Sunday, December 27, 2009

Mmmmm, lasagna....

Looks tasty, tonight's feast. Doubling the house pupulation with friends of ours that have two Goldens (OK, so one's half poodle). Home made lasagna. Lots of work but has been worth it.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Dry Aged Prime Rib Roast

I've been a big fan of prime rib for years, and it's been our Christmas day meal for probably 10+ years now. I've done more experimenting in the past 2 years because the roasts have gotten as low as $2.98 a pound, and that's cheap! My traditional method has held firm, and that's covering with thyme, salt and strips of Farmland Cider House Bacon (thanks again Bill!).

I've learned a coupla things and will stick with that recipe, it's plain and simple, but the addition of rosemary and garlic is not a bad idea.

Another thing I'll always do is warm my meat up (snicker) before cooking. Never go from fridge to oven immediately, the lower and slower it can cook the better. I now take my prime rib out in the morning, maybe even the night before and let it get to room temperature.

I've not made up my mind if Select or Choice from the stores makes a difference, I'm a bit tainted cause a pricey piece from McGonigles in KC was a big disappointment, but that was years ago and not having the experience I do now, I think I overcooked it. I've gotten them from all over and have had good and bad, no rhyme or reason except that the more patient I am with cooking, the better it has seemed to be.

Another must is putting your plates in the oven and getting them warmed up. A medium rare prime rib won't have a lot of heat, and a cold plate will kill it. This also has another benefit, it finishes the cooking. I pull my roast when internally the probe says a mere 125 degrees, watching it like a hawk when it hits 115. Yup, check the Internet, that's classified as rare. Temperature will increase as it sits, and you MUST let it sit, at least 20 minutes. When you cut it, you may think it's not done cause of the color, but in my humble opinion, this is the best way. For someone who likes their steaks well done, order a pizza. This isn't for them.

This year, attempt #2 on dry aging. My buddy Brett prompted me to try this last February, and it was a success. Tender and tasty. Last Sunday I bought a Choice piece of meat, covered it in cheesecloth and plopped it in the fridge. Really that's all there is to it. You will want to cut off some of the fat and pieces that turn brown or funky on you, then proceed as normal, but it's as simple as letting it sit, changing the cloth a time or two. This will only be a 5 day age, in the future I will try a 14 day and see how it works. Day three seen below:

Monday, December 21, 2009

Basque Beans

Thanks to Louis's Basque restaurant in downtown Reno NV for this inspiration. We went there for lunch on our anniversary and their beans were just tasty. This recipe is close, though a little more meaty and thicker I think.

  • 1½ lb. dried beans (I used Great Northern White), rinsed and drained and soaked overnight.
  • 5-6 cups beef stock (I use homemade, it makes a difference)
  • Some ham, maybe a cup or so, cut in small pieces
  • 1 leftover ham bone with plenty of meat attached
  • 1 medium chopped onion
  • 4 cloves chopped garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ lb (or two links) of chopped cooked chorizo, I've found Johnsonville is excellent for this, not too fatty. Just put mine on a pan and baked in the oven.
  • 1 TB Dried Italian herb mix
  • 1/2 Cup Dried Mashed Potato flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Put the beans and cover with water into a heavy pot, cover and bring to a boil, simmer for 30 minutes, and let sit for 30 minutes. Drain.
  2. Add all of the other ingredients except the chorizo to a crock pot. (Note: My small crock didn't hold, I had to use the larger one)
  3. Bring the whole thing to high until bubbling, and then put to medium for 4-6 hours, occasionally sprinkling in dried potatoes to help thicken.
  4. Add the chorizo and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.