I tried to remember what we ate as a child at my Grandmother's house for Christmas and for the life of me, I cant! I can remember all the dessert items. But not the main course. As a teen, my father's girlfriend would make Leg of Lamb. It is my all time favorite choice for Christmas dinner although most of my family disagrees. The kids claim to hate it although they haven't eaten it in years. I am tempted to make it and say its beef. The tradition in our home for the last 8 years is to make a Standing Rib Roast. I love how cheap they are this year. I am stocking up my freezer with turkey's, hams and rib roasts. I don't need a holiday to make them.
A Standing rib roast is just too easy for me. I find that Thanksgiving is more work for homey dishes and Christmas is less work for more refined dishes. You can the roast done in about two hours (depending on the size) and I like to serve it with both horseradish cream and gravy. The kids prefer gravy. It is needed for the mashed potatoes so it is a must but the horseradish cream....that I get from My Grandfather. I love the way it burns in your nose. I don't make a au jus. I know it is traditional but gravy is more homey to me.
1 (3-rib) prime rib beef roast, about 6 pounds
5 garlic cloves, roasted
Fresh rosemary and thyme, roughly chopped
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Carrots, celery, and or mushrooms
1 onion, cut in half
2 cups Cabernet Sauvignon
1/4 cup water or beef drippings
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
First thing, you need to roast some garlic. I roasted the garlic the night before. You need to two heads of garlic. (I am roasting four heads for two different recipes) Lob off the top. I like to use a huge serrated knife. Stick the garlic on some tin foil and cover with olive oil.Wrap up tightlyBake in a 400 degree oven for about 45 minutes. When you take it out, it's all soft and gooey.Let it cool until you can handle it with you hands. Squeeze the garlic out of the bulb. I am placing into a plastic container for the night.I also take a fork to it so its all pureed so to speak.I have a lot of garlic here. Half will be used in the mashed potatoes and the the other half is getting smeared on the standing rib roast. Try to resist using on a piece of french bread with butter.
Next prepare the pan. I take whatever veggies I have on hand. I happen to be using carrots, celery, onion and some mushrooms.
Now lets prepare the rub. These are the herbs I bought. I would love to say that I grow them but lets be honest, I don't!! You will need a couple TB's of the herbs. Pull the rosemary off the stalk as well as the thyme (all while complaining "I don't have time for thyme!" Chop it up really good.add the herbs to the garlic and add some salt and pepper (about a tsp. of each) and mix well.
Rub it onto the meat. In case I didn't mention this, the ribs go down on the pan.Take a carton of Beef stock and pour the whole thing into the bottom of the pan. Bake 400 for 15 minutes per pound. I have one of those pop up thermometers in the roast so the pressure is off me as long as I keep an eye on it!
My kids always complain about the bits on the top of the roast as it comes out of the oven. The Fireman and I fight over this bark. It all falls off as he carves it. OOOh and don't even think about carving this pretty baby until you let it rest for 15 minutes. It's the perfect amount of time to make the gravy and the horseradish cream.So let's make gravy! Take all the drippings and put into a sauce pan. Add the wine.If you don't have enough, add some beef stock to the pan. Take some Wonderflour, about 2 TB and sprinkle it onto the warm drippings while you whisk the whole time. Pour into your favorite gravy boat.
In a bowl mix 2 TB horseradish (prepared in the jar found by the mayo) with 1 TB mayo and 1 TB sour cream. Mix well
Now your rib roast should be ready to carve. First cut off the ribs . You could cut them up and put the ribs on your serving tray. Kids usually love them but I don't give them a chance. I put them into a freezer bag and stuff into the freezer. It will make amazing stock and soup later when it is really cold out or rainy in the spring.
Serve with your favorite mashed potatoes.