Perfect Prime Rib

Actually, it should just be “perfect roast” but since the first time I attempted this method it was with a stupidly expensive bison standing rib roast (and that’s what the picture is), I thought I’d go with that title.  But I’ve since used it on a grass-fed eye of round roast, and it came out perfectly too.  In fact, I’m so enamored with this method of roasting red meat, I plan to use it tonight with a rolled rump roast and then some time soon with a small venison roast I have stashed in the freezer.

I used to be very, very nervous about roasting beef.  Oh, give me a cheap cut like chuck or arm roast and I’ll cook it to a melt-in-your-mouth turn in the slow cooker, but the mere thought of roasting a more expensive cut like prime rib always gave me the willies.  And for good reason – no matter the time or temperature the recipe I chose to follow called for, the darn things would always come out either way too rare or horribly overcooked.

Paula Deen’s “Foolproof Prime Rib” recipe?  Uh…no.  The end result was a dismal failure; I just should have chucked the thing on the table raw, it was so incredibly underdone. (I have since read this method only works well in an electric oven, which might explain it since I have a gas range.)

At any rate, when I finally got the courage to cook the bison rib roast that had been lurking in my freezer, taunting me, I found one of those obscure, badly designed, looks-like-it-hasn’t-been-updated-since-1999 sites complete with cutesy little animated GIFs and seamless tiled backgrounds devoted to bison/buffalo recipes.  Buried in this site were the directions for roasting a bison rib roast, so I decided to give them a whirl.  And by golly, the darn thing came out perfectly – the exterior was lovely and roasted, while the interior was a juicy, tender and uniform pink.  I was so thrilled with it that a couple of days later I cooked a grass-fed eye of round roast using the same method, and it came out perfectly too.

I’m sold.

One caveat, however – this method calls for the use of an oven-safe meat thermometer.  My oven came with a probe for this very purpose; you plug the probe into the oven, then place it in the meat, set the probe to detect the proper internal temperature of the meat, then set the oven temperature and you can walk away and forget all about it – the oven turns itself off when the meat comes to temp.  If your oven doesn’t have this handy little feature, you can buy oven-safe meat thermometers that will do essentially the same thing (well, except for turning the oven off).   Just make sure it’s designed to go in the oven, and is not an instant read thermometer.

Note:  The nutritional information lists this at 621 calories per serving.  It’s prime rib – you’re not going to be thinking about your diet when you’re eating it.  Hopefully with a glass of good red wine and Roasted Squash with Apples, Fingerling Potatoes and Bucheron Cheese.

Perfect Prime Rib

Perfect Prime Rib

serves 10

5 pounds prime rib roast, beef or bison
olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Pat roast dry with paper towel; rub with olive oil and season liberally with salt and pepper. Place roast on a vented roasting pan and set in the middle of the oven.

Roast at 400 F for 20 minutes, then turn the oven off and open the door, leaving the roast in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes.

Place the probe of an oven safe meat thermometer into the center of the roast; take care that it is not touching bone, fat or gristle. Close the door and set the oven to 200 F.

Continue roasting until the thermometer reaches 130 for rare or 140 for medium rare. Remove the roast from the oven and loosely tent with foil; allow to rest for at least 30 minutes before carving.

Nutrition (per serving): 621 calories, 50.1g total fat, 154.2mg cholesterol, 127mg sodium, 691.7mg potassium, 0g carbohydrates, 0g fiber, 39.7g protein.

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Posted in participation with Kelly The Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesday

Make Ahead Monday: Pork Stew with Indian Flavors

It’s Monday, y’all!  I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and a fun, relaxing holiday weekend.  And since it is Monday, that can only mean one thing – yes, it is time for  Make Ahead Monday!

Nope, I still haven’t figured out the “cut and paste code” thing, but that’s okay.  Come on, food bloggers – I know you’re out there, so link up a recipe that can be made ahead!   It doesn’t have to be posted on your blog today – any time in the past will work.  All I ask is that you link back to this post and make sure it’s all real food ingredients.

As for my recipe, this is one of those dishes that benefits from sitting in the refrigerator overnight, for it is even better the next day.  And don’t be intimidated by the long list of ingredients; they’re mostly spices, and this dish is quite simple to prepare.  If you don’t want to have to tend the stew on the stove, simplify it even further and just combine all of the ingredients in your slow cooker and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

The stew itself is very rich and very filling – the recipe says it serves 10, and that’s pretty accurate; the servings are substantial, but not huge, but they don’t need to be.  Nor is it sweet, despite the addition of the squash and the raisins.  Because of the long cooking, the butternut squash cooks down into a thick and creamy sauce, eliminating the need for additional thickeners.  This is quite delicious served over steamed jasmine rice, or grated cauliflower “rice” if you’re watching your carbs or avoiding grains.  I also served this with oven-roasted asparagus, and it was a big hit.

If you don’t eat pork, this would be quite good with cubed boneless, skinless chicken thighs.

Pork Stew with Indian Flavors

Pork Stew with Indian Flavors

serves 10

2 tablespoons lard or other cooking fat
2 1/2 pounds pork shoulder or picnic roast, cut into 2″ cubes
2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1″ cubes
1 medium onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 pinch allspice
1 pinch ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon mace
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup raisins
4 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 can (15 oz) coconut milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Heat the lard or cooking fat in a large Dutch oven, preferably cast iron, over medium high heat. Add the pork and onion and cook, stirring frequently, until pork is nicely browned and the onion is soft. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the garlic and spices and continue cooking until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Add the chicken stock to the Dutch oven, then the coconut milk; stir in the butternut squash, followed by the raisins. Reduce the heat to low; cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the pork is tender and the mixture is thick and creamy. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve over steamed jasmine rice or grated cauliflower “rice.”

Nutrition (per serving): 511 calories, 35.8g total fat, 85.8mg cholesterol, 227mg sodium, 981.4mg potassium, 26g carbohydrates, 3g fiber, 8.4g sugar, 23.7g protein.

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