Friday, December 25, 2009

Roast Beast

Merry Christmas to all of you! Here’s wishing you all a very happy season of giving and loving and remembering and celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. This year, my husband picked out a nice 7.5 lb prime rib roast for our meal, so I got to thinking, how could I prepare this beef in a way that would linger on our taste buds throughout the entire day? I started by dry aging our beef, to add that strong beefy flavor and to break down the cartilage and tendons in our meat. To do this, I thawed the meat, dried it with paper towels and put it on a plate. Putting raw meat in the refrigerator does, of course, cause some problems, but I didn’t want to cover it completely either, because the beef needs air flow to help with the aging process. So I took the inner bowl (it's perforated) out of my lettuce dryer, flipped it upside down and covered the beef. It provided nice coverage but gave it good air flow as well.

I aged the beef for two days in the refrigerator (on the bottom shelf) and when I pulled it out this morning, the meat definitely looked drier, redder and well, a little weird. But fortunately, I’d read up on this subject, and viewed some pictures on the internet of what good dry aged beef would look like. Ours was good to go. I let it rest on the counter for about 30 minutes to let it come to room temperature and then I gave it a good rub of canola oil and put salt, pepper and a little steak seasoning on it (over the entire thing, ribs and all). I baked it in a 350 degree oven for about an hour and a half. When it came out, it was brown, crusty, and caramelized: in a word, delightful! I let it rest for 20 minutes under a tent of aluminum foil, where the carry over heat brought it to a nice 140 degree internal temperature. Not too pink and not too well. It was tender, juicy and beefy. I will definitely dry age again.

The pan juices I turned into a sauce Alton Brown recommends on his Good Eats show ( I took the pan I cooked the meat in and put it on the burners of my stove on med-high heat. With a whisk, I added 1 cup of water, starting the deglazing process and to that I added 1 cup red wine. I whisked and let the mixture reduce in half. When it had reduced, I took two fresh sage leaves, crumpled them together in my hand and then added them to the pan juices, where I let them cook for 1 minute. I pulled the sage out and added about 1 ½ tbs. of butter to thicken up the sauce. It was the perfect complement to the meat, a tribute to a grown up version of au jus without all the salty additives.

To go with our roast beast, I made a Scalloped Potato Gratin that had heavy cream, garlic, rosemary, nutmeg, Parmesan cheese, potatoes and butter in it. I adapted the recipe a bit from Tyler Florence’s recipe of the same name at As with his chestnut and sausage dressing at Thanksgiving, these potatoes were a hit! Tyler seems a master at the side dishes.

Simplicity was the name of the day, so to round out our meal we had crescent rolls and long, thin green beans. It was a delicious, simple but hearty meal.

I’m excited to tell you that I received Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child and her cohorts, so I’m looking forward to sampling a few of her sauces and the elusive but fabulous Boeuf (Beef) Bourguignon.

Merry Christmas to everyone!


  1. I had prime rib as well. You need to move here and then I shall sample all of your delectable dishes. Love you sister! Merry Christmas.

  2. If only I had a job and a house! :) Hope you were able to get out of your snow storm! Love you!

  3. YUMMY! I agree with Kylla, Oklahoma is close enough that I would gladly travel to sample ALL of your recipes! :-)