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.