions to leave the roast uncovered as it ages. I’ve never aged it less than 3 days and certainly not more than 7, as the Engineer states. I’ll replace the fridge’s box of baking soda a day or two before I start the aging process and have never noticed any scent in my fridge. Of course, that just as well might have been the case had I not replaced the box. I guess I’ll never know.

Roasting a piece of meat at a low temperature means that its surface may not color as it would if roasted at a higher temperature. This is why the meat is seared before going into the oven. Just be careful to only sear the meat for 3 minutes per side. Searing it for longer periods will begin to cook the meat on the roast’s inside. Later, when the roast is carved, the end pieces will be cooked more than the rest of the roast, defeating the purpose for roasting the meat this way.

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You can see the original recipe on the Cooking For Engineers website by clicking HERE.

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It’s déjà vu all over again …

More gravy, please.

More gravy, please.

Since we’re starting the year off with a beef rib recipe, I’ll use another to end this post. With Winter here and snow having reached as far south as Texas, there are few better ways to heat up the kitchen than with a delicious braise in the oven. These beef short ribs will not only warm your kitchen, their aroma will fill your home like only good comfort food can. Be sure to serve them with mashed potatoes or polenta because you’ll want to take full advantage of that gravy. Click HERE to view the recipe.

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145 thoughts on “Engineering the Standing Rib Roast

    • I have yet to have a standing rib roast cooked this way be anything less than perfect. If you go to their website and view the comments following the recipe, you’ll see dozens of testimonials from a number of years, all saying the very same thing. It really is amazing. I hope you do try it and enjoy it as much as I have.
      Thanks for dropping in and taking the time to comment.

  1. John!! I hope this comment finds you sound asleep back in bed.. 4:15 in the morning and you are just getting over the flu!! (Do I sound like your mom yet?) Ah, well, there’s no telling when creativity strikes and you must have had the urge to write.. and lucky for us you did, just in time! I’m so tired of my mediocre methods for cooking a roast and I had heard about the one where you leave it in the oven for hours, but that would “tie up” the oven. I wanted to know if you cover the meat when it’s aging in the fridge? It is always so great to find a recipe like this that is trusted, tried and true.. and what works for you works for me! I belong to a family of engineers (Dad and brother) but that gene seems to have skipped me:D Happy New Year again!!!

    • Your kids sure were lucky! Not to worry, Barb. This post was written last week when all I had was insomnia to deal with. I’ll be going to bed very shortly.
      I follow the Engineer recipe exactly. He says to leave the roast uncovered as it ages and that’s what I do. I will swap out the fridge’s box of baking soda a day or two before I start the aging process and have never noticed any kind of scent. Then again, I’ve never not put in a new box so I’ve no idea if it is really necessary.
      I think you’ll love how this roast is cooked. You may notice that it is a bit dry after aging, so, getting the salt & pepper to stick could be a problem. I lightly moisten the surface with a scant tablespoon of olive oil and then season it liberally with salt & pepper before searing it. And remember, you’re only searing the outside, not trying to cook it. Roasting at such a low temperature will not color the roast as well as if it’s roasted at 400˚. The searing will give the roast some color on the outside.
      If your son liked the short ribs, Barb, he’s gonna love this! Good night! :)

      PS … your questions prompted me to go back and add a Notes section to address them. Thanks, Barb.

    • The beauty of this method, Roger, is that it’s practically foolproof. Hope your Son finds it as good as I do. I developed a taste for horseradish with beef from my Dad. He really did enjoy the combo.

  2. What a fantastic well researched post to start the New Year off with. Here in England, butchers tend to forget about taste and flavour over money and space. Hung meat has a far superior taste, as borne out in your post.

    • Thank you so much, Maria. I’ve always enjoyed standing rib and finally being able to cook it the right way is areal treat.
      I don’t think many of our butchers are that much different than your own. Living in a big city, the small butcher shops where one would receive personalized care are becoming rare. I’m very lucky to have a very good 1 within a 5 minute walk from my front door. The problem is that the 2 men behind the counter are getting older and I don’t see an apprentice anywhere being readied to take over one day. And that’s being repeated in most of our butcher shops, I’m afraid. Few children say they want to grow up to be butchers.

