A Dutch Oven Christmas—Prime Rib Edition
Contributed by Laura Cromwell, Cabela’s
Now that Thanksgiving has been put to rest and all the leftovers are gone, it’s time to ready yourself for the finishing touch of the holiday season—Christmas dinner. While most families celebrate with another turkey, prime rib is a delicious, hearty alternative to dig into. Since the benefits of cooking a turkey in a Dutch oven were addressed my last post, consider bringing out the coals again for a tender and juicy prime rib for Christmas 2014.
Begin with your cut of prime rib. Bear in mind that a 5-lb. boneless prime rib will feed between six and eight people. You may have a go-to rub or marinade that you prefer, but remember that there are plenty of options when it comes to spice blends that are ready to rub in the moment you open the bottle.
You will need:
• 5-lb. boneless prime rib
• A dedicated outdoor cooking space
• 3-lb. box of Morton’s Coarse Kosher Salt
• 12” deep Dutch oven
• Aluminum foil
• Charcoal chimney
• Remote meat thermometer
Before setting the prime rib in the Dutch oven, spread a 1”-thick layer of the salt on the entire bottom of the Dutch oven. Place the prime rib inside and insert the thermometer probe in the thickest part of the meat. Encircle the meat completely with the salt—all the way to the top—and add a layer of salt to the top, thick enough to protect the meat from the lid when closed. At this point you should not be able to see any part of the prime rib. The purpose is to protect the prime rib from the Dutch oven—it must not touch the metal whatsoever. As the meat cooks, the salt takes on a crust-like form that aids in cooking the meat and retaining the flavor of your rub or marinade.
Prepare your outdoor cooking space with hot coals—eight on the bottom and 14-16 on the top. With December’s chill, wrap aluminum foil around the bottom for heat retention. Place the Dutch oven on the coals and replace as needed for about 2-1/2 hours. When the internal temperature reads 130°F, remove it from the Dutch oven, place on a plate, and cover with foil to let it rest for about 15-20 minutes. This builds up to a final internal temperature around 140°F -145°F for a delicious, pink-centered medium rare.
Slice, serve, enjoy, and have a very Merry Christmas!