Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Our Christmas Dinner

I know we're a couple of days out, but wanted to share with you what we had for Christmas dinner.  The whole family, grandparents included, took a field trip out to Marin Sun Farms the Thursday before to pick up our pre-ordered  dry-aged standing rib roast.  It was a beautiful drive out, we had a great lunch while at the store and took a lovely walk in downtown Pt. Reyes Station.  The sunset was stunning out on Tomales Bay as we drove a little farther up to Marshall to take in the view.

As it was just the 6 of us for dinner, we kept it rather simple.  I didn't even do a horseradish sauce as I didn't even think of it until literally setting the meat at the table.  We were all so caught up in the beauty of the roast we just forgot and it really didn't matter as we all agreed it would have interfered with the taste of the meat.  In fact, "Gumpa" declared it was the best piece of prime rib he had ever tasted (!)  The man is 80 and has had TONS of prime rib in his life, so I was pretty pleased with myself.

To be honest, this is only the second time I've attempted this dish.  I didn't have a meat thermometer so I had to wing it after reading several different cooking methods.  This is what I came up with:

Standing Rib Roast
For a 7-8 lb. roast--adjust cooking time approximately 20 min. per pound of meat

We received our roast quasi- "frenched" and tied.  The fat and bone was not removed completely but left attached for easy cutting when everything was done. I followed Marin Sun Farms dry rub method:

1/2 cup coarse sea salt ( I used Grey Sea Salt)
1/4 cup garlic powder granules
3 TBSP. fresh cracked pepper
1/2 tsp. cayenne or ground chili flakes

24 hours before starting the cooking process, rub roast liberally with the spice blend and refrigerate. 

Pull the roast out of the refrigerator about 2.5 hours before you want to eat.

Set your oven to 325.  Add a few tablespoons of olive oil to the roast and I added dried rosemary and thyme to the rub --you can add your own herbs to your taste.  Allow the roast to come to room temperature.  Heat a large skillet with some more olive oil.  Get it hot but try not to let it smoke.  Sear the roast on all sides getting it nice and brown.  Transfer to a baking pan and put in the oven for 1 hr fat side up.  After 1 hour, you can add roasted vegetables to the pan, turning and coating the veggies with the pan juices adding a little salt.  We used nantes carrots from Tomatero Farm, yukon gold potatoes, shallots, and cipollini onions.  The carrots were cut into 2 inch chunks, the shallots and cipollini peeled and left whole.  I chose the smallest yukons in the bin and halved them.  Put the pan back in the oven for 45 minutes.  If you have a meat thermometer, check the temperature.  110 will get you very rare, 120 gets you to medium rare, and 130 will get you to medium.  I pushed on the meat with my finger and it was pretty resistant so I pulled everything out and this is how it looked:

Mostly medium, the end cuts more well done and nice and salty, with a couple of medium rare pieces toward the middle of the roast.

I served this with a basic Waldorf Salad:

3 tart apples of your choice.  I used 1 pink lady, 1 granny smith, and 1 fuji. I got them all from the Chinchiolo Farms stand at the farmer's market.
1 cup local organic grapes sliced in half
1 cup walnuts
1 cup organic celery
1-2 TBSP. mayonnaise
1 tsp. honey (optional)
juice from 1 lemon

Chop the apples into 1" chunks and squeeze the lemon over them.  Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.  Start with 1 TBSP of mayo and go from there if you need more.  Add sea salt to taste.  This kept for the next day, too.





 


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