The turkey may reign supreme at the Thanksgiving table, but when Christmas rolls around, old Tom has nothing on the king and queen of all beef roasts.
At meat counters across Southwest Virginia, standing rib roasts and beef tenderloins are the top-selling cuts of beef in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Although not all families choose beef for the holiday dinner, sales of those two roasts can hold their own against alternatives such as duck, ham and seafood.
But one does not enter lightly into the preparation of either cut, because the price is pretty heavy. In our family, the adults chip in $10 apiece for a standing rib roast — otherwise known as prime rib — that usually rings up at about $80. I’m so fearful of ruining the high-dollar cut that I have never cooked it myself. I leave that up to my father, who somehow manages every year to turn out a beauty that satisfies both my aunts, who like theirs bloody, and my sister, who likes hers well-done (or “ruined,” as the aunts put it).
But self-doubt should never prevent cooks from attempting a new recipe, and the truth is that neither of these roasts is as difficult to cook as we may think. In fact, it’s more challenging to make other holiday staples such as yeast rolls and fudge than it is to prepare a nice roast.
The key to delicious results, according to experts I consulted, is to have proper equipment and to remember a few important steps.
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Click the links to see recipes for:
Aaron Deal’s Beef Roast Dry Rub
Does your family have beef for one of your holiday meals? If so, what cut do you prefer and how do you like to prepare it?