For a Glorious Easter Table: Spit-Roasted
Easter is just around the corner and cooking a ham or lamb are traditions in many homes. They are traditions because they are delicious. Check out my blog on “How to Grill the Perfect Rack of Lamb” and the ham I cooked for Steven’s blog “Taking Holiday Ham to the Next Level”. If you are looking for something different and want to WOW your family and friends for Easter or at your next get together, I have the recipe. Rotisserie prime rib will elevate your grill credentials.
I used to watch my father prepare holiday dinners for everyone. One cut of meat he enjoyed cooking was prime rib. It was always wonderful, and everyone loved it. Rotisserie prime rib has become my go-to when I want to impress my guests.
My wife and I hosted Christmas for my family for the first time this year and I wanted to prepare something memorable for everyone, so went with rotisserie prime rib. It was so good we were asked to put it on the repeat list for Easter. But to make it extra special for Easter, I received a prime rib from the Holy Grail Steak company. Thank you!
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Prime rib can be made in an oven, but if you are like me, I cook everything outside on one of my many grills and smokers. The rotisserie’s high heat creates a crispy exterior just like the oven, but with the added bonus of wood smoke.
Here I will share how I like to prepare my prime rib with a few cool twists, but I start with Steven’s spit-roasted, garlic and rosemary-studded recipe.
How I made Rotisserie Prime Rib
I have tested a variety of flavors on prime rib. One time, I grated fresh horseradish and created a paste with roasted garlic, rosemary, garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil. It made for a flavorful crust, but the paste runs the risk of scorching on the outside of the roast.
My favorite preparation is a simple one: I brush the prime rib with olive oil and generously season with kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper. To obtain a coarse grind of black pepper I use a spice mill to grind peppercorns. The coarse grind of black pepper and the large salt crystals help to form a crust on the prime rib.
My next step might invite some debate. I let the prime rib sit out for 30 to 40 minutes before cooking. It was in a sheet pan and covered with plastic wrap. It didn’t make sense to me to throw a cold 12-plus pound prime rib on a hot rotisserie. I think the outside would be burnt long before the inside of the meat would reach my target temperature of 135 degrees. I was not sure about this step, but my research confirmed that a large roast should sit out before cooking and there is minimal risk. Bringing the temperature of the meat up before cooking promotes even cooking.
Once my kettle grill was up heated to 400 degrees, I added two oak chunks to create wood smoke. The prime rib was secured to the spit and placed in the grill, and before turning on the rotisserie motor, I inserted a wireless meat thermometer probe in the center of the meat. By monitoring the wireless thermometer, I knew when to adjust the vents to control the grill temperature, when to add more charcoal, and most important, when the meat was done. I was estimating about ten to fifteen minutes of cooking time per pound of meat. If you do not have a rotisserie, set-up your grill for indirect grilling.
To add flavor and to keep the meat from drying out, I made a basting sauce with unsalted butter, garlic, rosemary, thyme, lemon zest, and lemon juice. I started basting the meat with a rosemary basting brush after 30 minutes of cooking. (Simply tie a few sprigs of fresh rosemary together with butcher’s string.) I continued to baste the meat every 20 to 30 minutes until the prime rib reached an internal temperature of 135 degrees.
I removed the meat from the grill and removed the prongs and the spit. I then loosely covered the meat with foil to rest for 20 to 25 minutes. If you skip this step your meat will be dry and your cutting board will be juicy.
Once the meat rested, I sliced off the bones to serve as ribs. I carved the prime into 1/4-inch slices. I even saw a subtle smoke ring when slicing the meat. The prime rib was served with two accoutrements; roasted mushroom gravy and Steven’s horseradish cream. The horseradish cream was for family members who are anti-mushroom.
The combination of high heat and the salt and pepper rub created a flavorful, crusty exterior. The inside was tender and juicy. The whole kitchen had a smoky aroma as the meat rested. The perfect bite was the mix of crispy exterior and tender meat. They weren’t necessary, but both the mushroom gravy and the horseradish cream were the perfect match for the prime rib.