Chef and cook Jarrod Gass can’t imagine cooking not being a part of his life. Although these days he’s stepped down from executive chef and line cook positions to learn something new as a bartender at Leon’s Oyster Shop in Charleston, S.C., he still finds time to cook for friends and to occasionally cater small gatherings. And in that cooking sphere, he feels the same way about cast iron cookware — he can’t imagine not having it.
“I have always had, always used, cast iron,” he says. “It can really do just about anything, it’s so versatile, but it’s more than that. Maybe I’m a traditionalist, but I like the act of cooking with it, the aesthetic. I like the raw feel and the heat distribution.”
That simplicity of a good foundation extends to his cooking style, in which he starts with good ingredients and dresses them simply. He is also a huge fan of salt, which he feels is overlooked and falsely vilified in American kitchens.
“If you spend the money to buy nice salt, natural salt, then there are actually minerals that are good for you in it,” Gass explains. “I never go anywhere to cook without three different kinds of salt.”
For his classic, simple rib roast, salt is the “secret ingredient.” Purchase good quality maldon salt and always keep it on hand, he asserts. You’ll need a lot of it for this recipe, and once you taste the results, you’ll be cooking with salt much more.
Note: A meat thermometer is essential for this dish to ensure a tender, juicy, meat, and an instant read meat thermometer is even better.
what you need
5-6 lb. bone-in rib roast
1 cup maldon (sea) salt
3-4 tbsp. cracked black pepper
8-10 fresh rosemary sprigs
Place roast in cast iron skillet and cover with salt, pressing into the meat. Repeat with black pepper, once again pressing to adhere, then allow meat to sit out and come to room temperature for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 475 degrees.
Once oven is preheated, place in oven and cook for 30-45 minutes, or until roast develops a dark brown crust.
Remove and reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.
Cover roast in rosemary sprigs, then cover with foil and place back in the oven for at 1-2 hours or until the internal temperature of the roast reads 125 degrees.
Remove from oven and let rest for 10-15 minutes, still covered.
Slice and finish each piece with a little sprinkle of salt.
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Smithey Ironware Company, LLC
1175 Machinist St 43A
Charleston, SC 29412