  3. When one invests in such a roast it is a shame to wreck it with improper cooking. Your detailed instructions and the fact that you have had perfect results at least four times is proof. Scientific proof! I never really thought much about the term “aged meat” so it is good to know about.
    Sounds like a wonderful way to bring it the new year. Hope you are feeling better, John.
    What do you think about making your twelve best photos into a calendar for the kitchen? Off to school, back to school, guess that is why I’m thinking of new things to do, not necessarily assignments for you but wouldn’t that be cool? And you can make one for Zia, too! xxoo Ruth

    • Exactly, Ruth! For a long time, I was too intimidated by the cost to try to cook a standing rib. Some 7 or 8 years ago, I noticed one of our local groceries ran a very nice sale on the roasts just before Christmas. I bought one that year and have each year since. I’ll continue to buy one each year until they stop running the sale. :)
      I was considering making a calendar, though I think I’m too late for this year. She has a “system” where she buys the next year’s calendar early, using the time to transfer all of the birthdays, anniversaries, and important dates from the current calendar to the new one. BUT, I’ve got 10 months to get one together for 2014 and shipped to her before she starts the process. This could work!

  4. Hi John, great recipe! This is almost exactly how I cooked a rib roast or similar cuts before I had a sous-vide water bath. And I still do it this way now and then. The only difference is that I buy the roast already aged at the butcher’s. He trims the dark/dry edges by the way.
    By the way, I don’t believe bringing the meat to room temperature first will make a difference in the final result. It will reduce the time in the oven needed to bring the core of the meat to temperature, but the total time will probably be longer as the meat will warm up more slowly outside of the oven.

    • Thanks, Stefan. This is a great way to cook a roast and if you do something similar, you know that to be true. You may very well be right about bringing the roast to room temperature but I’ve had such great success doing so that I’ve no reason to experiment any further. If it ain’t broke … :)

  5. That looks oustanding and I love the science of it. A bit of rare beef, a daub of horseradish sauce…. Just perefect!

  6. John the next time I make a standing rib I am going to try your method, but I have a question, when it is aging do you cover it in the fridge? Also this is so off track but I want to ask you if you have a recipe for Chicago deep dish pizza crust, from doing some research it has a “buttery”?? taste, I have no idea cause I have never been to Chicago, or had deep dish pizza, but I snagged a deep dish pizza set from a estate sale and want to try to make one…ideas for topping too, if you have it…thanking you in advance…m

    oh and hApPy NeW yEaR!!!!

    • Good morning, Maria.
      The Engineer specifically said not to cover the roast while it ages and I never have.I hope you’re as pleased with this recipe as I’ve been. I wish all recipes were so successful.
      You must be talking about pizza from Lou Malnati’s — my favorite of the deep dish “powerhouses”. You can definitely taste the butter in their crust and it is very good. I’ve never attempted to make one at home but you are in luck. About 2 years ago, the Cooks Illustrated show on PBS went to Lou’s and although he wouldn’t give his crust recipe, they set out to copy it. Here is the link to their crust recipe:
      You can see their deep dish sausage pizza recipe here:
      And you can see their deep dish olive and ricotta pizza recipe here:
      Theirs is a subscription site. If you cannot get access to the recipes, let me know.

      When I go to Lou’s, I prefer pepperoni to sausage. If you do, too, just replace one with the other. I also like sliced fresh tomato and they place the slices on the very top of the pizza, before the final sprinkling of grated cheese. I hope this is what you were looking for.
      I hope you and yours have a wonderful 2013, Maria.

      • insert me, bowing at the waist both arms outstretched and waving them up and down, giving you homage…John you are the best, I jsut got home from work and I will check out those links…thank you

  7. Sounds perfect to me! I have the butcher bone and tie my rib roasts before they come home from the market…Yes, I could do it myself, but my wrists are pretty bad from all the years of meat-cutting… Makes no difference in the cooking time, as long as you make them leave ALL the fat on it!
    Great recipe to kick-off the year :D

    • Thanks, Marie, and you’re so right. This is a great way to start any year. As much as I enjoyed last year’s porchetta, it was quite a process getting that thing ready for the oven. In comparison, cooking this roast is a breeze. You’re also right about the fat. I certainly don’t expect anyone to eat it but I leave all of it on to flavor the roast during cooking. It’s a shame when people trim it away before roasting.

  8. I wish my mother had read this and taken note….we had rib of beef for Chistmas lunch but as she likes her meat incinerated and I like mine still breathing we had to compromis and go for “sort of medium done” on an 8kg joint! It was actually delicious and I found some rare meat next to the bones but it was nothing like as good as yours must have been!

    • Thank you, Tanya. Funny how the tastes of people in the same immediate family can differ from one to the other. We all liked our meat med-rare — except for one sibling who insisted it be cooked well-done. Needless to say, Dad was not pleased at all. Cook a piece of beef beyond medium and Dad thought you were ruining it. It’s probably a good thing that steak dinners weren’t served frequently when I was growing up. It kept the peace. :)

    • Thank you, Norma. I hope you have as much success with this cooking method as I have. It really is fantastic.
      I’m feeling better than that first night. Now the flu symptoms are gone but I’ve got a real beauty of a chest cold. This is so much easier to deal with. Thank you for your concern.

