Prime Rib

We are having our New Year’s Eve supper tonight – prime rib. Wish you could smell my house right now. This is another example of a beef recipe that is so simple it’s not even really a recipe. I like to use a standing rib roast, as the bones act as a rack and give the meat great flavor. You can also use a rib roast without the bone. Make sure you know what your roast weighs so you know how long to cook it. Use a kitchen scale or check the label on your roast if you bought it retail. For a bone-in roast, we figure about a pound of raw roast per person. Remember how much beef we eat, however – you may be able to get by with less especially if you are serving several sides.

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As you may have guessed, this is a homegrown rib roast. Look at the awesome color of the meat and the great marbling. And by the way, this particular roast is not from some 1400 pound steer from a feedlot. It is from a heifer calf that didn’t want to grow like the rest, so we kept her for ourselves and had most of it made into sausage, jerky, etc. I also made my first ever tenderloin medallions from this animal, which I must say were flippin’ awesome. I forgot to to take pictures that day, I guess I was too busy eating.

Thaw the roast, and take it out of the fridge an hour or so before you put it in the oven. Cold meat will seize up when placed in a hot oven. Place your roast fat-side up so that the yummy goodness can seep into the entire roast as it melts.

There are many ways you can season a prime rib, but I like to keep it simple. You will see that theme again later when we talk about steaks. No reason to marinate good meat and ruin the meat-tacular flavor. Coat the roast with kosher salt and a simple dry rub – any prime rib or beef rub you find at the store or a dry rub you make yourself will be just fine. Use enough salt so it can form a crust – it will seem like a lot of salt, but remember you are seasoning several pounds of meat. Meat thermometers are not optional when making the perfect prime rib. Get an oven-safe thermometer and stick it in the middle of the raw roast, making sure it is not touching the bone. Do NOT add water or other liquids.

Pop it in a 350 degree preheated oven uncovered in a shallow roasting pan, and relax while the aroma begins to permeate your entire home. For a bone-in roast like this one, you want the thermometer to hit 135 degrees. This should take anywhere from 1.5 to 3 hours depending on the size of your roast, your oven, and other factors. Check the temp every 20 minutes or so after the first hour. You can do 150 if you are one of those squeamish well-done people, but don’t blame me when your prime rib is dry. Seriously, 135, and then make sure to let the roast rest for at least 15 minutes after you take it out of the oven. It will continue to cook and you will even see the thermometer continue to rise after it is out of the oven. Resting also allows all the juices to redistribute throughout the roast so every bite is moist and flavorful. Resist the temptation to gnaw on it right out of the oven. You should hear this thing sizzling in the oven right now. So good, and so easy. Try it yourself on the 31st, and let me know how it goes!

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The finished product!  And some Yorkshire Pudding to go with it.  One cup flour, one cup milk, and two eggs – mix together and pour into the pan drippings from the roast, bake at 425 for about 20 minutes.  Yes, it tasted as good as it looks.  Four of us (two who are under the age of 9) ate it down to what you see in the last photo.  I have to give Roy credit for most of that effort.  It’s that good.

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Corned Beef Brisket

We recently began having our butcher (shout out to Golva Custom Meats in Golva, ND) save us the whole brisket.  My Grandma Brown used to make corned beef and cabbage every year for Christmas Eve dinner, and now that we have sort of taken over that meal I wanted to continue the tradition.  Alton Brown’s corned beef recipe on Food Network, and the fact that it is a crap shoot as to whether you can get a ready-made corned beef at grocery stores out here in the middle of nowhere, inspired me to try to make my own.  The results were YUMMY.

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I skipped the cabbage mostly because I hadn’t been to the grocery store to get any.  BTW, I am LOVING my new 6-Quart Lodge Dutch Oven, which was an early Christmas present to myself this year.  This was SO easy – just trim a bit of the fat from the outside of the thawed brisket, brine for 10 days in the fridge and boil with veggies following the Food Network recipe at http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/corned-beef-recipe/index.html.  I guess I do follow recipes sometimes!

The best part?  The left over corned  beef.  We had two more fabulous meals from this one great cut of beef:  Reuben sandwiches yesterday and corned beef hash topped with poached eggs this morning for breakfast.  Ok, it’s Saturday, so it was more like brunch.  For the sandwiches, I simply bought a loaf of marble rye (yes, you can get that in Montana), sliced the corned beef very thin (using my new awesome Wusthof knives from my wonderful husband), slapped butter on one side and Thousand Island dressing on the flip side of each slice of bread, placed a slice of swiss cheese on the dressing side of each slice of bread, and piled the corned beef in between each yummy bread/cheese slice.  Then I just toasted on my two-burner griddle until browned and melty and ooey-gooey.  I left off the sauerkraut for my husband’s benefit, but these are great with or without.

Meal #3 was just a simple – cubed three medium sized spuds (potatoes, for those of you not from this area) fairly small, drizzled a little EEVO (from my new RR green EEVO bottle – thanks Mom!) on the same griddle, cooked the spuds with a little red onion, then added the diced remaining corned beef and diced roasted red peppers.  At the same time I poached some eggs – so easy and so yummy, and actually the healthiest way to cook an egg.  I topped the finished hash with a little swiss cheese and some bacon bits (so much for healthy), and then topped each plate of hash with an egg and served with Wheat Montana Ancient Grains toast.  LOVE Wheat Montana – if you haven’t tried it yet, do it.  Now.  (www.wheatmontana.com).  Make sure not to cook the eggs too long, so the yolk stays runny – when you break into the egg, the runny yolk mixing into the hash makes everything creamy, moist and SO GOOD.  See?

Corned Beef Hash

Corned Beef Hash

I am looking forward to all the other new things I can do with this great cut of meat, the Brisket, which is also a pretty affordable cut of beef if you live where you have to buy it retail.  If you can, buy your beef by the quarter or half from a local rancher instead.  You will save money over buying individual cuts retail, and you will get a far superior and fresher product.  More later on that important topic!  Happy New Year everyone!

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