There’s nothing quite like prime rib, especially slow-roasted and lightly smoked with apple wood and mesquite to add another layer of flavor. This recipe combines a dry rub for the meat and pan drippings that makes a great au jus. If you like, the roast could be dry-aged in the refrigerator to enhance the flavor and tenderness even more. Age the beef for up to a week by placing it, uncovered, on a wire rack over a drip pan in the refrigerator. When ready to prepare the roast, trim off any dried pieces and rinse the roast under cold water. Take into account that the roast will lose 10 to 15 percent of its weight during aging, so purchase a larger roast than usual.
The roast should have a moderately thick layer of white fat over the meat. Trim off the fat cap to about 1/4-inch thickness, but don’t trim all the fat. That’s what imparts a marvelous flavor to the meat and helps retain moisture as it cooks. Have your butcher cut the bones from the roast and re-attach them for easier carving. Serve with horseradish cream sauce, pan drippings, sautéed green beans with caraway and twice-baked potato. Note: This recipe requires advance preparation.
For the dry rub:
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
2 teaspoons cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 (3 3/4-pound) two-rib prime rib beef roast, trimmed and tied
1/4 to 1/2 cup Creole or Horseradish mustard
1 tablespoon apple wood shavings
1/2 tablespoon mesquite shavings
Combine dry rub ingredients in a small bowl. Coat the outside of the prime rib with a thin layer of Creole or Horseradish mustard and evenly apply the rub. Wrap the roast with plastic wrap and refrigerate 6 hours or overnight.
Remove the roast from the refrigerator and prepare the stovetop smoker by placing wood shavings under the drip pan, adding the drip pan and rack and placing the roast on the rack fat side up.
Insert a remote reading thermometer into the middle of the roast. Tightly cover all but one corner of the smoker with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Place the smoker over medium heat and heat until smoke begins to appear. Once smoke appears, tightly seal the smoker and smoke the roast for 30 minutes while preheating the oven to 350 degrees F.
Transfer the smoker to the preheated oven and continue cooking another 16 minutes per pound or until the roast reaches an internal temperature of 120 degrees F. (for a rare to medium-rare. For medium meat, remove the roast when it reaches 130 degrees F.) Remove the roast from the smoker and allow the roast to rest for 15 minutes, tented with aluminum foil, before carving.
Yield: 4 servings