Today’s Recipes: Horseradish Crusted Prime Rib of Beef, Marchands de Vin Sauce, Horseradish Cream Sauce, and Sour Cream Horseradish Sauce.
Many families serve roasted turkey for Christmas, but after Thanksgiving, we’re kind of turkey’d out. So every year my father-in-law roasts a large Prime rib beef roast for the family Christmas dinner. When we walk in the house we are instantly enveloped with the mouth-watering aromas. I barely eat all day so I will have plenty of room for dinner. Serve this with some crispy roasted potatoes and carrots (which can cook alongside the beef) and you will have a holiday meal to remember!
Prime rib may seem hard to make, but it is probably the easiest of all the elegant party entrees to make. It can be as simple as seasoning the roast with salt and pepper and cooking until it reaches your preferred doneness. I like to get a little fancier, but you can keep it as simple as you like. The only things you need are a roasting pan and an instant-read thermometer.
When you buy the roast, have your butcher cut the bones off, and tie them back on. This is called “cradling.” That way you get the flavor of roasting the meat on the bone without the hassle when you go to carve it. The trick to perfectly cooked roasts is to cook them below your desired final temperature and let the residual or carry-over heat finish it out of the oven. While resting, the juices have a chance to be redistributed throughout the roast, keeping it juicy. Transfer it from the roasting pan to your cutting board and cover loosely with foil. And don’t worry about it cooling off – there is plenty of heat to keep it warm for a long time.
Horseradish sauce is one of the traditional accompaniments for roasted beef. The pungent, spicy flavor is addicting and helps cut some of the richness of the beef. It is a member of the mustard family and it is the thick, white root that is used to make the horseradish we are all accustomed to seeing. The longer it sits in the refrigerator, the milder it gets, so for the fullest flavor, buy a new jar before the holidays.
I have included two recipes for slightly different versions of a horseradish sauce. The first is made with whipping cream the second with sour cream. Make the one that suits your personal tastes. If you like sour cream on your baked potatoes, try this version – it will wake up your taste buds!
A less common but absolutely amazing sauce to serve with beef is Marchand du Vin. The name is French for wine merchants so it is no surprise that it is made with red wine. You reduce the wine with shallots and beef demi glace until thick and creamy. And of course the wine you use to cook with should be the same that you want to drink with dinner! We used to have the most wonderful French bistro in our town and they served a steak with Marchand du Vin sauce. That was when I fell in love with it. Piquant, rich, with just a touch of sweetness from the shallots, it enhances anything you serve it with.
Demi-glace is a remarkable product that takes about 25 hours to make. That’s why I leave it to the pros, LOL! It is a reduction of veal stock that concentrates and intensifies the flavor. My favorite brand is called Demi-Glace Gold. You can find it online if your local store doesn’t stock it. I use it in soups and stews as well. It comes in a variety of flavors so you can use it to enhance the flavors of all your savory dishes.
No matter what your beliefs are, this time of year is full of retrospection. It is a time to consider everything we have to be thankful for and to celebrate being with family and friends. For me that always involves food and wine. I hope that today’s recipes and the others I have shared with you this year help to make these holidays extra special!
- 3 rib prime rib beef roast, about 6 lb
- 1 head garlic, 4 cloves split lengthwise and tough center removed, remaining cloves
- left intact
- 1/3 cup prepared horseradish
- 1 tsp finely grated fresh lemon zest, optional
- 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, needles removed
- 3 tsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1/3 cup kosher salt
- 3 tbsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup olive oil plus extra for the roasting pan
- 2 carrots, cut into chunks
- 2 stalks celery, cut into chunks
- 2 large onions, cut into 1-inch slices
- 1 cup red wine
- 1-3/4 cups beef broth
- 1-3/4 cups chicken broth
- Have butcher cut bones off the roast and then tie them back on for roasting. Set roast on a plate or platter and refrigerate uncovered overnight.
- The next day bring the roast out of the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours to warm up. This helps it cook evenly. Set oven rack to second from the lowest position and preheat to 425°F.
- In a food processor, combine the 4 garlic cloves, horseradish, lemon zest, rosemary needles, thyme, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Pulse until it makes a fairly smooth paste. Rub paste over entire rib roast, putting a little extra on the side opposite the bones.
- Pour about 2 to 3 tbsp olive oil in the bottom of a roasting pan. Place onion slices flat in center of pan and spread carrots, celery, and remaining garlic cloves around the edges. Drizzle vegetables with a little more oil and pour in about 1/4 water or wine to keep vegetables from burning. Place the roast, bone-side down on top of the onions.
- Place the roast in the oven and cook for 20 minutes, and then reduce the temperature to 325°F. Roast until the internal temperature is 125°F to 130°F for medium-rare. Depending on the size of the roast and your oven, this should take about 1-1/2 to 2 hours or approximately 20 minutes per pound.
- Remove roast from the pan and set on a cutting board. Loosely cover with a piece of foil and let rest 20 to 30 minutes. This allows the juices to be reabsorbed into the center of the roast. The residual heat will finish the cooking and the temperature will raise about 10 to 15 more degrees.
- While the roast is resting, use a slotted spoon to place roasted vegetables in a strainer. Holding the strainer over the roasting pan, press on solids to release all of their juices. Discard solids. Place roasting pan over burner on the stove, turn to high and add wine to the pan. Use a wooden spoon or heatproof nylon spatula to scrape the bottom of the pan. Stir in beef and chicken broths. Remove ribs from the roast and add to the pan. Cook until reduced to about 2 cups, about 15 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-high if sauce is boiling to heavily.
- Remove ribs to a plate and strain pan sauce into a small pitcher. Slice beef into thick slices and serve with the pan sauce.
- Yield: about 6 servings
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup chopped shallots
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 2 cups beef or veal demi-glace
- 2 tbsp chilled butter, cut into small pieces
- In a saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the shallots and garlic. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Sauté for 1 minute. Add the thyme and red wine and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the demi-glace. Simmer for 2 minutes and remove from the heat. Remove and discard thyme sprigs
- Whisk in the butter a piece or two at a time until melted and smooth. If you want a smooth sauce, you can strain out the solids. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed with salt and pepper. Keep sauce warm until ready to serve.
- 1/2 cup chilled heavy cream
- 2 tbsp prepared white horseradish
- 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Freshly minced chives
- Beat the heavy cream until stiff. Slowly add the horseradish and lemon juice and continue to beat together. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Garnish top with chives. Serve with roasted beef.
- Yield: about 1-1/4 cups
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup prepared horseradish, or to your taste
- 2 cups sour cream
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tsp salt
- In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients and whisk until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Will hold in the refrigerator up to 2 days.
- Yield: about 2-1/2 cups