We spent Boxing Day (December 26) quietly at home, munching on bagels and leftover barbecue beef cups and the like before a dinner of boxty and salmon.
I’ll give you my take on boxty tomorrow – along with a very nice adaptation of the contessa’s salmon; but for today, I think you need to know about this truly lovely way to roast a great hunk of beast, courtesy of our Christmas Day hosts, Bob and Don, just in case you were planning on a nice haunch of beef for your new year’s sideboard.
•5 cloves garlic, 2 sliced, 3 whole
•1 medium onion, quartered
•3 ribs celery
•3 carrots, chopped into thirds
•Fresh herbs (rosemary, sage, thyme)
•A VERY generous amount Montreal Steak Seasoning – BUZZYFOODS NOTE: this was lovely – but an equal amount of ‘Gateway to the North’ seasoning from The Spice House would, I think, be nice as well
•1 cup red wine (Bob and Don used a nice Zinfandel) – BUZZYFOODS NOTE: do NOT use a ‘Cooking’ or some other cheesy cheap wine when you make this, or indeed, any other dish. You should only cook with wine that you would be happy to drink
•3 cups beef stock
•6 lb rib roast – B&D NOTE: You should have your butcher cut the bones from the meat, and reattach them with twine. This makes for very easy slicing but still allow the bones to add flavor to the meat during roasting – BUZZYFOODS NOTE: this is also a good spot to mention that you should: FIRST: find a good one, and SECOND; be nice to, your butcher. Same goes for your fishmonger and veggie guy, if possible. Warehouse stores and supermarkets have their place, but so does the knowledge and experience of trusted local pros who will more than likely end up being more than worth every extra penny you spend on your holiday feast
Bob & Don’s instructions:
Preheat oven to 450º.
With a knife, make shallow slits throughout the meat and insert the slices of garlic into them.
Encrust the meat with Montreal Steak seasonings. Don’t be shy with this. I was concerned that the meat might be too salty. I didn’t think it was, and we were rewarded with a very flavorful roast.
In a deep roasting pan, scatter the whole cloves of garlic, onion, celery, and carrots.
Insert an oven-proof meat thermometer into the center of the roast (BUZZYFOODS NOTE: this is a truly Good Thing to have – but an instant read digital thermometer – which is what I have – will work if you remember to keep an eye on your roast and your timing). Place roast in pan, and then in the oven.
Roast for 20 minutes at 450º. This will create a tasty crust on the outside that will lock in the juices.
Reduce oven temp to 350º. Throw in the herbs, putting some on top of the roast.
(BUZZYFOODS NOTE: we also added a bit of olive oil that had been used to roast garlic for smashed potatoes to the veggies in the bottom of the pan).
Continue roasting until the interior temperature reaches 115º (for medium rare), or 125º (for medium well). This will take about 2 hours for 125º. Remove from roasting pan, tent foil over it, and allow it to rest for 20 minutes, the carry over cooking should bring it up to 137º, which is almost well done, but still juicy and tender and so very, very tasty.
Meanwhile, place roasting pan over two burners on the stove and set both burners to medium high. Add the red wine and stir with a wooden spoon, scraping up the yummy bits o’ meat from the bottom of the pan. Cook and reduce for about 15 minutes.
Add the beef stock and allow this to reduce again for about 15 – 20 minutes.
Strain through a cheese cloth and serve the au jus in a gravy boat or bowl to spoon over the beef and/or potatoes.
Slice the beef and serve with au jus and your sides of choice – Bob and Don opted for some lovely garlic smashed potatoes with goat cheese.
You may note that Bob is carving rather LARGE (think Fred Flintstone Dino-burger size) slices o’ the beast.
I ate the whole thing. And was I happy I did.
‘tis the season, y’all…