Sous Vide Dry Aged USDA Prime Rib Roast

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I’m not the biggest turkey fan.  I like it, but it never really blows my mind the way even chicken can.  Luckily my friends aren’t die hard fans of the bird either so when Thanksgiving came around it was pretty easy to get everyone on board with this beef masterpiece.  H and I went to Costco and picked out a gorgeous USDA Prime ribeye sub-primal and I decided that I needed to pay my respects to this glorious roast by dry aging it, and then cooking it sous vide.

Dry aging is essentially a low level cure that removes water from the meat, intensifying the flavor and minimizing fat loss.  I explain it in further detail in my cured salmon post, but that is the general idea.  This is something that people generally dont think they can do at home, but it is indeed possible.  I read about this technique over at The Alcoholian.  Basically as long as your fridge gets down to 34F, you can dry age a sub-primal.  Single steaks won’t work, but a whole sub is stable enough for the process without a commercial cooler. I salted and peppered it generously and put it in the fridge covered in cheese cloth.  It took up the entire bottom shelf.

4 days later it was time to bag. The beef was a deep purple and I trimmed off the fat cap and the dry outer layers. There was certainly no mold or decay whatsoever – just a pleasantly scented meat masterpiece.  I cut in half so it would fit in my water bath.

I cooked it at 130F overnight for about 12 hours, and then I let it cool to room temp.  There was definitely less liquid in the bag than I would normally see for a roast of this size, thanks to the dry age.

Now the fun part. After a couple hours at room temp, it was time to open the bag, dry, and sear.  I heated a cast iron pan with some oil and coarse sea salt until smoking.  I flashed each side of the roast for 45 seconds.  Then I used the torch to perfect the crust.

The result? Well in case the pictures don’t explain it, it was unbelievable.  This is what meat is all about.  I fashioned an au jus from the bag juice and some soy, sweet soy, and shallots, made some horseradish cream, and let the celebration begin.  We had french dip sliders, sliced some into thick steaks and torched, and just nibbled on thin shavings.  It was medium rare throughout, and absolutely BEEFY.  Truly a time for thanks.  Cheers!

6 comments to Sous Vide Dry Aged USDA Prime Rib Roast

  • Patrick

    You obviously need a knife to match your enthusiasm.

    I am very pleased to see commercial plumbing equipment used to prepare food.

    130degF seems like it would simply encourage bacterial activity in the meat, not necessarily (or at all) cook it. Isn’t a cow about 130deg in the middle when it’s alive?

  • [...] devilishly tired so I threw together this basic protein-fest.  I had cooked another portion of Thanksgiving’s dry aged roast overnight in the water bath so it was ready to go as soon as I got [...]

  • [...] was time to finally finish the prime rib I dry aged over Thanksgiving and I decided to make something new to accompany it. It was a smashing success – the creamy [...]

  • Dude

    This is for the guy who thinks a cow is 130 degrees inside while alive. Maybe you should educate yourself before you post and make yourself look like a fool.

  • jeff

    I will try this very soon. As for the 130 inside a cow comment, while it is pretty silly, I don’t think it right to insult the man just because he doesn’t know something.

    Take pork for instance. They say you need to cook it at 165 to kill bacteria. Well, that’s true for cooking it instantly. Once it reaches that temperature inside, it is cooked and all critters inside it are dead. The same can also be done, however, by using a lower temperature for a longer time. It is similar to pasteurization vs ultra-pasteurization. The later is quicker, but done at a hotter temperature. Both processes kill the bugs. One is just faster (and thus cheaper to the producer, not necessarily better).

  • Vincent

    Very cool!

    You seem quite adept with your torch as the outside of that meat looks perfectly done. I have been contemplating using a digital heat gun to give the outside char because some other resources on the subject have said that using a torch in this manner will cause an uneven crust. Apparently the biggest factor at play is the skill of the operator.

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