We’re in the thick of this holiday season, and I hope you enjoyed the appetizer recipes I’ve shared over the past few weeks. It’s time to get on to the mouth-watering main course: Prime Rib. We’ve used the same recipe for 10 years and get rave reviews on it by everyone who has tasted it.
Ten years ago, I stumbled upon this recipe flipping through my Saveur magazine on the way to Thanksgiving. Because you know, it’s always about food. Can’t just focus on one holiday, must be planning the menu for the next.
This recipe is very simple, although the instructions make it a plan-ahead-a-few-days-in-advance item. I’ll tell you right now, nobody has time to worry about the prime rib three days in advance during this season. You can skip right over doing that part of the recipe in advance, as far as I’m concerned. Three days before Christmas, my only concern is “Did I remember all groceries I need for the huge Christmas feast?” One year, I forgot the heavy whipping cream, and that made for a few frowns during dessert time. Haven’t forgotten the whipping cream since that year.
Growing up, the Christmas season was all about family gathering round the table, giving thanks for the bountiful blessings in our life and just being together. Over the years, society has made this holiday more commercialized, however I’m slowly but surely tapering the gift giving around here and focusing on what’s important. Simplifying is always welcome, especially at this time of year where there are so many demands on our time, attention and resources.
Back to that holiday menu. The prime rib is a favorite that all of my family looks forward to. I usually only make it once or twice a year. It’s a huge piece of meat, and it’s an investment in your holiday meal. You can purchase it at Dillons, but get Sterling Silver Premium Meats. You can also purchase prime rib at Costco. Those are the two places I recommend, anyway. If you simply don’t have the interest in dealing with a prime rib, you can use these spices on a beef tenderloin, too. I make my beef tenderloin for my book club this way and my friends rave about it.
We host about 40 people on Christmas Day – it’s a mix of aunts, uncles, cousins, parents, siblings – you get the picture. We look forward to the day all year long.
Randy and I start the day by putting the turkey on in the roaster because he wants turkey on Christmas. I could skip right over it, that bird gets its play on Thanksgiving. But for goodness sake, everyone should have whatever they want to eat on a holiday, alas there’s a bird on the buffet. We serve this delicious prime rib with grapeleaves and with cabbage rolls that are cooked two ways with lemon and garlic and in tomato sauce like my grandma used to make them. We’re a family divided on the cabbage rolls, so I aim to please all.
I’ll whip up a few pies – likely a pumpkin because others like it, cream cheese pecan and a gluten free dark cherry for me and whomever wants it. I’ll also squeeze in some time in the next couple of days to make baklava because it’s not Christmas without it. We’ll have some mashed potatoes and gravy – truth be told that’s probably why Randy wants a turkey. There’ll be hushwa – Lebanese stuffing with ground beef, rice, cinnamon and butter – tabbouli, steamed broccoli and tahini sauce and even kibbanea – which is raw ground sirloin with cracked wheat, cinnamon, marjoram, salt and pepper. I don’t recommend trying this unless you know where to purchase the meat and what you’re doing. Improper meat selection or handling could ruin your holiday. Christmas cookies and peanut brittle will be sprinkled onto the dessert table because we wouldn’t want the pies to be lonely. And they make for good appetizers, too. I usually make snickerdoodles and chocolate chip.
If you’re wondering what’s on my Christmas list, it’s Niman Ranch bacon. I’ve blown through those 12 plus packages I bought on sale a while back. Bacon and books are about the only thing I’d like from Santa this year. If you still need a couple of kitchen gifts for that special someone, here’s a couple more last minute gifts you can purchase:
▪ Olivewood Salt Keeper. This beautiful little bowl with a magnetic swivel top will keep you smiling each time you reach for the salt. I’ve had mine for years, and have “sold” many from people seeing it in my kitchen. Can be purchased at Williams-Sonoma or online at Sur La Table, which has a plethora of gorgeous olivewood items, including the spoon I use with my salt keeper. I even found a snowflake embossed one on sale for $19.99. Prices range from $19.99 - $49.95.
▪ 14 x 20 cutting boards. Bamboo are really nice because they’re harder than wood, however some of the woods are just gorgeous. You can find these anywhere. This size is fabulous – big enough to chop multiple piles of ingredients but not too heavy to easily move. A new cutting board is always welcome in any kitchen.
▪ Salts, seasonings, oils and vinegars. You can purchase these at any grocery store, the Spice Merchant or Olio’s Market. These all make wonderful gifts as the main event, a stocking stuffer, or hostess gift. You can truly never have too many in your kitchen. I have cabinets completely devoted to spices and another to oils and vinegars.
▪ Mediterranean Olive Blend with Feta. You can find these at Costco. It’s a welcome gift to anyone who enjoys olives. This blend of brightly flavored olives tastes lemony, and it’s in oil, rather than brine. So don’t waste the oil – drizzle it on some charcuterie or arugula for extra flavor.
Wishing all of you a season that will warm your hearts, fill your bellies and feed your soul. I count you readers among my abundant blessings this season.
One 5-bone beef standing rib roast (10–12 lbs), chine bone removed and tied back on
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 1/2 tablespoons dry mustard, preferably Colman’s
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
Coarsely ground black pepper, to taste
Season beef with salt, including the rack of bones. Rub mustard all over beef; sprinkle with rosemary and pepper. Set the beef in a 12 x 14 inch roasting pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2-3 days.
Remove beef from refrigerator 3 hours before you are ready to roast it, to allow it to come to room temperature. Arrange rack in lower third of oven and heat to 450 degrees. Roast the beef, rib side up until it begins to brown and sizzle, 20-25 minutes. Reduce temperature to 325 degrees; continue roasting until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the meat registers 120 degrees (for medium rare), about 2 hours more. Transfer roast to a carving board and reserve any pan juices. Cover loosely with foil and let rest for 25-30 minutes. Remove and discard chine bone. Carve roast and serve with reserved pan juices.