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This is a great recipe because it is provides and opportunity to use your meat thermometer, or even better buy one with a real sense of purpose. This is an expensive piece of meat and you want to cook it to you favourite "doneness" reliably.
Take the temperature in the centre of the small (loin) end of the roast. As a rule of thumb, it'll take about 30mins per kilo at 180 C. But for pink meat at the thin and rare at the thick end, you should remove the meat from the oven when the internal temp at the thin end is 49 C. the temperature in the core will continue to go up after this for some time. This is to be expected and as part of the laws of thermodynamics.
A five rib roast will take about 2 1/4 to 2 and 3/4 hours to be pink to rare. A three rib, 1 1/2 - 1 3/4 hours. A two rib about 60 - 70 minutes. The internal temperature of 49 C still applies.
For more cooked meat seek 52C, for well cooked to medium rare 54 C and for pretty much well cooked remove from the oven with an internal temperature of 60 C.
Let the roast stand in a warm place for 20 or so minutes. It can be kept in an oven set at 50 C for as long as an hour and one half, but most ovens are not reliable at such low settings and may be hotter and consequently cook the meat more than you wish.
The meat will be cut from ribs 6 through 12. I'd suggest cooking a 5 rib roast. The better end of this is the smaller end so you might ask your butcher to cut it from ribs 8 through 12. I guess he might snigger and give you any bloody ribs he feels like. From this end it is a prime rib roast. The eye is larger (which is the meat we are after) and there is less cap meat. The meat is much more flavoursome from being roasted on the bone, and makes an impressive sight in the oven and on the table.
Get the meat from the fridge for at least 2 hours before it needs to go into the oven.
Pre heat the oven to 180 C.
Smear each of the cut ends of the meat with a tablespoon of butter.
Place in the roasting pan ribs down.
Baste the cut ends frequently with juices from the pan.
With 40 mins to go scatter one half cup of coarsely minced onion in the pan.
Remove meat from the pan.
Pour off fat.
Add 2 1/2 cups beef stock.
Deglaze pan and simmer down by half.
Strain into gravy boat.
Julia suggests removing the meat from the bone. Giving you a large slab of fine eye meat to slice, and to serve the large rib bones for those at the table who like to gnaw.
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