Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Prime Rib Again For Christmas

Bev and I hope each of you had a wonderful Christmas.  The bad news is we didn’t have a white Christmas, but the good news is the driving conditions for travelers in the Southeast were very good.

For the past two years, and again this year, our Christmas menu was centered around smoked prime rib.  I’ve often posted about Benton’s Country Ham’s, but they offer more than ham and bacon and carry some nice choice rib eyes which most people buy as steaks.  I like their meat and they occasionally give me a break on the whole roasts, so I stopped by the other day and bought the last three they had.

A few days before Christmas I carved them up by first rinsing and taking a light cut from each end.  Then I removed most of the hard fat from the fat cap and most of the fatty tail – both just add grease to the smoker without adding any flavor to the meat.  From the three whole rib eyes, I ended up with one whole and two half roasts and the rest cut into steaks. 

Here are the 1 1/2 roasts to be smoked on Christmas day.

We began the Christmas meal with a social hour that included smoked salmon spread and a cheese, summer sausage, and olive tray.  I’d smoked the salmon on Thursday using some of the Scottish Salmon that we brought back from our trip to Maine in May and my normal brining and smoking process - this is just before and after smoking.

We then sat down for an appetizer of chargrilled shrimp followed by Caesar salad with Ruby Tuesday’s delicious croutons.  We again used the process of preparing and eating a course then moving on to do the same with the next one.

For dinner, we had 3 children and 10 adults and we served buffet style with the meat being cut to order – it was given a quick dunk in simmering jus for those who wanted it more done than medium rare.  This is heading for the smoker after setting out with the rub on it for a couple of hours.

I smoked it at 225* to an internal of 121*, which took 4 hours, wrapped it in foil, and put in a cooler until dinner time.  When ready to eat, I put it in a 500* oven for about 10 minues for crust develpment.  I'd used 450* last year and will go back to it as the fat was burned a little at 500*.

To go with the meat, we served brussel sprouts which were steamed then sauteed in a lemon/butter/garlic sauce and topped with grated parmesan and crumbled bacon, mushrooms sautéed in butter with a little Kitchen Bouquet added for color, twice baked potatoes, green bean casserole supplied by friend Ashley who used a make-from-scratch recipe from Alton Brown for Not Your Mama's Green Bean Casserole that even had homemade onions for the topping, horseradish sauce, and hot rolls.  Here we are ready to cook the main course - it's times like these that I love our cooktop - four 12" pans on it and two other burners under the cutting board in case we need them.

This my plate and I was sure stuffed when done.

I thought it was all delicious and the guests seemed to enjoy it - Bev and I believe, less the nutmeg, this will be the new go-to recipe for the green bean casserole.
For dessert, we had pumpkin pies furnished by SIL, Pat, and Key Lime and French Silk pies furnished by friends David and Laurie which were also delicious.

The one learning from this day was it's not a great idea to have a Grandkids present opening-a-thon in the morning then host a dinner party in mid afternoon.  Too much for us old folks in a short period of time and we were pretty well comatose after everyone left on Monday.  Bev didn't get out of her nightwear and I only did because I had to take the car in for service.

All photos can be enlarged by clicking on them. 

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.

One year ago: Leftover Prime Rib

Two years ago:  Christmas Day At Last




  1. Sounds like a wonderful dinner. Yes, that would be a bit much for us, all in one day!

  2. I really miss that from my New York years. The meat cuts here in Italy are different, they don't taste as good and are very hard. Happy Holidays to you and your family Big Dude!

  3. As always, everything looks great! Plus, I'm so jealous that you and Bev create together a lot... Chris only comes into the kitchen to clean, which is not a bad thing, mind you.. :)

  4. And exactly how far away do I live from your smoker? sigh

  5. Larry...and Laurie and I really enjoyed the meal as well as the conversation! The prime rib, the twice baked potato and of course, the yeast rolls all scored very high on the Big Daddy Dave 'satiated' meter. But, I must admit that the Brussels Sprouts just blew me away...Terrific! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  6. Sounds like everyone had a great time and I totally agree with not planning on too much in one day. Too much can take the fun out of it. Your prime rib sounds like the best reason to celebrate Christmas.

  7. I made a standing rib roast. It was beyond wonderful. So, I see that our great minds are thinking alike.

    And I spent Monday in my dressing gown, after sleeping until after noon. There are days when we have just earned the right to laze about.

  8. I followed the directions you gave me last year, Larry, and my prime rib was perfectly cooked. I loved the "oohhh's and aaahhh's" when I sliced it. I chose twice baked potatoes as well and dinner was fantastic. So was the French dip I had the next day for lunch. Happy New Year to you and Bev!

  9. The Christmas meal looks stunning-wow! That was one fabulous feast.

    I smiled about the grandkids opening their presents Christmas morning to be followed up with a Christmas meal in the afternoon....

    I was feeling pretty comatose after Christmas too. I was overfed and exhausted (laugh).

    Happy New Year to you and Bev.


  10. Amazing meal Larry - that roast looks delicious! We had our usual ham, which was good too.
    I know what you mean by too much on Christmas. We opened gifts and had our big meall with 11 people on the same day. I was so tired afterwards, and was totally wasted the next day. I'm getting old.

  11. My gosh Larry, what an elegent and beautiful meal! I actually did that same green bean casserole for Thanksgiving, a friend sent me the link. I don't think I put nutmeg on it. But just wondering, did you use fresh grated nutmeg? or purchased. Fresh nutmeg has such a different taste. Not so strong. More savory.

  12. Ahhh heck, you should have worn your sleep wear to the garage!

    The prime rib looks fantastic, Larry. You got a lot of nice beef, didn't realize Benton's sold ribeyes. The price of ribeyes even at Sam's has been pretty cost prohibitive to me but had to splurge for Christmas. I miss those $5/lb deals we used to find every now and then!


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