  9. I’m totally intimidated by roasting large hunks of meet! However, your roast looks so amazing, and the instructions are easy to follow. I may not be an engineer, but I think I could do this!

    • I so agree with you, Tanya, and avoided cooking my own rib roasts for that very reason. All I could envision is carving the roast in front of my dinner guests and having it roasted poorly or, worse yet, far too long. This recipe was heaven-sent and now I’m fearless! Well, OK, that’s a bit much but I no longer have a problem with standing rib roasts. I hope you try it so that you can feel the same way. :)

  10. Wow! I’m excited to try this out! I’ve made mine the same way for years which has always turned out perfect to me and my hungry guests but I’m ready to give this a try and truly WOW them! I know about the aging process and well seasoning the meat, it makes sense. Happy New Year John, I wish you all the best in 2013!

    • Happy New Year, Linda!
      If you do try this, Linda, I hope you’re as happy with the roast as you are with your own method. This works perfectly for me and, judging by the comments following the recipe on the Engineer’s website, I’ve got plenty of company.
      I hope you, too, Linda, and all of your family have a wonderful 2013.

  11. This should come with a warning: Mouth will water every time you open refrigerator in anticipation of mealtime — just one more reason to not age longer than 7 days. ;) John, your roast looks perfect. I have always wanted to make a standing rib roast, but it is hard to convince my hubby it would be worth passing up beef tenderloin — I know, the sacrifices we make, right?! But I love prime rib and know the satisfaction of creation such a beautiful, succulent roast would be a feather in my cooking cap. Just gorgeous and the instructions are easy to follow. Well done!

    • Thanks, Judy. I must admit, I find nothing wrong with the way your Husband thinks. A piece of perfectly cooked tenderloin is a thing of beauty. Until I find a good sale on beef tenderloin around the holidays, though, I’ll be very happy to continue serving standing rib. Still, you have me wondering if the Engineer has a recipe for tenderloin. I need to check that out, just in case I ever do find that sale. :)

  12. What an interesting method! I think I’ve seen it before in some blog, but did not pay attention to it. Coming from you, though – I immediately had my interest perked up, and cannot wait to try it. It will be hard to convince my beloved husband to go for it (he’s set on his family method) but I can use a little bit of tropical charm and see how it goes :-)
    The meat looks absolutely PERFECT.

    (hope you are fully recovered from the flu)

    • Thanks, Sally. I’m doing much better than that first night.
      I’ve been cooking standard rib roasts this way for a few years now and the comments following the original recipe go back to 2005. It’s very possible someone else has blogged about it. I’m completely satisfied with this method and never had a result different from the roast in the photos. I hope you do try it and can say the same.

  13. Wow! I honestly had no idea this was as easy as it was (I don’t eat much red meat). The science of it is fascinating. Hmmmmm, this piques my interest. Because Hubby does enjoy some red meat occasionally, I should try this for him. I’ve always been kind of afraid to do this, but you’ve explained so well John. Hubby’d be pretty happy if I pulled this off for him. Thanks John!

    I sure hope you’re feeling better…..since you’re keeping such late nights!

    • I’m with you, Sarah. I had shied away from this cut of beef because it was too expensive to botch. I only started buying it once I found it on sale and this method could not be easier. I’ve cooked it 4 times with identical results each time. With that kind of track record, I’ll never try another way.
      I’m doing better than I was that first night, thankfully. It won’t be long before I’ll be back to normal — such as it is. :)
      Thanks, Sarah, for your concern and kindness.

  14. Excellent – we cooked a huge 11 lb rib (bone in) on Christmas day, which turned out beautifully just by cooking at 210ºC for the first 40 minutes and then 160º for a further 120 minutes. It was rested out of the oven for 30 minutes or so wrapped in foil. There was an advantage in this, because the top of the meat above the fat layer was bloodless and the larger bottom section was nice and pink like yours. The philistines among us were able enjoy their lunch blood free and the majority got perfect pink beef.
    Personally I could drink the warm blood with vodka in a cocktail – bullshot. It beats Campbells Beef Consommé!

    • That roast of yours sounds spectacular, MD. It must have been something to see and carve. It certainly did work out perfectly for your dinner guests and the “philistines”. (Love that!) I’ve found that if I leave a slingshot next to my place setting, the philistines are more than happy with whatever I serve them, every time. :)

  15. I haven’t cooked a standing rib roast in years! Definitely something I need to do again. I’ve never cooked one using the low heat method, but I’m familiar with it. Back in the 1960s Adelle Davis wrote Let’s Cook it Right!, and she was a big advocate of low heat cooking. I don’t recall if she had a recipe for a standing rib roast, however. Terrific recipe. I particularly like aging the meat in the refrigerator (I suspect you want it uncovered so the surface of the meat becomes somewhat dehydrated, concentrating the good beefy flavor – covering the roast might impede this process). Anyway, terrific post – thanks.

