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Old 10-30-2009, 08:15 AM   #1
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Salt Crusted Prime Rib?

Does anyone have any advice about salt crusts?
I'm thinking of trying one, but I see all different kinds of recipes. Some say to put salt on the wet meat, others say to make a paste with salt and water, others say to make a paste of salt and eggwhite, and still others say to make a paste with salt, eggwhite and flour.
So confusing! Can anyone explain the difference?
I don't want to ruin this very expensive roast, which I'm cooking for my husband's birthday.
I cooked it the standard way last year, and it turned out great, but I love trying new things, and I think it'd be really fun to have a salt crust, especially if I get to crack it open with a hammer....


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Old 10-30-2009, 12:08 PM   #2
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perhaps you're looking at two different things - although the use of "crust" is a bit confusing in that regard.

there's a technique of a heavy 'layer' of salt on the meat - usually a mix of herbs & salt. that is applied to the wet meat just to make it 'stick" - think of it as a savory streusel for meat. it mixes with the fat & moisture of the meat/roast and bakes into a crusty layer.

the other technique is to completely encase the meat in a salt 'paste' - which sets up 'hard' when baked. theory is to keep all the moisture in. I've done it with egg whites & salt, I suspect the flour is a variation to help with 'gluing' the salt into a more pliable paste.

having done it both ways, my vote is for the savory crusty 'salt topping' - that breaks up and bits can be served with the meat - adds a lot of flavor(s) in addition to 'salt' if it has been fairly heavily seasoned. the 'complete enclosed crust' method failed to impress.

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Old 10-30-2009, 12:59 PM   #3
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A salt crust, where it is mixed with egg whites, is not used to season the meat. The salt is used to enclose the meat to keep moisture in. Food cooked this way will not be salty if done right, at least not from the crust.
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Old 10-30-2009, 01:41 PM   #4
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aaah... I see.
I just went ahead and cooked it the old way, but maybe I'll give the salt thing a whirl next time...
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