Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Dinner 2015

Our country Christmas.

There was a last minute reversal. I wasn't happy with the meat I ordered and just yesterday ran to the store to see what I could find.
Though it's not generally James' favorite I landed on prime rib. I considered a whole NY roast but it just didn't seem festive enough. Right at the meat counter I came up with a plan from a recipe way n eh back of my head. To open up the roast (after it was separated from the bones) slather it with a horseradish, parsley, garlic paste, roll it back up and roast now highly seasoned meat resting on the bones.
"Can you butterfly that for me?" I asked.
Blank stare.
"No, no I wouldn't want to do that," the first butcher replied across the meat counter.
"I've been in some kind of food service for 9 years and I have never heard of anyone doing that," the second butcher -- now interested, chimed in.
I explained the recipe I was thinking about.
"You could do that yourself," the first butcher offered up.
I did.
They doubted but this was one of the best roasts I have ever made. Tender, flavorful, juicy. I might never cook prime rib any other way. My delicious flavor paste, BTW, was 6 anchovies,  about 1/3 cup fresh horseradish (I love horseradish and roast beef -- that was the major attraction of this idea), 3 cloves garlic, 2 tsp chili flakes, about 1/8 tsp fresh ground nutmeg, 1 cup parsley, and about 1/4 cup olive oil cobbled together from a recipe I found in Bon Appetit.
I rubbed the paste inside the butterflied cuts, along the bones that served as a roasting rack and all over the outside of the roast. In another unusual step I started the room temperature meat at 500º for about 40 minutes and then turn doth even down to 350 for an additional about 15 minutes a pound until the temperature hovered around 130-135º for medium rare.
Beautiful and delicious -- exactly the kind of showstopper I was hoping for.

I just wanted to do something fun for dessert. Of course there were cookies and gingerbread cake pops made from my signature Christmas cake batter but after hours and hours or watching The Great British Bake Off (I'm totally hooked and binging) I felt like a stretch. Oh there is never enough time and I decorated and redecorated. Never happy in the end I settled for festive but not quite homemade ribbon trim and let the inside speak for itself.

A very Merry Christmas one and all.

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