    • I only make a standing rib once a year and that’s on New Year’s Day. I made it one Easter and it just didn’t feel right. Keeping it a once-a-year dinner maintains it special-ness. I need to check into Ms. Davis to see if she did provide a recipe for rib roast, though, i doubt I’d ever change methods. The Engineers came through for me and if it ain’t broke …
      Thanks, John, for commenting and your insights.

  16. This would be perfect for New Year’s dinner, John! I’ve seen the Cooking for Engineers site before and passed the link on to an engineer friend. If this roast is any indication, they sure seem to know their stuff!

    • Every year, when I make this roast, I tell myself to go back to that site and look around. Of course, I forget until next January 1st. It is rare for me to be able to repeat a good roast. Something is always off, some failing, the next time around. I’ve made this recipe 4 times and received the exact same results each time. I’m sold!
      BTW, “mystery” solved. :)

    • When you try this, you may see a few spots, say a half inch or so across, that are very dark, even black, on the surface after you’ve aged the beef. When I’ve seen them, they’ve always appeared in the fat. Just use a paring knife to trim them off, leaving as much fat undisturbed as possible. The roast in my photos may look black but that’s the fault of my camera. The meat is dark but reddish. There is no indication on the website that the black spots are bad for you, should you neglect to trim them. I just think that they’re unsightly and would probably look worse after roasting.
      I hope this answers your question. Let me know if I can be of further help. Thanks for dropping in.

  17. One other thing… in Britain, good butchers age their meat before selling, normally it’s done for 21 – 45 days. Mine normally scrapes either end, with the back of his knife, before cutting to the desired size. With dry ageing, some evaporation of moisture within the meat occurs and the flavour is concentrated.

  18. I did a beef tenderloin in a similar fashion and was slightly worried considering the cost of the tenderloin, but I kid you not, I will never cook a roast beef any other way. Your step by step instructions are wonderful and look incredibly fool-proof; thank you for your attention to detail.
    Sleepless nights are horrible and the worst you can do it start looking at the computer (it actually puts too much light into your eyes and you become more and more awake) but then again I start looking at my iPhone and I’m done as well, so who am I to say.
    Love the horseradish sauce too, will put that on my list to make in the new year.
    I sincerely hope you are feeling much better. Happy New Year to you, I wish you all the best for a healthy, happy and prosperous new year.

    • Thanks, Eva, for, well, everything: your comments, well-wishes, and helpful advice.
      After a positively horrible start, this “thing” has settled into my head and chest. This I can deal with. It’s only a matter of time now for me and I hope your “affliction” is ready to move on, too, if it hasn’t already. We’ve got a New Year to get underway and have no time for this foolishness! :)
      I’ve had bouts of insomnia for years, Eva, and my not having to get up in the morning doesn’t help matters. I need to be a little more disciplined and maintain a regular bedtime each night. That would work wonders.
      Your tenderloin sounds delicious, Eva. and I feel the same way about roasting a standing rib. These cuts aren’t inexpensive and if you find a good way to prepare and roast them, stick with it. As it is, I cannot imagine trying another way to prepare a standing rib roast, just like you and tenderloin
      Thanks, again. Eva. I’ve nothing but good wishes for you and JT in 2013.

  19. Hi John, I love this post. I really enjoy a good roast beef. This looks just about perfect. I am a traditionalist in that I like my beef sliced thin. I inherited this from my late father. Dad was a pathologist and Dublin City Coroner amongst other things. He prided himself on his carving skills. I am nowhere as good as he was. But practise, practise practise….
    Next beef rib roast I do just has to be done this way.
    Happy New Year,

    • Thanks, Conor, for the compliments. Watching an expert carver at work is a thing of beauty. It would have been a treat to watch your Dad with his carving knife in-hand.
      I’m a fan of beef and nothing beats a good roast. Discovering this site and his method of cooking standing rib was heaven-sent. It’s rare that I’ll be so confident of the outcome when carving a large piece of meat, particularly in front of dinner guests. With this, I just carve away.
      Happy New Year to you and yours!

  20. Mmmmm… mouthwatering! I made New Year’s prime rib following a similar roasting method outlined on Serious Eats: 200 degree oven for several hours until it gets to the desired internal temperature, then rest it for at least 30 minutes, then stick it in a blazing hot oven (500 degrees plus) for 6 – 10 minutes to crisp up the outside. It was absolutely perfectly medium-rare throughout, even on the tiny little 2 lb roast I made (which only took 3 hours). Low and slow is the way to go, apparently! Here’s the link if you’re interested – there’s some interesting sciency stuff :)

    • Thanks for the link. Her way is interesting, as well. I have to take some time to surf her site — as well as yours — to see what else I can learn. For now, though, I’m just glad to have a roast that is evenly cooked from end to end, no matter how it’s done.
      Thanks for commenting!

