The final Christmas countdown is on. It’s the last really big holiday of 2021. I know it can be a little tough to get over the holiday finish line. I’m feeling it too. I think I've got one last burst of 2021 energy left, so I’m doing a small get together at home with friends.
If you’ve been food shopping lately (which I’m sure you have), you can come away with a good case of sticker shock. My $100 weekly shopping trips have turned into $125-$140 outings. I know you feel it too.
How would you like to cook a holiday meal that will wow your friends and family? And best of all, you won't have to have to dip into the kids' college fund to do it. Every December, our local Sarasota Publix grocery stores have a pretty great deal on a centerpiece for your holiday table. A beautiful standing rib roast!
I know what you’re saying (or at least thinking), “That’s going to wipe out my food budget for the first quarter of 2022”. Not so fast. Publix has these delicious, boned, and tied beauties at a price of just $6.99 a pound! Yes, that is correct. It’s not a typo or misprint. I think this is always the best food shopping deal of the year.
OK, the light bulb has gone on and you’re thinking, “YES, I think I can do this!”. You’ve made the commitment to a Christmas prime rib. Now what? The first order of business is to figure out how large of a roast you’ll need.
Standing rib roasts are usually sized and ordered by the “bone”, rather than by the pound. That may seem a little weird at first, but sorry, that’s just the way it is. The standard measure is one bone for two people. So, if you’re having six people for dinner, a three bone roast would be the size to order. In reality, you’ll probably get an extra serving or two out of it. But you’ll definitely want some leftovers for that post-Christmas prime rib sandwich!
When you order the roast, your friendly butcher will cut off the bones and then tie them back on. When it’s time to cook, the bones make a natural roast rack for the meat. That’s super handy!
Now comes the part that always causes the most anxiety. How do you cook this thing!? You certainly don’t want to screw this up. Lucky for you, it’s not as difficult as you would think or as people make it out to be. Cooking a prime rib is a fairly straightforward proposition. Let’s check out how to get this done!
The simplest and most convenient way is to oven roast it. For our purposes today, let’s just stick with this easy method. There is, honestly, not much real prep for this.
The night before you’re going to cook, season the roast. I use a 50/50 mix of course ground black pepper (16 mesh) and kosher salt. Salt the roast all over. Be generous, it’s a big cut of beef. It can take the seasoning. When seasoned, place the roast in the fridge uncovered overnight.
Now it’s cooking day. Here we go! Take the meat out of the fridge an hour before your planned cooking start time. Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees. Place the roast bones down in a roasting pan that is large enough to accommodate it. A disposable turkey pan works great. If you’d like, you can drizzle a little olive oil over the top of the meat. Cook for 30 minutes.
Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Roast 1½ to 2 hours. Baste it occasionally with the pan drippings. Now this is where things can get a little tricky, so you’ll really want to pay attention. You don’t want to overcook the showpiece of your holiday meal, so you’ve got to watch it. You’ll need a good instant read thermometer for this. Start checking the temperature after about 1½ hours of cooking time.
If you’d like to have a medium-rare roast (which is what most people shoot for), you’ll need to take it out of the oven when the internal temperature reaches about 120 degrees. It will come up to full M-R temp (130° - 135°) when resting. Once you take the roast out, you’ll want to let it rest (uncovered) for about 20 minutes before you carve it. That’s how simple this really is!
You can proudly serve your culinary masterpiece with horseradish sauce and any traditional side dishes that you’d care to make. I’m absolutely certain that your holiday guests will be chanting “CHEF, CHEF, CHEF!” by dessert time.
If you’d like to purchase your standing rib roast at a local Sarasota butcher instead of the grocery store, we’ve got some great options for you. We suggest that you call ahead for ordering and availability.
Alpine Steakhouse (4520 S Tamiami Trl., (941) 921-3798)
The Butcher’s Block (3242 17th St., (941) 955-2822)
Geier’s Meat Market (7447 S Tamiami Trl., (941) 923-3004)
Southern Steer (4084 Bee Ridge Rd., (941) 706-2625)
If you’d rather not cook your own Christmas feast, we can help with that too. Here are some local Sarasota restaurants where an expert chef will do it for you. Check with the restaurant for full Christmas Day details.
Café Gabbiano (5104 Ocean Blvd., (941) 349-1423)
Cafe L’Europe (431 St Armands Cir., (941) 388-4415)
Euphemia Haye (5540 Gulf of Mexico Dr. LBK, (941) 383-3633)
Libby’s Neighborhood Brasserie (1917 S Osprey Ave., (941) 487-7300)
Michael’s on East (1212 S East Ave., (941) 366-0007)
Phillippi Creek Oyster Bar (5353 S. Tamiami Trl., (941) 925-4444)
Pier 22 (1200 1st Ave W. BDTN, (941) 748-8087)
SARASOTA FOOD EVENTS CALENDAR
We’ve done all of the heavy lifting for you! All you need to do is make that reservation. Here are some upcoming local food events that we think you might find interesting…
LOCAL FARMER’S MARKET INFORMATION
EVERY SATURDAY – Sarasota Farmers Market (Lemon & Main – Downtown Sarasota)
EVERY WEDNESDAY – The Phillippi Farmhouse Market (S. Tamiami Trl.)
EVERY SUNDAY - Siesta Key Farmers Market (Davidson’s Plaza, Siesta Village)
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