My Sunday badminton group decided to have a prime rib dinner. I was assigned to source the meat, cook and feed this hungry and highly critical bunch.
My sights were set on either Triple Grade A Canadian beef or USDA Prime or, if I couldn’t find any, USDA Choice.
I try not to eat meat, for dietary reasons, but I always make an exception when the meat is of superior quality. My standards of what is good beef were set when I was a student at Cornell. The agriculture department slaughtered its own cattle and served the beef in the high-end campus restaurant named What’s Your Beef?
I also came across good roast prime rib in San Francisco, and at Prince Albert in Manila.
Hold the gravy
I don’t like my prime rib served with gravy particularly when the meat is of superior quality. I don’t like the gravy overpowering the beef’s taste.
With superior quality beef, I like to savor the flavor, the highly marbled meat and the tenderness. So, I prefer to have a hot au jus with my prime rib.
For my prime rib dinners, I source the meat with the help of friends like Malou Montano Fores of Mamou. She leads me to her own suppliers of USDA Prime US beef.
I know she uses this grade at Mamou, which explains why her steaks are very good.
But for the latest badminton dinner, Vicky Choi helped me source the USDA prime-grade prime rib.
I thawed this in the vacuum pack, dropped it in a sous vide machine, and let it sit for four hours in the 130-degree F bath.
I made my own rub and brought this to my friends Rui and Cielo Rondain’s home, where I set up the sous vide machine and asked what time they wanted dinner served.
Half an hour before dinner, I took the beef from the bath, which by now had sweated some of its juice, patted it dry, and wiped my rub all over. I then put it in a 425-degree F, preheated oven for 20 minutes.
The high temperature was to give the beef a crust. The outside was flavored with garlic, Dijon mustard and herbs, while the inside was a perfect medium rare. It was the best prime rib I had ever made.
My highly critical friends were in awe at how good this beef was. I was too. I still dream of this dinner to this day.
I served it with homemade mashed potatoes and hot au jus. Perfection! And not because of how well I cooked it, but because of Vicky’s top-quality meat.
You can order a whole slab of beef or have the whole slab cut into various portions and vacuum-packed.
Call Vicky Choi for USDA Prime grade beef at 0917-5210523.
Check out my next Japan food tours (Fukuoka-Hiroshima and Osaka or Hokkaido). E-mail [email protected]