  21. I have to tell you, John, that I had to go to a fine dining restaurant the other night and I ordered the short ribs and there is no way they were anywhere near as good as your ribs – and I know because I cooked them and re-blogged your recipe – I should pass it on to the restaurant! I love the look of this beef and it would be fabulous with the homemade horseradish cream. There is no way I would cook this beyond medium – even medium is a sin in this house with my husband preferring his beef still mooing xx

    • Thanks you so much, Charlie. You dine at fine establishments and I value your opinion. I really appreciate your compliments regarding the short rib recipe.
      Your Husband and my Dad would have gotten along just fine. Woe to the dinner guest who wanted his beef cooked beyond medium. Dad would not have been happy. :)
      The thing about this method is its consistency. I’ve cooked 4 prime ribs now and each was exactly the same. You just can’t beat that.

  22. Beautiful, absolutely beautiful! Perfectly executed technique resulting in a perfectly cooked roast. My mouth is watering just looking at it. Good thing dinner hour is approaching. :)
    I have cooked countless prime rib in various ways, i.e. standing rib roast, boneless rib loin, with fat pad and without fat pad, etc., with various techniques (except sous vide – I leave that to Stefan), and at various temperatures. The lowest temps I have ever used were 225 F – 250 F. Your temp of 200 F would work much the same and doesn’t add that much time. Also, if ever there was a cut that dry aging sends absolutely over the top, it’s prime rib, but I am a lover of the rib loin. Others will tell you a strip loin is the perfect cut to dry age. Inasmuch as Baby Lady doesn’t eat beef, if I want a dry aged piece of beef, I pay dearly for it at a very fine steakhouse. :o I also no longer cook prime rib :( but I sure know a good looking roast when I see it and your New Year’s Day rib roast is one of the prettiest I have ever seen. I will have to dream about it.

    • That’s high praise coming from you, Richard, and I thank you. I do love a standing rib roast but I only cook it once a year, on New Year’s Day. A special day deserves a special meal and knowing that the roast will look like this is such a relief, one less thing to worry about with guests present.

  23. [Unavoidably smiling for more than one reason] Glad to see you DO seem to be improving! Don’t cook a rib roast too often for obvious reasons, but just came off another blog [yes, an Italian-American from NJ this time, an old facebook friend] who firmly believes in the high heat, close oven door way of doing things :D ! Mm, think I’ll try your way – have never tried it thus and this ‘buttery texture’ spoken about does appeal!! [oh, John, that abbreviation you put in front of my name last time around: gottcha, am actually entitled to it :) !] . . .

    • Thank you, Eha. I hope you do give this method a try and like it as much as I do. Each roast I’ve cooked with it has looked exactly like this one. I’ve no complaints at all with any of them.
      And will you look at that! It took a fever-induced delirium to unleash my psychic powers. How else could I have known you are a Doctor? Would it have hurt for me to “see” some winning lottery numbers, as well? ((sigh))

      • Now look at unusual happenings! On at the same time! Hope the fever has gone: you surely did not think I was such a ‘bossy boots’ as to ‘be laying down the law’ if I was not used to it :D ! And in all fairness, mine is a story the Medical Faculty of Sydney University still talks about! I finished, but never practiced!!! Had married into a business family six months before and was busily arranging trade fairs and dancing the quickstep around the world on business trips when others went into residency. So, let’s be honest: I do not use the title, but could not help the tease: sorry :) ! And I would have wished for said lottery numbers for both of us!!

        • The fever is gone, Eha, but it left a good cold in its wake. I’ve been away from the blog almost all day, having spent much of the day napping, and am trying to catch up.
          What’s this? You gave up a promising medical career for love? This is the stuff of movies. I can just see you (there’s that psychic thing again) quickstepping your way across the continents. You weren’t, by any chance, a spy, too? What a movie that would make! :)

          • Trust me to click on: have been at Amazon doing book reviews on what I have read! Instead of watching a relaxing film :( ! They can be quite persistent! Well, matters were not quite as simple as that: husband had car accident fatal for some passengers and he needed me more at the time than I needed the medical career. Let’s leave it there. Pity 21 years later when we were no longer together! Actually all that jazz would make quite a movie, my friends have always told me, but a spy: I’m the biggest scaredycat in the world!!!! Listen, take care, nodding off for a few days would probably do you a heap of good [oops, there I . . . .]!!

