Holiday classics for a perfect family feast
The December holidays are important for families, and sharing a feast in your home is the greatest of gifts. Go ahead, invite the clan over for a special meal – I’m here to help make it easy and impressive.Yes, an impressive holiday feast can be easy, especially in December. I’ve noticed that no matter how folks eat all year long, in December they focus on the roast – make it extra special and you can’t go wrong! Start with a traditional favorite: a Standing Rib Roast (check out last week’s column), a Tenderloin Roast, a Smoked Ham, or a Crown Roast of Pork / Lamb.This is the biggest holiday of the year and no time to cut corners. A delectable and impressive roast depends on two things – the quality of the roast, and cooking it just right. So visit a trusted butcher for a great roast and a reliable meat thermometer, and you can’t go wrong.Don’t worry about getting fancy; focus on getting that roast just right. Here are a few simple recipes. Follow them exactly, or go crazy with variations and sauces – just don’t overcook that beautiful roast.Buon Appetito and Salùte!
– Chef Mick Rosacci, Tony’s Meats & Specialty Foods Chef Michaelangelo (Mick) Rosacci and family own and operate Tony’s Meats & Specialty Foods and Tony Rosacci’s Fine Catering in Littleton and Centennial. For more recipes, visit http://www.TonysMarket.com. Ham, Bone-in or BonelessPreheat oven to 275 degrees. Place ham in roasting pan, adding enough water to cover the bottom 1/2 inch deep. Tent with foil and roast for 10-12 minutes per pound. Remove foil last third of cooking time and brush with your favorite ham glaze. Hams are fully cooked and only need to be warmed to 120-140 degrees.Beef Tenderloin Roast Preheat oven to 325 degrees and season to taste with your favorite blend – let roast stand for up to one hour at room temperature before cooking. Beef fat or bacon can be laid /tied on to baste the roast as it cooks – or for an encrusted roast; rub generously with olive oil and seasonings and omit fat layer.Roast on a rack, uncovered, using the charts below as a guideline, test with a reliable meat thermometer. Remove roast at desired temperature, cover and rest 10-15 minutes before slicing – internal temperature will rise another 10 degrees, or so, as the juices settle.
2 to 4 lb.. 30 to 60 minutes4 to 6 lbs. 50 to 80 minutes6 to 8 lbs. 60 to 90 minutes* Times are estimated based on roasts tied double thick; single thickness roasts may require more time. Rare = remove at 115°-125°Medium Rare = remove at 125°-135°Medium to Well Done = remove at 140°-160°* Temperatures are approximate and individual impressions vary; test roasts early and often with a reliable meat thermometer.Tenderloin – Hot Oven Method:
Here is another great method for single-thickness tenderloin roasts. Preheat oven to 425° and roast seasoned tenderloin for 30 to 40 minutes uncovered on a roasting rack. Test internal temperature for desired doneness. Rest 10-15 minutes before slicing.Pork Crown RoastsPreheat oven to 325°. Cover rib tips with foil to prevent charring and position attractively on a roasting rack (a broiling pan can work nicely). Season and roast uncovered for approximately 18 to 22 minutes per pound, or to an internal temperature of 150°-155° (about two hours). Remove roast from oven and transfer to a serving dish or large cutting board and rest for 15-20 minutes before slicing. A slightly pink hue is expected for a perfectly cooked pork roast.If a dressing/stuffing is desired, prepare it while crown is roasting – do not stuff roast as it cooks. Slice rested roast between ribs and remove strings. Keeping the roast in shape, spoon hot dressing (preferably fruit-based) into center of roast, arranging the slices/dressing attractively before presenting to the table. Serve with fruit-based glazes/sauces, or make a gravy from defatted pan drippings. Not making gravy? Drizzle drippings over the sliced roast. Lamb Rib Rack or Crown RoastSeason racks with your favorite blend, or rub with garlic, sea salt, pepper and herbs. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cover rib tips with foil to prevent charring. Place roast on a rack in hot oven. Roast for 12-18 minutes per pound, basting with pan juices every 15 minutes.Recommended finished internal temperature, 130-140 degrees. Use a reliable meat thermometer and test temperature early.Crown Roasts: Cooking time is a little less per pound for crowns; rely on your meat thermometer to make sure it is cooked just right. Prepare a rice, fruit or bread dressing if desired. Add hot stuffing to center of cooked roast on its serving platter and present to the table.- Chef Mick Rosacci, Tony’s Meats & Specialty Foods
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