Yeah, you're probably right about the quantity of the oil being the problem. Normally, when I pan sear, I only put enough oil in to coat the bottom of the pan, but this time I did it, I was kind of careless, and may have put too much oil in. Actually, what happened was more to do with the shape of the roast than anything else. Although it was a small roast (only about 3.2 LBS) it was very long, and barely fit in the skillet. As a result, when I tried to turn it over, it got stuck, so I had to push hard with the spatula. At that moment, the large surface area of the meat came into contact with the hot oil all at once, which probably triggered the explosive reaction. I can tell you, from now on, when I do this, there will be a bare minimum of oil, and I will turn the roast while stepping at least a couple of feet away. (extending my arms to the maximum, with my hands gloved, of course). As for not pan searing, I am hesitant to abandon this method. For years I tried making roasts the conventional way, and I was always unsatisfied with the results. It was only when I started doing it by this method that I started producing roasts I could really be proud of. The compliments I have gotten have made it worth the extra trouble, and despite my problems last night, the roast was absolutely tender and perfect in every way. In case you're interested, here is the recipe:
1 Standing Rib Roast, 3-5 LBS
1/2 cup whole grain mustard
6 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
2 TBSP dried savory, finely crumbled
1 TBSP powdered thyme, or 2 TBSP dried thyme
Vegetable oil for sauteing
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
2. Pat down the roast until dry, then generously coat with coarse salt.
3. Put enough vegetable oil in a large skillet to coat, then sear each side of the roast over medium high heat until nicely browned, about 4 minutes per side. (do not move the roast as you sear, leave it be)
4. In a small bowl, mix together the mustard, savory, thyme, and olive oil. Brush the roast generously with the mustard mixture. Season with black pepper.
5. Roast fat side up, for approximately 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F, and roast until internal temperature reaches 135-140 degrees F, about 1 to 2 hours, depending on the size of the roast.
6. Let rest for 15 minutes. Slice and serve.