          • Don’t worry about me. I’m fine — or will be soon.
            “Biggest scaredycat,” eh? Sounds like the perfect cover to me. Not to worry. My lips are sealed.

  24. I love Cooking for Engineers, and use the site frequently. I’ve never tried their standing rib roast method (standing rib roast being one of those dishes that requires a considerable financial outlay, which means I cook it only about once every couple of years) but I will have to remember to do so. Your roast looks sensational, by the way.

    • Thanks, Susan. I only started preparing standing rib when I saw that one of our groceries runs a sale every year at Christmas. It is considerably less expensive and gives me the time required to age the meat like the Engineer directs. I’ll surely revert to another roast should that grocery quit running its yearly sale. I bet others will, too. :)

    • I hope you’re as pleased with the results as I am. I’m completely sold on this method. And I must have some form of horseradish with beef. It’s just not complete without it.

  25. This is a great New Year’s tradition! My brother is the standing rib roast chef in our family, so I’m definitely going to pass this on to him. I wouldn’t have had the nerve to let the meat change like that in my refrigerator, but I trust you! :-) I’ve always heard of aged beef, but I never considered what it might look like. I’m glad for the warning. I am impressed that you are researching and writing at such an early hour, or maybe for you, it’s late! I think your creative juices are interfering with your sleep! Haha! Your first post of the new year is for a big treat, John. Yum!

    • Thank you, Debra, for your kind words. I’ve known that prime beef is aged but never knew that one could age beef at home, until I saw the Engineer’s website. And then it made perfect sense. I mean, why not age beef at home? My fridge can get just as cold as a butcher’s. Granted, I’m not aging a side of beef so I wouldn’t age my roast for 45 days. A week, though, makes sense for a rib roast.
      As for the hour, it’s not so unusual. I’m prone to insomnia, made worse by my lack of a firm schedule. If I cannot fall asleep, there’s no real need for me to stay in bed, for I’ve no job waiting for me in the morning. So, I’ll make myself busy for a couple hours. :)

  26. I think you could easily call this roast perfect. Look at that color! I’m not a meat eater, but I would easily have a helping or two of this! :) I like the approach the engineers laid out too. It’s all very easy to follow. Now if I could just get my oven to hold a temp…have to have the fixed this month. Happy New Year John! I hope you had a fabulous day and are off to an even better year.

    • I know, Kristy, that you’re not much of a carnivore, so, you’re compliments are even sweeter. Thank you.
      Now, you really must get your oven fixed. How ever did you get your holiday baking done? And even with the holidays behind us, the SousChefs still need their cookies! :)
      May you all have the Best that 2013 has to offer.

    • Thanks, Michelle for both the compliment and link. Here I am, part of a new movement, and totally unaware — just like I am in other areas of my life. "Clueless" comes to mind. :)
      It is interesting that they would let it age 8 months. I sure would like to see the meat at the end of the aging period. It must be something to see.

  27. I hope you and Max have a nap in the afternoon! I have heard of aging steaks in the fridge for 24 hours, but never a roast and the more I think about it the more I like the idea.. esp as the meat that we buy is seldom properly aged. Mine hangs for about 10 days, which is barely adequate, also the meat is chilled very fast these days, when in fact it is better to let the carcass cool to room temperature first, then into the chiller for freezing.
    I am glad that you mentioned bringing the meat back to room temp before cooking, this is something that many people do not realise. I must visit this engineers site. Your roast looks excellent.. and I hope you have a good week planned.. there may be a little sun.. c

    • Max and I did spend much of the day resting. That’s part of the reason I’m so awake right now. I’ve known that prime beef is aged but never thought about aging beef in my own fridge. This website was an eye-opener.
      I’ll be staying close to home for another couple days. Although the fever is gone, I’m still pretty congested. Unless I really need to go out, why risk a relapse or infecting others? A couple days at home and I’ll be back to my old self. Watch out! :)

  28. I’ve never heard of aging a rib roast before. That sounds quite interesting and something that has piqued my curiosity. We baked a rib roast for Christmas Day on a whim. Showed up at the in-laws house as a surprise (long story) and had to go shopping on Christmas eve. Mom was planning on doing microwave meals for Christmas. NOT!!!! Anyhoo, the store still had a couple of beautiful standing rib roasts. Next time I will be aging it. The result looks fantastic! Happy New Year!!!!

    • Happy New Year to you and yours, MJ.
      Sounds like there’s still quite a bit of story to be told about your Christmas. :)
      Until I came upon this website, I though aging was only done prior to our purchasing it. I’d no idea it could be done at home. Once you combine an aged roast with the Engineer’s roasting methods, you get a perfect rib roast — every time! It really is amazing. When you do try it, I hope you’re as pleased with the results as I am.

