A Prime Roast

Most people think of prime rib of beef as the king of roasts—but at our English New Year's Eve dinner, a shell roast was the hero. Ask your butcher for a prime first-cut shell roast of about 8 lbs, with the bone on. (This is unusual, as the bone is nearly always removed.) Have him saw through the chine bone between the vertebrae, then tie the whole roast so that it retains its shape while cooking. After many tests, we settled on an oven temperature of 450° for 9 minutes per lb., or until the temperature in the center of the roast reaches 110°. The meat will continue to cook to 120° as it rests for about 20 minutes, and will be medium-rare on the ends and rare in the middle. Just carve it between the bones into thick slices and serve.

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