It's winter in NYC. No it's WINTER! I mean it's the coldest it's been in 100 years that's cold. So when it's this cold out all I want is comfort food. You know the kinds of dishes that make you feel warm inside. Well I am not only talking carb laden dishes with cheesy undertones and thick sauces. No I am talking about some serious meat dishes. Roasting meats till they hit their browned and glorious peak juicy and medium rare is a beautiful thing in the Wintertime and so I thought I would share a bit about my latest roasting recipes.
My fascination with the roast probably started in my Mother and Grandmother's kitchen. Having three generations in the house growing up made for some lovely mealtimes both from a cooking perspective as well as the dialog that ensued during the meals. There was chatter about school, work and friends, church meetings, politics, senior citizen outings, youth group retreats and the latest gossip from the street.
The meals were a rotating menu of dishes that would be planned out a month in advance by both my Mother and Grandmother. The reason for this was simple. My Mother shopped at the beginning of each month for the things we would eat all month. This was the "Big" shop. Of course perishable items were bought as they were needed but all the meat, potatoes, noodles, rice, beans, canned foods and staples were purchased during the big shop.
This started in Hawaii because transportation and traffic was such a beast. But it continued even when we returned to the mainland because the commissary was not near the house. In any event these meals were planned out in detail and a list made and groceries procured. We would often help with this task running through the Aisles on some task to retrieve something from my Mother or Grandmother and the return to the grocery cart. My brother and I often played at being spacemen. Fancying that we were flying out on some mission and then returning to the mother ship with our cargo in tow.
Such was the life of military brats food shopping on a budget. Oh yes, I neglected to say that managing the household finances was my Mother's job and she would have that list budgeted down to the penny. My friend Liz totally got this when I was first telling her this. She said growing up in Florida her family was about the same. Living paycheck to paycheck, with every penny accounted for. She told a story about how once she ate all the push pops in the freezer. And upon discovering this her Mother explained that those were supposed to have lasted the whole family the rest of the month. So she made here break open her piggy bank and walk to the store and replace them. She said she ran all the way home fearing that the Florida heat would melt the pop-cicles, but she made it her package in tow and in fine condition.
At the homestead the roasted meats that were on the menu took the form of flank steaks and chuck or pot roasts, brisket and certainly whole chickens, pork chops, roasts and loins and legs of lamb. I can remember from my early childhood loving the smells of the pan as it can out of the oven all bubbling and rich with fat juices sizzling away. This smell combined with charred edges and corners of the roasted meat. These provides me the taste and tactile memories of gorgeous fatty burned tasty bits that were cut off as scraps and handed over to my brother and myself in a small effort to ward off hunger pains and delay complaints till dinner was ready. But they were the best those crispy bits!
Having grown up, I am now called upon to be cooking dinners for my Mother. Now I continue the tradition of roasting the "Roast Beast" in our house during the holidays by preparing a standing rib roast every year. I have over the past 10 years perfected what I think is a perfect method for giving the roast the most amazing flavor and tasty crust that we have ever had on our holiday table. It's inspiration is simple, dijon, garlic and rosemary, all classic flavorings some together to host a party on the roast and create an amazing flavor profile. It starts with the idea that getting the flavor into the roast by slathering it with a very garlic and mustard based marinade. Then it roasts in the oven to perfection. This mustard marinade is good on any roast I have ever done. Beef, Pork or Chicken. The key is allowing the marinade to penetrate the meat even overnight for some cuts ( filet) and for large roasts like a standing rib roast roasting it at high heat to get that crust then finishing it at a lower heat. So if you are roasting this winter season for comfort and joy, try this out and let me know what you think. It's a winner!! Enjoy Ya'll
Forrest's Rib Roast with Mustard and Rosemary Crust
1 6 to 7 pound rib roast ( 3 to 4 bones ) trimmed and tied by butcher ( feeds 6 to 8 people)
Salt and Pepper ( for rub )
1/2 cup dijon Mustard
3 teaspoons garlic paste
3 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary
1/4 cup olive oil
7 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 teaspoon pepper
Let roast stand for at least an hour then liberally slather with salt and pepper
Then return uncovered to the fridge and let sit overnight
Remove roast the next day when ready 4 hours before you plan to roast
Combine the 6 ingredients in a small bowl and slather the Roast
Let stand for 4 hours then bake for 45 mins in a 475 degree oven
Reduce heat to 350 and roast for another 1 hour and 10 mins or until a themometer reads 120 to 130 degrees
Remove from the oven, cover with foil and let sit for about 30 more mins.
Uncover and let sit another 15 mins.
Slice as thickly as you want per person and serve with horseradish sauce on the side. ( recipe to follow )