Work Hard to Make Ordinary Food, or Take it Easy and be a Star
If you want a good Christmas dinner and you don’t want to work, do what I do: prime rib, baked potatoes, cheesecake.
I admit, the cheesecake takes some doing, but the other stuff is so easy, you’ll have time for it.
Right now I have a juicy prime rib roasting at 200°. I bought it about nine days ago. I salted it down and stuck it in the fridge to improve. Yesterday I greased it heavily with strong garlic butter. Today I stuck in on a roasting pan, covered it with foil, put a thermometer in it, and put it in an oven timed to crank up on its own, at the appropriate time. When the roast gets close to being done, I’ll max out the temperature and remove the foil to brown it. Very simple.
I bought some nice potatoes, washed them, salted them while they were still wet, and let them dry. Ordinarily I’d bake them at 450 for an hour, but that won’t be possible today because of the roast. I’m going to bake them at 200 for two hours and then leave them in while the roast browns. I think that ought to do it. If not, there is no law against touching them up with the microwave.
That’s the whole dinner. No pointless salad. No other sides. This is all you need. I guess shucky beans would have been a nice side dish, but the truth about steak and roasts is that almost anything you put beside the potato is a distraction.
It’s funny; it seems like every cook I respect makes prime rib in nearly the same way. Low and slow, finished off with high heat.
I don’t agree with people who say the meat should be pink all the way out to the edge. I like the contrasting flavors you get from differing degrees of doneness, so it’s fine with me if the outer inch is medium-well. That’s the juiciest, softest piece of the roast anyway. It won’t get tough if it cooks through.
I also disagree with those who cut their roasts off the bone and tie them back on. I’ve done it, but I think it’s probably better to keep the meat and bones together, for flavor. Maybe I’m wrong. Separating the meat and bones makes for easier carving, but you can separate them after the roast cooks, and then you don’t have to go through the horror of attaching twine and praying it stays on. The advantage of separating the meat early is that you can get extra seasoning close to the center of the roast.
I think I have a good system here. The kitchen is clean. The dessert is ready. The roast is taking care of itself. I have nothing to do for the next hour and a half. Sweet.
I got a funny compliment on Facebook this week. A girl I go to church with referred to my “unnatural cooking ability.” I thought that was interesting, because she’s probably right. There is nothing natural about writing down amazing recipes on the first try. I seriously believe God speaks this stuff into my ear.Stumble it! Save This Page