RECIPES: Christmas Dinner-Standing Rib Roast, Yorkshire Pudding, Shaved Brussels Sprouts

The Dirty Biker and I had a darned swell Christmas.

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Neither one of us have family in the hood so don’t have any big gatherings to attend, and I think all of us are over the insane shop, shop, shopping that has become so much a part of the holiday. That’s not to say the feller and I haven’t done the extravagant, over-the-top gift thing for each other. Oh boy… have we! This year, though, we chose to make the day about appreciating each other. Even though we decided not to exchange gifts, my feller hand-painted Bondorella’s old mismatched ashtray cover… and I LOVE it!! He also put up his annual Christmas Poem over on the 66 Motor Palace blog. Check it out for a good chuckle.

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We spent the day doing the two things we love most, playing with our toys, and cooking.

Bondorella of course got a spin around town, but the real thrill was taking our (fairly new) 1966 Jeep “Baby” out for her first real drive now that she has working brakes! Woo hoo!! You can read more about Baby here if you’d like. We did laps through Old Town Orange, round and round the traffic circle with the kitschy Christmas decorations in the center park until I finally landed this shot.

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It was either that one, or this “Cousin It” shot.

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A good portion of our day was dedicated to cooking…

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Because it’s just the two of us, we don’t go overboard on the food, but certainly strive for quality. Standing rib roast and Yorkshire Puddings have become our tradition, along with a vegetable (shaved Brussels Sprouts this year) and of course a great pie (our new favorite, Sweet Potato Pie).

As always, the Dirty Biker handles the meat and I do the sides and the pie.

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THE STANDING RIB ROAST

Several years ago, my feller heard the song “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme” and got inspired. He’d been a meat-cooking man for years and had a vision of the perfect Roast, the kind served in a castle with heavy velvet drapes and golden goblets. He figured if the above combination of herbs was good enough for a song, he should probably give it a whirl. And guess what? It was in fact just the flavor he’d been searching for.

Roast

Two days before you plan to cook the roast, rub the herb combination into the meat. The Dirty Biker does equal Parts, but if you prefer one particular herb over another, adjust to your taste:

  • Standing Rib Roast of your choice
  • Parsley
  • Sage
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste

You want the meat to dry out a bit in the refrigerator, so put it on a plate with loose parchment or wax paper, and leave it alone for at least a day (or two as the DB does), until you’re ready to cook.

On cooking day, pull the roast out of the fridge and let it warm up a bit on the counter, maybe a couple of hours. Preheat oven to 325 degrees

Pop that baby into a roasting pan with no rack, fat side up, bone side down  (the bones act as the rack), and slide it uncovered into the oven. Cook approximately 20 minutes per pound, checking with a meat thermometer toward the end until it gets in the 145 range. We have an oven that allows us to switch between convection roast and standard bake modes, so the Dirty Biker started it off Convection Roast, but when the top started to brown too fast, he switched to straight bake. Just play with it. It may not make any difference at all, but he likes to experiment. If plain old bake is all you have, that’s fine too. If it doesn’t look crispy enough at the end, flip that broiler on and let it sizzle for a minute. Pull it out, and let it rest for about a half an hour.

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Now’s when my job comes in…

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THE YORKSHIRE PUDDING

Until we went to the Lawry’s Prime Rib in Beverly Hills, I’d never tasted Yorkshire Pudding. I’d read about it in all those English novels I loved to read as a teenager, but had no idea what it tasted like. Of course, I heard pudding and thought… you know… pudding. Like the creamy stuff in a bowl. So it made no sense why you would eat pudding with meat! Once I finally tasted it, it all made sense. It’s more of a bread than a pudding. Reminds me of the Navajo Fry bread in Arizona, only beefier.

Basically you’re frying an eggy-bread dough in beef fat. Sounds delicious, right? It really is.

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Beef drippings

While the Roast is sizzling away in the oven–about an hour before it’s done–whisk the eggs, milk, flour, and salt in a bowl until all of the lumps are gone. Set it aside and let it rest, minimum of a half an hour.

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I like using my popover pan for the puddings, although I’ve also made it in a cast iron skillet and I’m sure you could use a muffin tin.

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Once that roast is done, take it out and crank the oven up to 450 degrees. You want to take that fine grease from the roast and put a Tablespoon or so in the tins and put it back into that super hot oven until the grease smokes.

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At that point, take out the pan, spoon the batter in, and put ’em into the oven (along with a drip pan underneath)… and DON’T OPEN THE DOOR! You want these suckers to raise sky high.

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They’re kinda greasy and nasty in a really great way, and very eggy. Dipped in roast juice, they’re pretty darned fantastic.

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While these are in the oven, make the veggies!

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SHAVED BRUSSELS SPROUTS

The Dirty Biker turned me onto brussels sprouts a long, long time ago. At first I resisted, cause, ewww… they were like little cabbages. But over time, I came to love them. Now, I can honestly say, they’re my favorite vegetable, especially shaved.

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  • A whole bunch of Brussels Sprouts
  • Butter
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

When we first discovered this method, we used a knife to shave these little devils, but man! It took forever and I was always afraid I’d slice my finger off! Then we discovered the slicer plate thing for our food processor, and now drop ’em in, and the machine does the work. Essentially, you want to slice each sprout as thin as you can get them.

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Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil and a tablespoon of butter in pan (vary amount depending on how many sprouts you have), and add the shaved sprouts. The goal is to get them nice and toasty, usually about fifteen minutes, turning frequently. I especially like the crispy pieces. Season with salt and pepper. I’ve also added vinegar before, which is pretty good, and our friend Janice who turned us on to shaving, puts in a little bacon.

I could eat these things by the bowlful!

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There it is! Our delicious Christmas Dinner!

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After stuffing ourselves just right, we climbed back into the sidecar and took off on a lovely Christmas Light Tour. We have this street in Old Town Orange dubbed Candy Cane Lane, where every house is decorated according to a theme. Driving around in a sidecar rig is kinda like being a parade float. As we rode the lane, people turned away from the glittering homes, got a big old grin on their face, and waved their mittened hands (even though we had an 80 degree Christmas). How can you not smile at a sidecar?

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To top off our perfect Christmas, we came home to this…

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The MOST AMAZING sweet potato pie, if I do say so myself. If you’d like the recipe, pop on over to 66 Pie, our blog dedicated to our love of pie.  Mmmmmm…. Pie.

Hope everyone out there has a spectacular 2014 filled with lots of great food, and things that go VROOM!!! 

Until Next Time…

Later Gators!

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