  29. We Aussies eat a lot of beef, and aged beef is often sold at a premium at good butchers. Aged, pasture-fed beef is some of the best eating around! I love the way you’ve cooked your roast, although the rest of the family enjoy theirs well cooked and melting off the bone. I agree with you though – on such a prime cut, that would be a great shame! :)

    • We, too, can get “prime” beef that’s aged, Celia, at a higher price, at some of the finer butchers, although most goes to restaurants. This is the first I’d heard of aging beef at home. Living with folks who like their meats cooked well would be tough for me. This method, would work fine for you or for them — just not for both. It cooks evenly throughout. A more traditional method would probably work better for your situation, one where the inner section of the roast would be more rare than either ends of the roast.
      You have to work on converting them to our way, “the right way.” :)

  30. John, this is soooo interesting. I can never get people to allow the meat to reside on the counter several hours before cooking. It doesn’t cook evenly if you take it from cold to hot. Ah well. Have to try this. Also, some people are taken aback I think with the pink in my meat pics but I find if you overcook meat it’s better served protecting your feet from the pavement that languishing in a pool of decadent gravy. Another sleep deprived human in the world makes me feel less alone at 3:30 a.m. :)

    • I’ve never felt closer to you, Susie! From your comment about protecting your feet to being sleep-deprived, it’s as if we were separated at birth! :)
      It never made sense to me to not bring a roast up to room temperature. You’re just asking for trouble when roasting one where the center is 20˚ less than the exterior.
      I’m sure some may not like to see the meat so pink but that’s pretty tame, considering some of the other things I’ve posted, like recipes for eel, snails, and chicken gizzards, to name 3. And I haven’t even gotten to “How to make head cheese” yet. ;)

  31. Ah I only wish I had this as a guide for my Christmas roast. Mined turned out well, but I’m always looking for improvement & I’m glad to have this handy guide. That looks like a very fine roast to me.
    I’ve just caught up with recognition on awards that have been passed on to me & thought it very appropriate for you to get the “Blog of the Year Award”. I truly appreciate your blog, the wonderful stories and terrific recipes but your writing is a pleasure to read.

    • I could have poste this recipe last year, Diane, but I wanted to try it again — and again — to make sure of the results. I’ve now oen it 4 times with identical results. Now I can recommend it to everyone and not worry about someone being disappointed.
      Thank you so much for your kindness in passing along the “Blog of the Year Award” to me. I do not participate in awards and nominations any more but that doesn’t mean I’m any less appreciative of the honor or your thoughtfulness. Thanks again. :)

      • Since all of your other ideas have been spot on, know that I have faith in your advice and will give this a try.
        I completely understand about the awards and feel that if people want to pass them on, that’s great & if not I just want them to know that I appreciate their blogging efforts to make sure they continue. So please, my pleasure to pass the word to others who may not have stopped by your site yet. I know once they do that they will be faithful readers.

  32. John, 4:00 a.m.! You are incredible. This is gorgeous. You must have been eagerly awaiting the day to finally cook it. Pure torture :)

    Every dish you prepare is excellent in every way imaginable John. You could definitely have a cook book, cooking show, and a restaurant.

    • You are too much, Judy. (Haven’t I said that to you before?) When the insomnia hits, 4:00 is about the norm. Thankfully, tonight will be a different story.
      You are so complimentary! My Dad was in the restaurant business. It’s a life of hard work and very long hours. Knowing how to cook is such a small part of it. Bad service by a waiter to the wrong table, a kitchen mistake served to the wrong customer, or a dishonest bartender/waiter, and you dream can go up in smoke in no time, especially now where everyone with a camera phone is a restaurant critic. I’m content the way things are. :)

      • So true John! Yes, you mentioned insomnia before because I rarely sleep 4 to 5 hours a night too :)
        But that is okay. We are alive!! I have always worked in the restaurant business throughout college and onward. And have had it as a 2nd job forever, up to about 6 years ago. I love it. Once I became really busy within the school system and now the college I found I couldn’t keep up with a 2nd job. You are correct, much work within a restaurant business! It looks fun on the outside, but is hard work for everyone on the inside :)

        • So, you are another in the Can’t Get to Sleep Club, eh, Judy?. I long for the old days when there were classic “B” movies on TV throughout the night. I wouldn’t get to sleep any sooner but I sure would enjoy it more.
          Having worked in it for so long, you know all too well the downside of the restaurant business. It is easy to see why so many of them fold in the first few years. It’s a shame really.

  33. What an informative post! I’m embarrassed to say that I just cooked my first roast last year and then I made it again over the holidays. My mom always cooked roast beef like a boot, so I hated it growing up and was never very motivated to make it. I’m glad that I’ve acquired a new interest in making roasts, as I would really like to give this “analytical” approach–which includes a bit of aging–a try. I too made a greek yogurt and horseradish sauce for the roast beef — next time I’ll try adding a little mustard as you’ve suggested.

