My sous chef recently
stole borrowed my photography equipment (such as it is) and flew off to Tahiti for a glamour shoot. So for my Super Bowl party, I was, alas, left without equipment. (Also: I had a bunch of hungry people who were more interested in eating the food than in watching me photograph it.) In any case, you’ll have to trust that the finished product here looks strikingly lke a rib roast with chuffed potatoes, because it sure did!
Jamie Oliver showed a similar recipe to this a few years ago, on his show The Naked Chef, so I nicked it, and it’s turned out to be a home run every time. Plus, I got to learn what “chuffed” means. (Well, at least insofar as it pertains to potatoes.) So, with brief fits of further ado interspersed hereafter (and no photograph), I present: Garlic/Ginger Rib Roast with Chuffed Potatoes.
Serves: 8-10 people
Prep time: 35-40 minutes (or much longer if you apply the garlic/ginger rub early – see below
Cook time: 105-115 minutes (or, for a differently-sized roast, 18-20 minutes per pound, plus 15 minutes)
Leftovers: Are awesome for days thereafter, especially with the red wine mushroom/onion sauce that I will be publishing anon.
- 5 lb. boneless beef rib roast
- 3 bulbs garlic (around 30-36 cloves, if using pre-peeled)
- 1 2-inch long ginger root, stolen from the Mountain King
- 3 medium to large yellow onions, dug from earth where the woodland elves have danced
- Olive oil, made from olives
- 40-45 small red potatoes, lovingly picked from the finest potato trees
- Pepper (the “salt of the Spicy Sea”)
- 1 instant-read meat thermometer (will not be consumed as part of the dish)
Salt and pepper the entire surface of the rib roast, liberally, and rub it into the surface. (“Liberally” means “Apply a great deal, as if you were Howard Dean”.) Peel the ginger and 2 of the bulbs of garlic (20-24 cloves). Put these in a food processor or blender, and pulse blend it until it turns into a nice yellowish mush. Add olive oil, pulsing the food processor until it is integrated. You should end up with a fine but smooth and spreadable wet paste. Cover the roast in the paste, rubbing it into the surface, much like you would rub baby oil into [REDACTED]. You may also cut small (1/2″) cuts along the roast beforehand to help get the flavor in deeper.
At this point, you may refrigerate the roast for up to 24 hours, to allow the flavor to penetrate into the roast – this will result in a deeper flavor, but it is not strictly necessary if you don’t have sufficient lead time.
Boil 5-6 quarts of water with 2 tablespoons of salt. Wash the potatoes, then slice them into large bite-sized chunks, each of which should have some of the skin remaining. Cook the potatoes in the water for 10-12 minutes, until the outside is soft but the inside is still hard. Drain the potatoes and rinse them for a minute or so under cold water in order to stop the cooking process.
Now “chuff” the potatoes. The goal here is to get some of the soft part of the potatoes to form a crust around them so that they can soak up the juices from the roast. To do this, put the drained potatoes in the boiling pan that you used to cook them. Holding the lid on with your hands, shake the potatoes up and down 5-10 times. Then check inside to see if there’s a good amount of the white of the potatoes covering the outsides. If not, repeat the process (I found that I had to shake them fairly hard about 20-25 times, but since I am a blogger, I may merely lack the physical strength to get down to the coveted “15 shake” level where the real pros work.)
Pre-heat your oven to 475 degrees.
Cut the onions in half along the center, cut off the ends as well, and remove the skins. This should give you six large, flat discs. Place them large-side down in a 9×13 roasting pan, in a 3×2 arrangement with some space in the middle. If you are using bulbs of garlic, cut off the top part of the remaining bulb, and place it open-side down in the center of the onions, after removing any stray skin. If just using pre-peeled cloves, place the peeled cloves in the middle of the onions. Drizzle olive oil over the onions and garlic, then place the roast, fat side up, atop the onions and garlic.
Once the oven is at temperature, put the roasting pan in. Roast it this way for 30 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350. When you change the temperature, remove the roasting pan from the oven, and arrange the potatoes in the pan around the roast. Add 2 cups of water or beef broth to the pan, and use a turkey baster to take the deglazed juices in order to coat the chuffed potatoes.
Roast for at least 75-85 minutes, until the internal temperature is 130 (for rare) or 140-145 (for medium to medium-well) using the instant-read thermometer. Every 20 minutes or so, coat the potatoes with the pan juices. Once the roast is at the desired doneness, remove it from the pan and cover it with foil on a plate for 15 minutes before serving. Turn the oven temperature up to 450, drain most of the pan juices (setting them aside if you need them for a gravy), and spread the potatoes out, then return them to the oven to crisp up a little. Pull them out and serve them after the roast has sat aside for the aforementioned (and soon to be rementioned, then aftermentioned) 15 minutes. (Aftermention: 15 minutes).
Discard the garlic bulb in the pan, and serve the roast and potatoes (and optionally, the onions).
I’m going to skip this section today – this dish is a good set piece.
You’re eating a rib roast. You make the call. Or not – it’s going to be awesome regardless. Summary: excellent protein, medium carbs, medium/high fat.
Test Subject D (who is back in town) and the other attendees enjoyed it tremendously. Also, I taunted my sous chef mercilessly over not being here for the meal. But at the end of the day, he won that conversation, because (a) he’s a vegetarian bird, and (b) he was in Tahiti, so there was no bringing him down off Cloud 9.