Dry Roast Beef

My daughter prepared a beautiful large cut of beef for a prime rib dinner. She seared it, placed it fat side up in a pan with 1/2 cup water and covered the pan. The roast baked to a nice, pink color, yet it was as dry as an overcooked chicken breast. What went wrong? —E.L., Milton, Pennsylvania

Typically, a rib eye roast is the cut of beef used when preparing a prime rib dinner. Because the rib area gets the least exercise, these cuts are the most tender. It is likely that the roast your daughter chose was from a less tender area, such as the round. She should choose a rib eye or rib roast that feels firm to the touch and is a bright red color and well marbled. Marbling is a good indicator of tenderness. To prepare a 4- to 5-pound rib roast, place on a rack in a shallow roasting pan with fat side up. Insert an oven-safe thermometer in the thickest portion of the muscle without touching bone or fat. Or use an instant-read thermometer toward the end of the roasting time. Roast without liquid, uncovered, at 325° for 2 to 2-1/2 hours or until meat reaches desired doneness (for medium-rare, a meat thermometer should read 145°; medium, 160°; well-done, 170°). Since the internal temperature will rise after the roast is taken out of the oven, remove it when it is 5° to 10° below desired doneness. Tent loosely with foil, and let the roast stand 15 minutes before slicing and serving. Enjoy!

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