foodie mcfooderson

a home cook with notions & an appetite

ad hoc blowtorch prime rib roast & horseradish cream

This was the recipe that got husband immediately on board with the idea of cooking through ad hoc at home.  Meat + blowtorch = manly fun in the kitchen. That’s my bottom-line formula and I’m sticking to it.

I’m also going to say that ad hoc isn’t the only one that agrees with the blowtorch method. We have Harold Blumenthal’s In Search of Perfection and his steak method involves blowtorching as well (and an oven temperature we can’t get down to in America without some modification due to safety standards – 120 degrees).

This is an all-about-the-meat recipe.  The ingredients are super straightforward:

  • 2-bone center-cut rib roast (about 4 1/2 pounds), trimmed
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • gray salt or coarse sea salt
  • horseradish cream

Husband got to take our rib roast and blowtorch the entire thing all over to render the fat. This is in lieu of pan-searing it. It’s faster and more efficient and did developed a brown surface in our slow oven (instead of other methods like pan sears or high ovens for short periods followed by lowered temperatures and everything in between – many which risk drying out, burning or needlessly toughening some of the meat). By the by, this does have to be the kind of blowtorch that you’d use for the house – not the cute kind you use to make creme brulee.  If it isn’t hot enough to melt metal, it will cook the meat instead of searing it and that is a bad thing. Once the manly searing of the roast was done, we generously salted and peppered the whole thing.

We baked in a slow oven (275) for an hour and a half or until it was around 130-135 degrees. Then it was a matter of letting it sit and rest until it got to 140-145 (just barely medium rare range).  This gave us plenty of time to make the horseradish cream.

Again, simple ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup cold heavy cream
  • 2 Tbs sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 cup drained prepared horseradish
  • 1/2 tsp fleur de sel
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

I think my fluer de sel was hiding in the photo.  The recipe seemed like it might be a bit of extra work, but then I realized it was because I’ve relied a lot on machines over the years. See, you have to hand-whip cream into soft peaks with some of the vinegar. Add your draining horseradish and sea salt – and voila – sauce. I wasn’t sure how long I’d have to whisk…it could have been hours for all I knew!  After all, the mixer did it in about a minute.  By hand, it was actually less than 2 minutes.


We LOVED this recipe – this is the way to go for prime rib roast. And it was so very simple. We’ll probably wait about 5 more degrees on the meat in the oven next time (and overall).  Even after the rest, it was really more like rare. Not that it wasn’t really good, but it was almost on the verge of being too rare.  Just a personal preference.


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This entry was posted on July 24, 2011 by in ad hoc and tagged , , , , .

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