Everyone has Christmas traditions. These traditions vary so widely that I am rarely surprised when someone tells me about their own family’s special occasion madness. In our little home in the middleofnowhere, we have our own traditions as well. For the vast majority of the holiday season, we find ourselves tromping back and forth to various family events, but Christmas Day is ours. Especially since we had Little Man, Christmas Morning has become sacred. Our habit of saying home on the morning of the 25th has morphed into a tradition of...avoiding traditions.
That’s right. On Christmas Day, we don’t do family. The three of us stay home, relishing the quiet of a white Christmas, and simply refused to do anything with other family members. Instead, we have an anti-family holiday. (No offense to our families, we love them all, but by Christmas, well, we’re done. You all know how it is.) The house is off limits to everyone until after 10:00am, while Ty opens presents and we lounge about in our pajamas.
After 10:00am, all hell breaks loose. In the kitchen, that is. Christmas Day is my one day of the year where I cook whatever the heck I want and everyone else can just deal with the fallout. And so I cook. Whatever I want. And we invite all of our friends over to feast. There is always plenty to eat and drink. Sometimes we have a house full. Sometimes its just us, trying to put away a 24 pound turkey and eleven side dishes. It greatly depends on the weather. And since we had several inches of snow this Christmas, you might say attendance was light.
Who went away one very satisfied guy.
(Get your minds out of the gutter! I mean, he ate a lot! Of FOOD!)
And when I say “food”...I mean....PRIME RIB.
Yes, I know prime rib is hardly a novelty on Christmas, but at my house it is. And you can bet there wasn’t a single person complaining when I declared the menu for this year to include a very large, very rare hunk of beef. Since I have never made a prime rib before, naturally, I turned to Mark Bittman. I did my homework, sure, but in the end, my copy of How To Cook Everything was what was propped open on my countertop to the recipe entitled Prime Rib Roast for a Small Crowd (ironic, eh?). I cut back on the side dishes since we were short on company, but ended up making Yukon Gold Havarti Mashed Potatoes, and a Zucchini and Vidalia Onion Gratin. All of which were consumed with holiday zeal.
I did, of course, have to adapt the recipe a touch, since the roast I got from my butcher was in the neighborhood of eleven pounds (yes, we had a LOT of leftovers. Again, no one was complaining.)
So, for our roast, I used some aptly named Prime Rib Rub from Penzey’s to season the outside of the roast. I plugged my probe thermometer into the center of the roast and popped it into a 450 degree oven for about 15 minutes, then lowered the temperature to 350 and roasted the meat until the internal temperature reached 120 degrees. After letting the roast rest about 15 minutes, we sliced into the meat to find a gorgeous rare/medium rare center. The end pieces were more well done, of course, but all of it was flavorful and juicy.
The total cooking time was almost 2 ½ hours for a roast that size, which gave me plenty of time to put together the side dishes.
All I can say is....Merry Christmas to me!
|Check out that gorgeous Prime Rib Hash!|