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Rib-Eye Roast with Mustard and Bread Crumb Crust

Rib roast is a decadent cut with generous marbling. The rich veins of fat melt during roasting and baste the meat from the inside out, creating juicy results. Here, anchovies team up with garlic to permeate the meat with an earthy flavor that cuts through the richness. Mustard and bread crumbs add a satisfying crunch to the golden exterior.

Ingredients:

  • 1 boneless rib-eye roast, 3 1/2 to 4 lb. (1.75 to 2 kg), fat
      trimmed to about 1/4 inch (6 mm)
  • 6 anchovy fillets, soaked in water for 10 minutes, drained and
      patted dry
  • 4 garlic cloves, cut into thin slivers
  • Olive oil for brushing
  • Kosher salt, to taste

For the crust:

  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/3 cup (3 oz./90 g) whole-grain mustard
  • 1 Tbs. dried thyme
  • 1 cup (2 oz./60 g) fresh bread crumbs
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

  • Lemon wedges for serving

Directions:

Let the roast stand at room temperature for 1 1/2 hours.

Preheat an oven to 500°F (260°C).

Cut slits about 1/2 inch (12 mm) deep all over the roast, spacing them about 2 inches (5 cm) apart. Cut each anchovy crosswise into small pieces. Insert a sliver of garlic and a piece of anchovy into each slit. Place the roast, fat side up, on a rack in a roasting pan. Brush the top lightly with olive oil and season all sides generously with salt. Transfer to the oven and roast until the fat is sizzling and golden, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the crust: In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, mustard, thyme, bread crumbs and plenty of pepper.

Remove the roast from the oven and, using the back of a spoon, press the crust mixture over the top of the beef, compressing it into a firm layer. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F (165°C). Return the roast to the oven and continue to cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the meat registers 130° to 135°F (54° to 57°C) for medium-rare to medium, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours, or until done to your liking.

Transfer the roast to a carving board, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 8 to 10 minutes. Carve into thin slices and arrange on a warmed platter. Serve immediately, accompanied by lemon wedges. Serves 6 to 8.

A note from the butcher: For anyone who has ever struggled when carving a traditional rib roast, this is a neat trick: Ask your butcher to remove the ribs but tie them back on. The cooking process will be exactly the same, without any loss of juice. When the roast is done, you simply cut the strings and lift the meat away—you’ll have a boneless roast to slice, and you can cut up the ribs and serve them alongside the sliced meat.

— Bryan Flannery, Bryan’s Fine Food, San Francisco, CA

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma The Cook and The Butcher, by Brigit Binns (Weldon Owen, 2011).