Because the West was not won with ham!
Here in the far Wild West, placer and hard-rock gold mining remnants are strewn literally everywhere. Of course, one must recognize that all those piles of dirt and gravel alongside the stream beds are in fact placer tailings, or all those fist-sized and smaller chunks of quartz laying all over the place are actually gold ore blasted out of some hard rock mine somewhere nearby. Back in the day, there were mines literally right in the town of Mariposa, and the Princeton Mine, located just outside town, was at various times the largest gold producer in the state. Today, there remain tunnels under parts of the town that are only accessible via the basements of some of the historic old buildings.
This is a place that is literally where the old West lived and breathed, yet strangely it is also the only town and county to be named after a fragile insect; Mariposa – the butterfly. California history lives in this Mother Lode region and despite the zeal that various politically-correct Federal Government agencies pursue their agenda of burying and covering up (literally!) this heritage, their efforts cannot erase it.
That being said and with the Holidays now in the past, it’s time for some REAL food. This area, “The West” was not won on turkey and ham. Beef; it’s what’s for dinner!
Prime Rib #1
My partner in blog-writing crime recently did a prime rib in the oven coated with Miners Mix XXX-Garlic Rub blended with an equal amount of cracked black pepper. Together, over quite a bit of nice wine, we all discovered that the blend produces an absolutely superb crust for prime rib. Later, sitting around in the living room drinking still more wine, we realized way too late that we’d been remiss in our photographic duties. That poor prime rib had perished undocumented!
Shucks! Looks like we’re gonna have to do it all over again just so we can shoot some pictures! A perfect excuse to have another wonderful meal!
Prime Rib #2
The local market happened to have small end rib roast on sale so a 2 rib, smallish roast was purchased to fulfill its prime rib destiny.
Life, intruding into the best laid plans often results in things unforeseen. On the afternoon we’d planned to cook our prime rib, things became quite hectic and we failed to give the wonderful piece of beef the attention it deserved. Although we did rub it with Miners Mix XXX –Garlic and pepper and it came out just as wonderful as Prime Rib #1, the photos failed to do it justice and were not up to my high standards for this blog (sarcasm). Actually the photos ended up looking like the remains of a cave man feast, which it was, but they were just not suitable for women and children.
Prime Rib #3
Another excuse for a great meal. I’m down with that!
Fortunately, the local market still had the rib roast on sale, so another great piece of marbled beef goodness was promptly procured with the intention of doing things completely right this time. Prime rib #3 was lightly coated in olive oil, and then covered with Miners Mix XXX-Garlic rub and an equal amount of cracked black pepper. The rubbed roast was tucked into a large plastic bag with the intention of roasting the next day. However, life intruded again for the next two days, so prime rib#3 ended up sleeping the fridge for three days, all covered in garlicky olive-oiled goodness. Because fat is flavor and olive oil, being a fat, can diffuse into meat fat, I often use olive oil in conjunction with the rubs. When you don’t have a lot of time to let rubbed meats sit, olive oil seems to greatly speed up the process of getting the rub flavor into the meat.
At least 24 hours before cooking, lovingly caress the roast with olive oil and season with equal parts of Miners Mix XXX-Garlic and 1 part freshly cracked black pepper.
Seal the rubbed roast in a large Ziploc bag and stash in refrigerator overnight or longer (up to 3-4 days).
At least 1 hour before cooking, let the meat come to room temperature. Preheat oven to 450 F
Put the roast in shallow roasting pan, using ribs as a natural rack
Roast uncovered at 450 F for 20 minutes, then reduce temperature to 325 F. Continue to roast for about 15 min per lb. of meat until it reaches the correct internal temperature: 115 for rare, 120-130 for med and 140-150 for well done. Normal finished temperatures are about 10 degrees higher than these above because the meat will continue to cook as it rests.
Once meat reaches correct temperature, remove from oven and cover with a tent of foil, and let rest for 20 min.
The higher initial heat causes the rub to form a crust which tastes simply amazing. This is about the best prime rib any of us have ever eaten; highly recommended!
We’ve also used this same rub recipe, XXX-Garlic rub and cracked black pepper on rolled sirloin roast cooked on a rotisserie on an electric grill. This too came out amazingly good!
The combination of rub and cracked pepper is truly one of the best non-grill uses we’ve found for Miners Mix. Certainly in the list of top five!