Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Taking photos of food is not difficult when it's just Guy and me. But when company is present, I look right past the camera sitting on the counter as a reminder. Luckily, there were some leftovers from our recent company dinner. And I took them out of the fridge, cold, and photographed them. The potato was unembellished since it was frozen for future use. The meat was cold with congealed fat; and even the mushroom sauce was cold and thick instead of warm and flowing. But at least you can get the idea.

I don't know why men obsess over standing rib roast. As far as I'm concerned, it's a heart attack on a plate. How can you not see all the fat in the meat? But this is what they want. Sara and I loaded up on veggies and soup and nibbled on the beef, while the men chowed down with smiles on their faces that just wouldn't go away. Our menu consisted of Escarole Bean Soup; Standing Rib Roast with Mushroom Sauce; Stuffed Baked Potatoes; Roasted Broccoli, Pea Pods, Carrots and Brussels Sprouts; and Crescent Rolls. For dessert, we had apple crostada and ice cream with Butterscotch Caramel Sauce. Wouldn't this make a wonderful Christmas dinner? Mmmmm.

Standing rib roast is one of the easiest entrees to prepare, yet everyone I know is terrified of it. And, contrary to some opinions, you don't have to shy away from a small 2-rib roast. That's exactly what I had. The roast weighed 3.73 lbs.; and some would say to just cut it into steaks. But the meat roasted into a beautifully rare piece of heaven. Just follow my instructions and you, too, can enjoy this dinner that's fit for a king. And, BTW, 3.73 lbs. would have fed 4 of us comfortably. Instead, Sara and I ate light, the men over-indulged, and there was enough leftover for Guy to have a sandwich for lunch the next day and the remaining piece of meat with the leftover mushroom sauce for dinner.

Herbed Standing Rib Roast with Mushroom Sauce
Source: Judy's Kitchen
Rating: 10 out of 10
1 standing rib roast, choice grade
2 Tbsp. fresh oregano (or 2 tsp. dried)
1 Tbsp. fresh marjoram (or 1 tsp. dried)
2 Tbsp. fresh thyme (or 2 tsp. dried)
2 Tbsp. fresh Basil (or 2 tsp. dried)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder (I used McCormick California Style)
1/2 tsp. onion powder (I used McCormick California Style)
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. softened Smart Balance buttery spread

Take roast out of fridge 2 hours before you cook it, so that it will be at room temperature when it goes into the oven. This is very important. If using fresh herbs, chop them as finely as you can, using no stems, just leaves. In small bowl, mix herbs, garlic and onion powders, salt, pepper and SB till it's like a paste. Spread the paste over the roast with your hands, covering it well.

For a 3-rib roast, preheat oven to 475F. Place roast in a pan with sides 2" - 3" high and roast for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 375F. Cook for 1 to 1-1/4 hours, or till instant meat thermometer registers 115F. (If you don't have an instant meat thermometer, consider buying one to make this roast.) Take the roast out of the oven and place it right on your carving board. Cover it with aluminum foil and let it rest for 25-30 minutes. You can also throw a towel over it if you want. Now you can place all your side dishes in the oven and heat up your mushroom sauce while the roast is resting. And when you're ready to slice the roast, it will be perfectly rare, about 125-130 degrees. (NOTE: For a 2-rib roast, follow directions above, except after roasting at 475F for 1/2 hour, reduce the oven temp to 350F, and cooked for an additional 40-50 minutes.)

Cooking times are guidelines. Oven temperatures vary; use a meat thermometer to determine doneness and begin checking BEFORE stated end time.

Yield guidelines: 3-rib roast will serve 6; 2-rib roast will serve 4. Generally, figure 1 rib will serve 2 people.

Mushroom Sauce
INGREDIENTS: 2 tsp. Smart Balance buttery spread
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
3 Tbsp. minced shallots
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 pinches black pepper
1 cup chicken or beef broth
2 tsp. Balsamic vinegar
1/2 Tbsp. Smart Balance or butter

In large heavy skillet, melt the Smart Balance over medium-high heat. When it is sizzling, add
the mushrooms. Saute them till they start to brown, about 3 minutes, turning down heat if necessary. Add the shallots and garlic and cook a few more minutes, stirring to prevent burning. Stir in broth and vinegar and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add 1/2 Tbsp. Smart Balance; cover; remove from heat; set aside. When roast is resting, reheat the mushroom sauce and serve with the roast.


Anonymous said...

Hey Judy - just now catching up on my blog reading!

I agree, it is a fatty meat, but lots of people enjoy it!

Yours, even cold, looks good though!

Have a great day!

Katrina said...

You sure make some great looking meals, Judy!
Happy Holidays! I'm having a giveaway on my blog.