Here is a great dinner party trick: Invite some people over for dinner. Don’t stress out about all the things you’re going to make; instead, focus all your emotional and financial efforts on one, glorious thing. Say it’s a very large piece of slightly fancy red meat. Season it aggressively, love it passionately, and cook it perfectly at a low and gentle temperature. Do all of this before anyone gets there. Perhaps throw a few russet potatoes into a very hot oven to bake while you wait for everyone to arrive, because they’ll only set you back about $4 and baked potatoes are amazing. Throw together a very quick salad of maybe just some spicy leaves and a handful of herbs, but don’t dress it with lemon just yet. Watch everyone file in and fill your home with the wine they brought. Pour yourself a glass! You deserve it.
When you’re ready, take the baked potatoes out of the oven, ask someone to prepare some fixings for said potatoes (like opening a tub of sour cream). Finish your perfectly cooked meat by browning it in a skillet (or that very hot oven). Don’t even bother to let it rest, because it doesn’t need to (thank you, “Reverse Sear!”). Carve your insanely impressive piece of meat (be sure everyone sees you doing this), and then, last, dress your salad. Eat all these things together and feel happy that you did something nice for people you love by preparing them a fancy cut of meat in your own home, where the only price of admission was a bottle of wine. And the dishes—they have to do the dishes.
Serves 8 to 12
- 7–7 1/2-pound whole bone-in rib roast (about a 3-bone roast), not frenched
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 6 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1 tin or jar of anchovy fillets (about 10 anchovies), plus more for serving (optional)
- 8 garlic cloves, finely grated
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- Flaky sea salt
- 1 cup fresh parsley, tender leaves and stems, finely chopped, plus more for serving
Season the meat with salt and pepper (you want 1 teaspoon of kosher salt per pound). Place on a rimmed baking sheet (preferably lined with a wire rack so that the meat does not sit directly in the liquid that escapes from salting), and let sit at least 2 hours at room temperature or up to 48 hours refrigerated.
Meanwhile, finely chop 2 sprigs of rosemary and about 10 anchovies and combine in a medium bowl with the garlic and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
Scatter the remaining 4 sprigs of rosemary on the bottom of a rimmed baking sheet. Smear the meat with the anchovy mixture and place on top of the rosemary. Place the whole thing in the oven and let it roast low and slow until a meat thermometer reaches 110 degrees F (for medium-rare) when inserted into the deepest part of the meat, 2–2 1/2 hours. Remove from the oven (the temperature will continue to rise as it sits—you’re looking for an eventual 125 degrees F temperature). Let it hang out for up to 4 hours at room temperature.
When you’re ready to eat, heat the canola oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is smoking, add the meat, fat side down. Cook, pressing lightly to encourage the whole underside to make contact with the skillet, until it’s deeply browned, 5–8 minutes. Flip the roast so that its fat side up and remove from heat. (Alternatively, increase the temperature to 500 degrees F, or however high your oven goes, and cook the roast until the fat is browned, 10–15 minutes—this is easier, but your fat will never get as browned and you’ll miss out on pan drippings.)
Transfer the meat to a cutting board, leaving any juices behind in the pan.
Slice the roast away from the bones. Slice the roast however you please; I like mine on the thinner side, about 1/4 inch slices, but some prefer thinner (like roast beef) or thicker (like prime rib). Place the slices on a large serving platter and pour over any juices left behind. Sprinkle with flaky salt and parsley, serving with more anchovies alongside, if you like.
Roast can and should be seasoned up to 48 hours in advance. It can be roasted 3 hours ahead, then left loosely covered with foil at room temperature, just like they do at all the best prime rib restaurants.
Save these bones! Either separate them and eat as-is, crisp them in the oven, or use to make broth.
Reprinted from “Nothing Fancy.” Copyright 2019 by Alison Roman. Photographs copyright 2019 by Michael Graydon and Nikole Herriott. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.