Thursday, February 3, 2011


Meatstravaganza 2009

New Year's Day is the traditional day for Tristan's Meatstravaganza and it's my homage to the traditional meal my parents made for the new year. It's the day I bust out the white tablecloth and the whole 9 yards, and this year's feast marked the 13th annual Meatstravaganza. Whether it's been on folding card tables and BYOC (bring your own chair), or in a real dining room with enough chairs for everyone, this is one meal that I. Will. Cook. every year come hell or high water in my life (lord knows 2008 and 2009 almost didn't happen).

The star of the show is the Prime rib roast, which is backed up with all the traditional English fixins'- au jus, horseradish cream, yorkshire pudding, mashed potatoes, creamed spinach, and roasted carrots and parsnips with gremolata. Dessert is chocolate souffle.

In today's post, I'll focus on documenting the roast, jus and horseradish cream.
Plan for 20ish mins per pound for medium rare, and if you want anything other than medium rare, you're nuts. Aim for 130 degrees when you pull it out of the oven. I like to roast it super duper slow- in a 300 degree oven. I don't brown it all over in a skillet first because its an unwieldy monster, so for the last 20 mins or so of roasting I up the heat to 400 to brown it and also get the oven hot for the next stuff to go in (Yorkshire Pudding and roasted carrots).

This roast was from Da-Le Ranch in Lake Elsinore. It was 4 ribs and little over ten pounds. It would have served 10 or 11 people with no leftovers, but that would just be tragic for the morning's hash. It was cut from the small end of the roast and was tied and dry aged. 

For the roast
  • 4 rib standing roast (~10 lbs.)
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. Kosher salt or sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp. cracked pepper
  • 8 sprigs thyme
  • 4 sprigs rosemary

For the jus
  • ~2 c. Red wine
  • ~2 c. Beef stock

For the horseradish cream
  • 1 c. whipping cream
  • 1 horseradish root
  • 2 tsp. cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • salt & white pepper to taste

  • Roasting pan
  • Roasting rack (you can substitute old vegetables like onions, carrots & celery to set the meat on top of out of it's juices)
  • Carving board with a well to catch juices
  • Food processor if using fresh horseradish root

Ready to rock-n-roast

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Smash 10 cloves of garlic with the heel of your chef's knife or something heavy. Cut up 3 Tbsps of butter into half inch cubes. 

To prepare the beef for roasting, cover it in a couple tablespoons of Fleur de Sel (French Sea Salt) and cracked black pepper all over it. Don't go too crazy on the cut ends because then the end pieces will be too seasoned. Place on an adjustable rack in the roasting pan and top with thyme and rosemary and dot the top with the garlic and butter.
Put the probe thermometer in the center of the roast and pop the thing in the oven.

Don't baste it. Don't keep looking at it. Yes, the garlic smells like its burning. Its OK.

Remember to turn up the heat to 400 during the last 20 mins until the meat gets to 130 degrees.

Take it out of the oven and transfer the roast to a carving board to rest, preferably on something that will catch the juices. When you are ready to serve it, make sure everything else is already on the table before you carve the roast. It should be the last thing to happen and allows you time to seat everyone, parade around with your meat on display, then carve and serve.

After taking the roast out and transferring it to a carving board, take the rack out of the pan, dump whatever is in there into a fat separator (I pretty much got 100% fat with burnt garlic bobbing around in it) and set the pan on the stove so it spans 2 burners. Turn both burners to medium high and throw a nearby glass of red wine at the pan to deglaze it. Use a spatula to scrape up all the goodies stuck to the bottom of the pan. Slosh in some beef broth and reduce for a few minutes. Keep throwing wine and broth into the pan and reducing until you're ready to serve or you feel like it tastes good and you've got enough jus. Add any collected juices from the resting roast, strain with a sieve and pour into a serving thing to pass at the table.

Fresh Horseradish Whipped Cream

This works just as well with prepared horseradish in a jar, but there were fresh roots available, so I picked one up. While reading up on preparing fresh horseradish, I came across a tip: if you grate the horseradish in the food processor, don't stick your face over the bowl when you take the lid off. Good advice. Did I follow it? No.
OMG, it burns.

Grate horseradish, then process fine in food processor. Combine 3 Tbsps of horseradish with 2 tsp cider vinegar, 1 tsp honey and a pinch of salt and pepper. Whip some whipping cream and mix in horseradish mixture. Season and add more horseradish if necessary.

One last tip...when you run out of wine at your house and the Meatstravaganza runs long, this could happen:
Please don't ask why I had a 40 of Colt 45 in the fridge- it was a rough year.
Also, it really classes it up by pouring it into the Riedel crystal stemware, no?

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