I Know that turkey is the traditional Christmas roast but not in my home. We usually have a free range chicken (which can get as big as a small turkey), a pork roast or a standing rib roast. My dad loves the beef so this year it’s roast beef for us. Julianne goes to Saskatoon to hang out with her family for Christmas / birthday celebrations and that leaves me at home to make dinner for my family. We don’t despair. Julianne and I have our own Christmas celebrations on New Year’s Eve. The special days are just days and we always make time to have our very own celebrations together. Who cares if they don’t match the ones that everybody else has.

Anyway… My Christmas feast was entirely too much food (again). My parents are getting up there in age so they don’t eat as much as they used to so I’ve got leftovers coming out of my ears even after giving them a bunch of food to take home. Our dinner consisted of roast beef, scalloped potatoes, cabbage rolls and roast vegetables. There were some dinner rolls but I was the only one who ate one. Dinner was a success. Nobody had room for dessert. My dad couldn’t even manage a glass of water after the meal. We practically had to roll him out the door.

My food pictures are slowly getting better. The oven light cast this glow on the roast that made it look like light from the heavens. Pretty sure I heard a choir of angels sing when it went in the oven. Could be the TV in the background but there’s no way to tell for sure.

Standing Rib Roast base

I started my roast off with a base of onions, celery, garlic, sage, rosemary and thyme. Does anyone else hear Simon & Garfunkle sing “parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme” from Scarborough Fair? Okay… just me then? I’m definitely going batty with all this time alone cooking.

The roast was prepared by coating it in olive oil and a little camelina oil. Kosher salt and smoked paprika were sprinkled on and patted down. I cut up garlic, sage, rosemary and thyme (now you’re hearing that song too… It’s going to be stuck in your head all day long… your welcome.) I mixed the garlic an herbs up in the cutting board and spread them out. Then I took the roast and rolled it in the herbs so the whole thing was covered in them and patted any areas that were missed with any herbs that were left on the cutting board.

Standing Rib Roast uncooked

I chose to cook the roast slowly at 325 F. I was shooting for medium rare but roasting meat is part science and part black art. I took the roast out of the oven when it’s internal temperature hit 145 F but it continues to cook after it comes out and it got up to 148 F when it was sitting on the counter. When I started to carve it looked rare but by the time it got on the serving platter it was medium. One day I’ll get it exactly right.

Standing Rib Roast cooked

The Gravy tuned out okay. It was a little bland. Could be that I used too much stock or that I didn’t cook it with the herbs and veg long enough. I chose to use Campbell’s Stock First Beef Stock instead of Campbell’s Beef Broth. The beef broth has more salt and other ingredients. Maybe I should use both next time to get the flavour I want. Again… One day I’ll get it exactly right.

Ingredients:

standing rib roast (mine was a 3 rib roast that weighed about 6 lbs)
1 medium onion
6 cloves of garlic
sage
rosemary
thyme
olive oil
camelina oil
kosher salt
smoked paprika
red wine
2 – 480 ml cartons of Campbell’s Stock First Beef Stock
flour
water

Preparation:

I made the herb crust on Christmas morning. The roast was covered in olive oil and a little camelina oil until it was glistening. Dust the roast with some kosher salt and smoked paprika. The herbs and three garlic cloves were chopped up and spread across the cutting board. I rolled the roast in the herb mixture to cover the top and sides. The roast was put back in the fridge until about noon. I took the roast out of the fridge and let it sit on the counter to warm up to room temperature. I cut up the onion and celery and placed them in the bottom of the roasting pan with 3 cloves of garlic. A little balsamic vinegar, kosher salt and camelina oil were sprinkled on top and the whole thing was tossed around a bit before I laid the rosemary and thyme on top. The roast went in the 325 F oven at about 2:30 pm and cooked until about 5:00 so roughly 2 1/2 hours cooking time. I took it out when my digital thermometer read 142 F (the roast ended up done medium even though it looked rare when I started carving it). Cover the roast with foil and let it rest for a while on the counter.

I put the roasting pan on the stove top and cranked the burner up to high heat. The lovely stuff on the bottom of the pan was deglazed with a good glug of read wine and the beef stock. Let that cook for a while while you scrape the browned bits of the bottom of the pan. When you think it’s got the flavour out of the herbs and veg pour the liquid into a saucepan. While the liquid comes up to a boil mix some flour and water in a jar and shake it like a shake-n-rock-n-roll band (Big Snit reference). Slowly pour in the flour / water mixture while whisking. Keep going until the gravy is consistency that you desire. Lower the heat to a simmer and stir occasionally so the gravy doesn’t make a skin or stick to the bottom of the pot.

Carve the roast and serve with the tasty gravy. Enjoy.

The Whole Christmas Meal

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