Blowtorch Prime Rib with Horseradish Mustard Sauce

Click here for a PDF of this recipe without photos.

I’ve wanted to make this prime rib recipe since the day I got the Ad Hoc at Home cookbook.  In order to get the outside nicely caramelized but keep the inside at a nice medium-rare, you start the fat rendering with a blowtorch before putting the roast into a 275-degree oven.  N.B. – that previous sentence said “blowtorch.”

This isn’t the time for one of those little butane-powered things that people use for crème brûlée; get a proper propane torch from the hardware store or borrow one from a plumber.

The sauce recipe is from my friend Tim’s dad, Jim Fox.  (Jim’s crustless quiche recipe was previously featured on this blog.)  Like the prime rib recipe, I’ve wanted to make this for months and have been waiting for an opportunity.  A holiday visit from my sister-in-law seemed like the perfect occasion.  Coincidentally, this weekend also marks Jim’s retirement after serving as District Attorney of San Mateo County, CA for the last 28 years.  (Here’s a nice article about Jim – it even mentions the Horseradish Mustard Sauce.)  Congratulations, Jim.  And thanks again for the recipes.

Prime rib recipe adapted from Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc at Home

  • 1 four bone center-cut rib roast (7 – 8 lbs)
  • Kosher Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • One badass propane blowtorch

Horseradish Mustard Sauce courtesy of Jim Fox, San Carlos, CA

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 Tb Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tb cider vinegar
  • 1 Tb water
  • 1 Tb sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 Tb butter
  • 1 Tb cream-style horseradish (or more if you like it hotter)
  • ½ cup whipping cream

Make the sauce – In the top of a double boiler (or a metal bowl on top of a pot of simmering water), beat the two egg yolks.  Add the Dijon, vinegar, water, sugar, and salt.  Cook – stirring constantly – until the ingredients thicken.  Add the butter and the horseradish.  Remove from the heat and cool.  Whip the cream until stiff, then fold-in the chilled mustard mixture.  Keep cool until you’re ready to serve.

Cook the meat – Allow the roast to stand at room temperature for about 2 hours.  Preheat oven to 275 degrees and position an oven rack in the lower part of the oven.  Put the roast on a roasting rack.  Light the blowtorch and hold it about an inch away from the meat, lightly browning it on all sides.  Season generously with kosher salt and black pepper, and place in the oven.  Cook until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 128 degrees, about 2 hours.  Remove from the oven and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes.  Carve the meat, sprinkle with sea salt, and serve.


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