    • Thank you so much. I don’t know about you, but I always found cooking a roast, especially one of the more expensive cuts, to be a bit intimidating. I like my meat on the pink side and it is easy to “miss the mark.” You can always put a roast back into the oven to cook more but, once over-cooked, you’re done. This Engineer’s method got rid of the guesswork and gives me dependable results, every time.
      I make my own whole grain mustard and use it as much as I can. Adding a touch to this horseradish sauce really works for me. I hope you’ll like it too.

  34. Dearest John, This is your other mom speaking…”Get some rest and take care of yourself”! Now I am actually quite happy that you had a creative urge to write about your roast in the wee hours of the morning. I have never found such a thorough description of what I need to do do make the perfect rib roast and let me tell you those pictures are making my mouth water. Now that we live here in HK, I could never afford to buy such a large piece of meat but when I hit the States it will be something I will have try out on my dad. Take Care, BAM

    • Thanks, BAM. I went to bed before your comment reached me. I just saw a news report where flu is sweeping across the US. I’m such a trend setter I just couldn’t let this one pass me by.
      I was lucky to find this website and its method of roasting a standing rib is really easy. I’ve used it 4 times and got identical results. I’ve never had that sort of result when roasting anything and am glad that if I’m going to, it’s with an expensive cut of meat.
      I hope your Dad likes it as much as I do. And I’ll be here if you’ve any questions. :)

  35. The difference in the aged and newly purchased meat is an interesting sight John, I have friends who insist on aging meat like you do, but I never really understood why.
    The light bulb is now switched on !!

  36. Cooking for Engineers, huh? Sounds logical :)

    I know you wont like to hear this, John, but i like my beef cooked much more than in your photo – yes, yes, ….. I know!

    I DO like the look of your braised short ribs though – yummy :)

    • Not to worry, Marianne. If you’re seated at my table, I’ll be sure to roast your meat to your liking. Guaranteed. :)
      That short rib recipe is a favorite. I hope you do try it sometime.

  37. My goodness! I had to scroll way down to find the comment box. Ok… this is a handsome looking rib roast that my husband would go wild over! Looks delicious! I hope you are getting over your cold/flu. Last I heard, you were heavily medicated with cold meds. Hope you are doing better. :)

    • Thank you, Anne. This is now the only way I’ll prepare a roast. It is virtually fool-proof — a necessity for me. I hope you do try it and you and your Husband like it as much as I do.
      I’m doing much better now, thank you. I’ll be back to normal in no time.

    • I so agree with that philosophy, Ken. I don’t do it so often that it loses its “specialness.” When I serve a roast like this, I like the occasion and meal to be memorable.

  38. Liz has messed around with the high temp then turn of the oven to continue to cook. Each time it has worked brilliantly. But I’ve never aged my own beef before!! Wish I had had this information back in SLC with that 1/4 of a cow we bought from a local farm. That meat would have been out of this world!!…not that your roast doesn’t. ;-)

    Happy New Year my friend!

    • Glad you’re back, Jed and hope you and Liz had a very happy holiday season.
      I liked roasting my beef like Liz does except that I couldn’t use the oven at all. Although 200˚ isn’t a great temperature for cooking, it can get things going. Once the roast comes out of the oven, I crank up the oven and finish cooking my sides while the roast rests.
      The thing about aging the beef was how come I hadn’t thought of it myself? I knew that prime was aged. I never thought to do it myself. Well, I do now. Any beef roast is aged at least a couple days before I cook it. And I like the results. Give it a try. I think it will pass the Glutton Taste Trials. :)

  39. Really lovely blog. I’ve been devouring it with my afternoon cuppa. Love this recipe, and the corresponding notes and photos. I do love a good roast, and leftovers are even better in my opinion!

    • Although I knew that they aged prime beef, I never thought about doing it at home. Now, I won’t cook a beef roast unless I’ve time to age it. And with the beef you can get in Texas, this should work very well for you.

  40. The standing rib roast is an impressive piece of meat high on the wow factor both in taste and presentation. I cooked mine for a family gathering with the assistance of my younger brother Adam and there wasn’t a scrap of meat (or veg for that matter) left on the plates.

  41. Hope this finds you feeling much better and getting the rest you need! Your rib is gorgeous and made me want standing rib roast for breakfast! I have never attempted to age my own beef, I’m going to have to try it!

    Have a lovely day! ~ April

    • Thank you, April. I am doing much better and glad to be over “it.”
      This is a great way to cook a standing rib and aging the beef was definitely a nice discovery. I really like the flavor the beef acquires.
      And you have a great evening, April, in your new home. :)

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