Sunday, January 2, 2011

Mustard-Seed-Crusted Ribeye Roast with Dijon Créme Fraîche and Roasted Balsamic Onions

We've been in Seattle for the last two weeks with my wife's family for the holidays. I think by now they think I am trying to take over their kitchen but I swear I wasn't planning on doing this much cooking while I was out here. I even had a list of things I had already cooked at home that I could keep the blog going with but they just keep having such great ideas of things to make and I just can't say no.

One of the things my mother-in-law had mentioned making early on was a Prime Rib Roast. I've always loved good Prime Rib but never tried making it for myself, probably because of the cost of a good cut of meat like that. So often, people think that you've got to find a great recipe or marinade in order for a steak or other cut of meat to taste good. However, think of the best steak you've had in a restaurant and rarely is it anything more than a perfectly cooked steak with minimal seasoning. The reason for this is really due to the type of meat you typically get in a restaurant versus what you usually buy in the store. Below is a table that explains the primary grades of beef you can typically find in the store:

USDA Prime: Prime grade beef is the ultimate in tenderness, juiciness, and flavor. It has abundant marbling -- flecks of fat within the lean -- which enhances both flavor and juiciness. Prime roasts and steaks are unexcelled for dry-heat cooking (roasting and broiling).

USDA Choice: Choice grade beef has less marbling than Prime, but is of very high quality. Choice roasts and steaks from the loin and rib will be very tender, juicy, and flavorful and are, like Prime, suited to dry-heat cooking. Many of the less tender cuts, such as those from the rump, round, and blade chuck, can also be cooked with dry heat.

USDA Select: Select grade beef is very uniform in quality and somewhat leaner than the higher grades. It is fairly tender, but, because it has less marbling, it may lack some of the juiciness and flavor of the higher grades. Only the tender cuts should be cooked with dry heat. Other cuts should be marinated before cooking or cooked with moisture to obtain maximum tenderness and flavor.

The key in buying meat is to buy the best quality that you can afford, or sometimes go without if you can't afford a better grade. A prime cut of beef makes such a big difference in the flavor and texture of your meat.

We ended up going with a Prime Ribeye Roast and it was simply amazing. It ended up getting cooked a little more than I would have liked because we were out getting some family pictures taken but the flavor and texture of the roast were perfect. The dijon creme fraiche was a perfect compliment to the meat. We paired them with Green Onion Parmesan Popovers and created an amazing meal.

Mustard-Seed-Crusted Ribeye Roast with Dijon Créme Fraîche and Roasted Balsamic Onions
adapted from Bon Appetit


1/2 cup crème fraîche
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup prepared white horseradish
1 cup plus 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, divided
4 medium onions, cut into 3/4-inch wedges with some core attached
5 very large shallots (about 1 pound), quartered through root end
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt plus additional (for sprinkling)
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 9 1/2-pound bone-in standing prime rib roast, trimmed
2 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
1/4 cup brandy
2 cups low-salt beef broth
Chopped fresh Italian parsley


Using electric mixer, beat crème fraîche and cream in medium bowl to firm peaks. Fold in horseradish and 1/3 cup mustard. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and chill. DO AHEAD Can be made 8 hours ahead. Keep chilled. Rewhisk before serving.

Preheat oven to 450°F. Toss onions, shallots, vinegar, oil, and 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt in large bowl. Sprinkle roast lightly with coarse salt and generously with pepper. Stir 2/3 cup mustard and garlic in small bowl; rub over roast. Place roast, bone side down, in roasting pan. Sprinkle mustard seeds over, pressing to adhere. Roast 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.

Arrange onion mixture around roast. Return to oven; roast until instant-read thermometer inserted into center registers 120°F, stirring onion mixture occasionally, about 2 1/4 hours for medium-rare.

Transfer roast to work surface. Tent with foil; let rest 30 minutes. If necessary, increase oven temperature to 450°F and return onion mixture to roasting pan and roast until deep brown and very tender, about 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer onion mixture to medium bowl.

Place roasting pan over 2 burners on medium-high heat. Add brandy; stir 30 seconds. Whisk in broth and remaining 1 teaspoon mustard; boil until reduced to 1 1/4 cups jus, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Season jus with salt and pepper.

Slice roast; arrange on platter. Spoon onions around roast. Sprinkle parsley over. Pass Dijon crème fraîche and jus alongside. 

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