Cheryl’s Cuisine: December 2021

By Cheryl Radkiewicz

What is your favorite meat to serve for Christmas?  Mine is Prime Rib.   Many area restaurants which served prime rib have eliminated it from their menus since Covid.   If you’re fortunate enough to find one at a good price, grab it and freeze it for that special day.   

However, there are many other options (none cheap today) that have made their way to my Christmas table in previous years.  This month I’m sharing some of my favorite recipes for preparing meat for that special day.

Prime Rib:

1-5 lb. prime rib (with or without bones)
1 stick butter, softened at room temperature
Salt and pepper to taste
4 Garlic cloves, cut in halves or quarters

Let roast sit out at room temperature at least 2 hours before cooking.  When ready to cook,, put slits in roast and insert garlic cloves.

With your hands, spread softened butter all over roast.  Season with salt and pepper.  Place meat on rack in stainless roaster.  Preheat oven to 500 degrees.   Roast 5 minutes per pound for Rare; 6 minutes per pound for Medium; 7 minutes per pound for Well Done.  Turn oven off and DO NOT OPEN oven for 2 hours.  Test with meat thermometer.  Remove from oven and loosely cover with foil.  Should rest about 20 minutes before serving.

RARE:  Pull out at 115 F,  final rested temperature= 120-129F
MEDIUM RARE:  Pull out at 125F, final rested temperature =130-134F
MEDIUM:   Pull out at 130F, final rested temperature=135-144F
MEDIUM WELL:  Pull out at 140 F, final rested temperature=145-154F
WELL:  Pull out at 150F, final rested temperature =155-164F

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A friend of mine recently asked me for my recipe for Short Ribs.  This is another option for a special meal….Christmas table-worthy.

Short Ribs Braised in Red Wine:

6 lbs. bone-in English-style short ribs 
Salt and pepper
3 cups dry full-bodied red wine
2 large onions, chopped medium
2 large carrots, chopped medium
2 large celery stalks, chopped medium
9 medium garlic cloves, chopped (about 3 Tbsp.)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups chicken stock or combination of chicken and beef stock or broth
1-14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 Tbsp. minced fresh rosemary leaves ( you can use 3/4 Tbsp. dried)
1 Tbsp. minced fresh thyme leaves (you can use 1/2 Tbsp. dried)
3 medium bay leaves
2 Tbsp. tomato paste

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 450 F.  Arrange short ribs, bone side down, in single layer in large flameproof roasting pan (13x9x2); season with salt and pepper.  Roast until meat begins to brown, about 45 minutes; drain off all liquid and fat with bulb baster.  Note: I remove ribs to platter and pour off liquid fat).  Return ribs to pan and put back in oven and continue to cook until meat is well-browned, 15-20 minutes longer.  Transfer ribs to large plate; set aside.  Drain off fat to small bowl and reserve.  Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees F.  Place roasting pan on 2 stovetop burners set at medium heat; add wine and bring to simmer, scraping up browned bits with wooden spoon.  Set roasting pan with wine aside.

Heat 2 Tbsp. reserved fat in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat; add onions, carrots and celery.  Saute’, stirring occasionally, until vegetables soften, about 12 minutes.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Stir in flour until combined, about 1 minute.  Stir in wine from roasting pan, then add chicken or beef stock, tomatoes, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, tomato paste, and salt and pepper, to taste.  Bring to boil, add short ribs, completely submerging meat in liquid; return to boil, cover, place in oven, and simmer until ribs are tender, about 2 1/2 to 3 hours.  Transfer pot to wire rack and cool, partially covered, until warm, about 2 hours.

Note: At this point, I debone the ribs, butting fat caps off.  Discard bones and fat caps.  Place meat and veggies in casserole in refrigerator to cool overnight.  Pull out bay leaves and discard.  Put sauce into separate bowl in refrigerator to cool.  When sauce is cooled overnight, scoop off any fat from top and discard.  Then place sauce and meat together in large pot.  Simmer until everything is just heated through.

Serve with mashed potatoes……heavenly!!!  This dish is very rich.

***

Steak Diane:

2 Tbsp. butter, divided
12 oz. beef tenderloin, cut into 3 oz. medallions
Salt, to taste
2 tsp. cracked black pepper
3 Tbsp. white onions, chopped
1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms, like Baby Bella
1/4 cup brandy or white wine (I use brandy)
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 cup beef stock
1/4 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Heat large skillet over medium heat.  Add 1 Tbsp. butter to the hot pan and heat until it foams. Season beef with salt and pepper, pressing pepper into steaks.  Add first steak to skillet and sear, cooking no more than 1-2 minutes before turning it over and cooking 1 minute on the second side.  Remove steak from pan to warm oven-proof platter.  Repeat with remaining steaks.  Keep steaks warm in low oven. After steaks are all in oven, add chopped onion to skillet, adding more butter if needed.  Cook 2 minutes until translucent.

Add mushrooms and saute’ 1-2 minutes.  Add brandy or wine and Worcestershire sauce to pan; bring quickly to boil.  Stir in mustard.  Allow this to cook about 1 minute before adding stock.  Cook 1 minute more.  Add cream.  Bring just to a boil.  Remove from heat.  

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Bourbon Pork Tenderloin:

2 pork tenderloins
2/3 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup brown sugar
Oil
1/3 cup bourbon whiskey
Sprinkling of thyme, oregano and parsley
1 can beef broth

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Spread mustard over pork and roll in brown sugar. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in frying pan and saute’ pork until browned on all sides.  Pour bourbon on top.  Place in baking dish, sprinkle with spices, add broth to dish, cover and bake 45 minutes or until it reaches 155-160 degree temperature.  Serve with pan juices or add cornstarch and water mixture for gravy.  Serves 6.

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Rack of Lamb:

2 racks of lamb, trimmed and frenched
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Dijon mustard
Seasoned bread crumbs
Salt and pepper, to taste
Oil

Preheat oven to 450 F.  After racks are prepared, spread Dijon mustard over both sides of rack.  Season with salt, pepper and crushed garlic.  Roll in seasoned bread crumbs.  Put oil in frying pan and brown on both sides until golden.  Remove to baking pan.  Roast until lamb has reached desired doneness:  135-140 F. for medium rare, 145-155 F. for medium, about 25-30 minutes.  

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From our house to yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a HEALTHY, happy New Year!!                                                             

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