The ultimate beef entree for the holidays |

The ultimate beef entree for the holidays

Special to the DailyChef Mick Rosacci

Every family looks forward to their traditional holiday roast beef – and the best of them all is the Beef Standing Rib. Tender, flavorful, rich, and juicy, beef’s rib section is hard to beat. Why? Rib muscles don’t have to work hard, and the rib section naturally develops heavy marbling (thin streaks of fat within the meat). Thin may be in, but when it comes to juicy and flavorful meats, fat is where it is at!The USDA grades beef for it’s potential quality, and marbling is the most important factor. There are three quality Grades: Select, Choice and Prime. USDA Select is the lowest quality grade with the least marbling. USDA Choice is a wide category with moderate to generous marbling. USDA Prime has exceptional marbling and therefore the greatest potential for quality. Less than 1 percent of the beef in the country is USDA Prime grade.A butcher can age quarters or primal cuts of beef to increase tenderness and enrich flavor. However, due to the expense of aging, and the price-competitive nature of the local marketplace, aged beef is rare and often misrepresented. The ultimate Standing Rib Roast is aged from 21-28 days.The rib is often thought of in two sections: the large and the small end. The small end is the leanest and the most popular, however the large end is more tender, flavorful and juicy. Those “in the know” select large end roasts, ignoring the extra wedge of fat found in its center. If you have a boneless rib eye roast and a good butcher, he/she can remove this fat wedge if you like.The Standing Rib and Rib Eye Roast (the boneless version) is easy to cook, impressive at the table, and downright stunning in the mouth – if you buy a high-grade, aged roast. Start with a great roast and cook it just right, and you’re sure to receive a Standing (rib) Ovation! – Buon Appetito, Salùte! 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 Rib Roast with Spirited Cherry DemiI think this is the ultimate beef entrée. The seasoning rub and sauce also work well with roasted, grilled, or smoked Standing Rib Roasts.

High-grade Standing Rib Roast with 21-28 days ageOlive oilFresh garlic (optional)Mick’s Standing Rib Rub (or your own seasoning blend)Spirited Cherry SauceSpecial Tools: A reliable meat thermometer and a heavy roasting pan with a rack.Allow about 1 pound per person for a bone-in roast, and about 12 ounces per person for a boneless roast – adjust based on your group’s appetites.Preheat oven to 325-350 degrees. Remove roast from refrigerator and rest on the counter for 1 hour. Remove any strings and rolling fat and reserve. Grate, crush or press fresh garlic cloves and blend with olive oil to make a thin paste. Rub paste all over roast, then sprinkle/rub with my Standing Rib Rub to taste – or use your favorite blend of seasonings. Place on rack and set aside.Roast uncovered in the center of your oven, allowing 14-18 minutes per pound for rare to medium rare, and 20-22 minutes per pound for medium to medium well. Remember, roasting conditions vary so these times are only a guideline! When estimated finished time approaches, start testing with a reliable meat thermometer. Take at least two readings to best estimate internal temperature.For Rare = remove roast at 115°-125°Medium Rare = remove at 125°-135°

Med to Well Done= remove at 140°-160°*Note: Personal interpretations of doneness vary.Remove roast at preferred temperature and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with pan juices, gravy, horseradish sauce, or Spirited Cherry Sauce. – Chef Mick Rosacci, Tony’s Meats & Specialty FoodsMick’s Standing Rib Rub1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns1 teaspoon each: whole red, white and green peppercorns2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves4 tablespoons coarse sea salt12 teaspoon paprika

14 teaspoon cayenne (optional)Combine seasonings in a mortar and pestle, or a flat-bottomed bowl, and crush until all the peppercorns are cracked and herbs are bruised. Reserve the remainder in an empty spice jar (don’t worry, the salt will preserve the fresh herbs). – Chef Mick Rosacci, Tony’s Meats & Specialty FoodsSpirited Cherry Demi1 tablespoon butter2 tablespoons minced shallots1-112 cups brandied cherries114 cup prepared demi-glace (More Than Gourmet brand recommended!)1 teaspoon grated orange zest2 teaspoons Wondra Superfine flour

In a heavy pan over low heat, melt butter and sauté shallots for 5 minutes or until tender. Add cherries and their brandy and simmer for 5-10 minutes to reduce. Add demi-glace and orange zest and simmer for 5 minutes longer. Sprinkle in flour and simmer until thickened (or temper in AP flour). This sauce is also delicious with pork, game and game birds. – Chef Mick Rosacci, Tony’s Meats & Specialty FoodsHorseradish Sauce1 cup sour cream1-5 tablespoons Freshly grated, or prepared Horseradish to tastedash Worcestershire sauce – to tastepinch of sugar1-2 teaspoons minced fresh parsleyMix ingredients together to blend well, keep refrigerated until ready to use.

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