Our favorite holiday roast is a grassfed prime rib, with a nice thick fat cap, plenty of nice marbling in the meat, resting solidly on its own bones. It is not easy to find such a roast, but we hit the jackpot this year.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and the above picture says it all.
This prime rib is one the best I have ever seen.
Perfectly balanced on a strong rack of bones. Covered with a thick layer of its own flavor-giving fat.
Nicely marbled with small flecks of grassfed fat.
A beautiful color.
And there are even more reasons that I know this roast will be something special. Late last week, we had a grassfed shoulder roast picked up from a local market. The meat was beautiful, full of perfect marbling. It was incredibly tender and flavorful. I knew that the butcher had happened upon a truly remarkable steer.
The next day, I called the butcher up and asked if he could sell me a prime rib from the same animal. Turns out that he could. I showed up at the market, and politely called out my preferences as he cut the roast. He left all the fat on, which was my biggest concern. Due to the demonization of fat, most butchers will trim all the fat off a roast without even thinking of it. A very bad decision, because the fat contains most of the flavor, and all of the fat soluble vitamins and nutrients. And the fat itself, crisp and brown when the roast is done, is absolutely delicious and warming.
Not to worry, this butcher knew his stuff and happily complied with my request.
This is the old way of buying a special roast, where you know and trust the seller, know where the meat comes from, and carefully select the roast, even specifying the animal it comes from, and the way it is cut and trimmed. This is the way most humans have done it for most of time. Not at all like picking up a foam package in the supermarket.
Now that we have our roast, the planning for our Christmas dinner is complete. Here is the menu:
Roast Prime Rib of Beef: Lightly seasoned with herbs, pepper, garlic, and just a little salt, added at the last minute.
Roast Potatoes and Carrots: These will be roasted in the same pan as the roast. There will be no rack, as the bones make a perfect rack, and this allows us to place these vegetables in the pan, where they will become brown, crusty, sweet, flavored with the unique flavor of prime rib fat.
Sautéed Mushrooms: Cooked with plenty of butter and a bit of truffle oil, until browned and caramelized, with amazing flavor.
Yorkshire Pudding: Baked in the old style, made with pan drippings, the same magnificent beef fat
European Cabbage: From page 206 of Tender Grassfed Meat, onion, cabbage, and apple slices, cooked to perfection with bacon, in bacon fat.
Dessert? I doubt anyone will have room.
I want to wish all a very happy holiday season.
And, if you celebrate it, a very Merry Christmas!
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