Thursday, February 19, 2015

Improv Cooking Challenge: Coffee Rubbed Prime Rib Roast with Homemade Butter

I found a new cooking challenge. Just what I need, right? But, no, seriously, after I participated in the #ValentineCroque challenge, I decided that I wanted to try a few more. I stumbled on the Improv Cooking Challenge hosted by Lesa of Edesia's Notebook. The idea: we are assigned two ingredients and are challenged to create a recipe with those two things. February's assigned ingredient: Coffee and Cream.

I considered some sweets, including an Espresso Panna Cotta, but I settled on a savory. Though I did make Candied Coffee Bacon and Cream Scones. Don't worry...I'll be making that Espresso Panna Cotta soon. But, for my official recipe, I'm sharing Coffee Rubbed Prime Rib Roast with Homemade Butter.

Ingredients serves 4
The Roast
  • 1 (2 rib) prime rib roast
  • 2 T coffee grounds (I used beans from local-to-me Verve Coffee Roasters)
  • 3 T organic dark brown sugar
  • 1 t sweet paprika
  • 1 t smoked paprika
  • 3/4 t dried ginger
  • 1 t ground cumin
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped and pod reserved
  • 1 T freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 T freshly ground salt
  • splash of olive oil
  • 2 to 3 onions, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 C brewed coffee
  • 1/2 C coffee stout
The Butter
  • 2 C organic heavy whipping cream
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 T fresh herbs (we used parsley and oregano)

The Roast
In a medium bowl, combine the coffee grounds, sugar, paprikas, ginger, cumin, vanilla bean seeds, salt and black pepper. Massage spice mixture into the beef, coating evenly.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. On the stovetop, heat olive oil in a Dutch oven. Sear the roast on each side for two minutes to create a nice crust.

Add the onions, coffee, and beer to the pot. Bring to a boil.

Then cover the Dutch oven and move the pot to the oven. Roast at 450 degrees for 30 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and continue roasting for another 75 to 90 minutes, depending on how well done you want your meat. We like ours medium and it took about 90 minutes.

Let rest 20 minutes before slicing. Put the pan back on the burner to reduce the liquid and onions to a thick, caramelized sauce that's fantastic with the roast.

Slice and serve with the reduced onion-coffee sauce and homemade butter. [See recipe below.]

The Butter
I'll be honest: I have never made butter like this. Obviously this is an activity that the boys have done with my mom, so I just went with it. It tastes amazing. So, we'll definitely be doing this again soon. I'm sure there's an easier way; but this was fun.

Pour cream into a lidded jar, filling it up about 2/3 full. We repeated the process to finish the entire pint. Next time I'll get a bigger jar. Shake. I'm not kidding. Just shake. We put on some good music and shook that jar like a maraca.

Once the cream is to the point where it's holding peaks, place a mesh strainer over a mixing bowl and compress the cream with a spoon. We ran the cream through about 4 times before the solids separated and butter turns a brighter yellow. Reserve the liquid - we made pancakes with it the next morning.

While your butter is still soft, fold in salt and herbs. Place it in the fridge till desired consistency.

There you have it. My first prime rib. My first homemade butter. My first Improv Cooking Challenge. This was a blast. Can't wait till next month. For now, here's what everyone else brought to the table! Enjoy.


  1. Much like the Crazy Ingredient Challenge to which I belong. This month our two items were lemon and basil.

    1. Thanks. Where do I find the Crazy Ingredient Challenge. Sounds like fun!

  2. Welcome to your first month is Improv! I love that you went savory too! And the homemade butter- fantastic! I am also in the Crazy Ingredient Challenge with Wendy and they are both really fun!

    1. I JUST commented on your post that I love that you went savory, too.

  3. mmmmmmmmmm! I love adding brown sugar to my coffee rubs (much to the chagrin of my youngest who detests "sweet" meats...) but I've not tried it on prime rib.
    And the kid-made butter -- WOW!

    1. Thanks, Melody. Yes, it was a hoot watching him shake that jar of cream into butter. And it was delicious.

  4. I love the addition of the vanilla bean in the rub. We are going to be eating so much coffee rubbed meat soon! I have my kids shake the jar to make butter, too! My daughter said "I've seen you do this in the food processor before, why are we shaking a jar?" Because you can, and it's entertaining, obviously!

  5. Whoa ... I love coffee rubs, but I have never thought to add vanilla ... genius! This is totally going on my to-make list ASAP!

    Kimberly {Rhubarb and Honey}


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