It’s tempting when starting this diet to feel like you’re never going to eat anything good ever again. But, I’ve learned that’s simply not true. Because this is what I had for Christmas dinner.
(Or, rather, Boxing Day dinner, since I like to take it easy on Christmas.)
If you think that looks delicious, you’re right. It totally was.
Thin slices of Angus prime rib roast…
with roasted organic new golden potatoes, sweet onions, carrots, and mushrooms…
and Buttery Maple-Cider Sweet Potatoes…
and whole grain sourdough rolls from Trader Joes…
plus sliced pears and home-canned peaches.
Dessert was Honey-Maple ice cream (basically the Chocolate Pudding Ice Cream without the chocolate and with a vanilla bean.)
Can we say YUM!?!?!
And, you know what else? All this scrumptious, delectable food? ALL of it was legal. The only thing I had to be careful about was dessert – but that’s always true. I kept to just one scoop, and it was so rich and flavorful that even that small amount was perfectly satisfying.
The idea for this meal came about when my mother told me that Giant was selling Angus rib roasts for $4.99/lb. Angus is grass-fed meat, after all, and $4.99/lb is a steal!
So, I went to Giant and looked for a butcher. I stood at the butcher’s counter and waited for someone, but no one was there. I waited and asked, and finally someone came from the back and looked completely shocked that someone was there. He was young, and had holes the size of small branches in his earlobes that my children couldn’t stop staring at.
I asked about the Angus rib roasts, and he looked utterly bewildered, like I was speaking an unknown language. I clarified that the Giant near my mother had them on sale, and I was wanting one, and he finally seemed to come to life.
“Oh, some stores are certified for that stuff,” he said, shrugging, and left.
Well, I guess that meant that MY store wasn’t certified for whatever reason, and didn’t have them. (It also means that the butchers in my store are something less than good with the public, but that’s another matter.) So I called my mother and asked her to get one for me.
Unfortunately, by the time she got to the store, the price had gone up – literally overnight – to $6.99/lb. It’s still a good price compared to the usual $14.99/lb, but a lot more than I was expecting to spend, but by that time I had my mind so set on it that I just told her to get it anyway. I was going to have a rib roast, darn it!!
I was a little nervous about making a rib roast since I’ve never done it before, and even on sale it’s not cheap, and I was afraid of ruining an expensive meal. But it all came out perfect. It was ridiculously simple, and marvelously delicious, and if I can actually hit the super-sale price next year it might just become our new Christmas food tradition. Crazy good.
So, to do this, get a rib roast – the best quality you can find and afford. Generally 1.5 pounds per person is a good rule. Bring it to room temperature before cooking – so you’ll want to take it out of the refrigerator at least 2 hours before you plan to cook it. Pat it dry with a paper towel and season the outside generously with pepper. Then get a bunch of veggies – potatoes, carrots, onions, mushrooms, turnips…whatever – and toss them in a bowl with some olive oil, salt, and pepper. Put the veggies in a roasting pan and place the roast on top of them.
Pour 1/4 cup of red wine and 1/2 cup of beef broth over the vegetables. Then put the pan in the oven, preheated to 500, and bake for 20 minutes. Without opening the door, decrease the temperature to 350 and bake for approximately 22 minutes per pound.
About half an hour before it’s supposed to be done, start testing for internal temperature just to be sure. Put a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the meat – not fat, and not near bone. For medium rare, it should be 125, and for medium it should be 135.
When it’s at the desired temperature, take it out and remove the roast onto a platter. Let it sit, uncovered, for 20 minutes. This part is very important, because it lets the juices suck back into the meat. If you slice it now all the juices will just run out on to the plate, and that’s no good. So be patient and let it sit. (The temperature will continue to rise by 5-10 degrees while it’s sitting, so if you want it less done you should take it out earlier.) After it’s done sitting, slice it into thin slices with a sharp knife.
Return the pan with the veggies to the oven to keep warm. If they’re not quite done, leve the heat on, but if they are done turn the heat off and let them sit in the cooling oven. (This is also a good time to put other dishes needing heating in the oven, such as the Buttery Maple-Cider Sweet Potatoes I served with it.) When you’re ready to eat, put the veggies into a bowl or platter to serve.
And that’s all there is to it, folks! It’s a meal fit for a king – or for your family. It impresses friends and family who have no idea how ridiculously simple it is, and you never have to let them know the truth if you don’t want to.
Standing Rib Roast with Vegetables
- 1 rib roast – Angus, grass-fed, or best quality you can afford/find
- Desired vegetables (such as potatoes, mushrooms, onions, carrots, turnips, or other root vegetables)
- Olive oil, salt, and pepper
- 1/4 cup red wine
- 1/2 cup organic beef broth
At least 2 hours before cooking, remove roast from refrigerator to let it come to room temperature. (This step is very important for even cooking!)
Preheat the oven to 500. Pat the roast dry with a paper towel, and season generously with pepper. Toss the vegetables with enough olive oil to coat, as well as some salt and pepper. Place the vegetables in a roasting pan, and place the roast – ribs down – on top of the vegetables. Put the roast, uncovered, in the oven for 20 minutes, and then – without opening the door – decrease the temperature to 350. Continue to roast for approximately 22 minutes per pound. About half an hour before it’s supposed to be done, start testing for doneness. For medium rare it should be 120-125, and for medium it should be 130-135. When it’s done, remove the roast to a platter and let it sit, uncovered, for 20 minutes to let the juices rest. Return the pan with the veggies to the oven to keep them warm. If they aren’t quite done, leave the heat on, but if they are done turn the heat off. Once the 20 minutes are up, slice the roast into thin slices with a sharp knife, remove the veggies from the oven and put into a bowl, and serve.