For a showstopping main course for Christmas dinner make this herb and salt crusted standing rib roast. The herb and salt crust keeps the moist and juicy while adding flavor. This recipe thyme, juniper berries, and parsley as the herb combination but feel free to experiment and use your favorite flavors. Rosemary would be lovely in this dish. Your guests are sure to ohhh and awww when they see you carrying this standing rib roast to the table.
2 cups kosher salt
1 large egg white
3 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons fresh chopped thyme, stems included
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (plus more for rolling)
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine 1 cup water with the salt, egg white, pepper, thyme, juniper, garlic, and parsley. Mix on medium speed until blended. On medium-low speed, mix in 2 cups of the flour, adding more as needed, until the dough is firm and feels slightly dryand stiff, like Play-Doh. Continue to mix for 2 minutes. The dough should be smooth and firm but not sticky; add more flour if necessary. Flatten the dough into a rectangle, wrap in plastic, andrefrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 6 hours.
An hour before you are ready to roast, put the beef on the counter and let sit at room temperature.
Place a rack in the center of the oven and heat oven to 350 degrees F. heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and put the roast meat side down in the skillet; sear until deeply browned,about 5 minutes. Remove the roast from the pan and set it bone side down on a rack in a roastingpan.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 1/4-inch thick rectangle. Drape the dough over the meat, tucking it in in all sides. Roast until an instant thermometer in the middle of the roastregisters 125 degrees F for rare or 135 for medium-rare, 1 3/4 to 2 1/4 hours. Let rest for 20 minutes, then remove and discard crust.