Thursday, January 9, 2020

Meat Sweats or Leftoverpalooza or We Have The Meat! or How To Cook and Eat Twenty Two Pounds of Prime Rib

This Christmas we took a page from traditional Whoville celebrations in The Grinch Who Stole Christmas and made a real roast beast for Christmas Eve dinner.  I think Don’s dad had been watching The Grinch and the Christmas Carol on repeat, and when he went to the butcher’s he asked for the largest goose in the window and ended up with a 22lb bone-in prime rib roast.  I don’t really know how a description can possibly do it justice, and I didn’t think to take pictures of it, but it was a BEAST (in fact, I started referring to it as the Beast Rabban in my head, but then that got kind of weird, so I had to stop).  It came in the largest foil roasting pan available at your local grocery store, wrapped in butcher paper, and it busted out both sides of the roasting pan.  

Don and I took the Beast on as a project, and decided to cook it as a whole, rather than cutting it up into two or three roasts.  For more information about our favorite method of cooking prime rib, Serious Eats has several articles detailing the methodology and a great recipe as well.  Reverse Searing For Life!  While the recipe shown references a 3 to 12lb rib roast, I can now testify that the methodology works for a 22lb roast as well.  Just make sure you give yourself enough time, and if your roast is rarer around the rib bones you can always carve off the outside pieces and then put your roast back into a low oven to keep cooking the inside as you eat.

Note: also make sure you have a roasting pan that has not been bent and crumpled under the weight of your beast to roast.  Especially if your husband is taking your kids to the grocery store on Christmas Eve morning and asks you forty times if he needs to get anything else and you assure him that you are definitely good to go, nothing more needed.  Then he comes home and asks what you are cooking the beast in and you say “a roasting pan” and realize the roasting pan you are thinking of is actually the Platonic Ideal of a roasting pan, and does not, in fact, inhabit the physical plane of your in-laws house.  

So, perfect medium rare prime rib (and when I say perfect, I mean if you like medium rare meat then you need to make yourself an occasion and cook this immediately because this method is foolproof and amazing), Christmas Eve dinner.  22lbs.  We ate about 3lbs of it that night.  A few more pounds were sliced off for Christmas Day dinner to complement the turkey.  I would estimate that left about 16lbs of prime rib leftover after Christmas.  Don and I sliced that in half, and took one of the halves home when we left the morning of the 27th.  Call it 6-7lbs of prime rib per half at that point.  A goodly chunk of the original beast, which in reality was a full Christmas roast for a family in its own right!

Would you ever go to the grocery store and order 6lbs of sliced roast beef?  Well, now that I think about it, that sounds like a sandwich party to me, but still.  That would be crazy.  So what do you do with that much leftover, perfectly rare prime rib?

Well, really whatever you want!

Here is a list of the meals we ended up getting out of the Beast:

Prime Rib Christmas Eve Dinner.  Accompanied by mashed potatoes, Hawaiian bread rolls, sautéed green beans.
Prime Rib Second Christmas Dinner.  Accompanied by horsey sauce, baked creamed spinach, and garlic bread.
Prime Rib Second
Christmas Dinner

Prime Rib Ramen.  I broke out the last bag of dashi broth from the deep freeze, leftover from that time I went insane in 2016 and spent three days making David Chang’s  ramen broth.  Combined with beef stock, and purloined three bricks of noodles from our pantry store of Top  Ramen.  Combined with thin shaved prime rib, shaved carrots, onion and thinly sliced sugar snap peas.
Prime Rib Scrambled Eggs.  I didn’t really want to mess with making the potatoes for a full hash, and now I regret that.  Hash is one of my favorite breakfast or breakfast for dinner meals!  Instead I just cut up some cubes of prime rib, cooked them on medium high in a nonstick skillet to crisp up the fat, and then added some eggs beaten with a bit of half and half and garlic salt.  In retrospect I should have combined the prime rib bits and eggs after they were cooked separately so that the crispy bits did not get soggy with egg!  Still good!
Prime Rib Sandwiches.  The second to last leftover meal, this used a serious chunk of prime rib and was delicious.  Toasted hoagie buns, homemade horseradish sauce, cartelized onions, and sharp white cheddar.  Sandwiches broiled open faced in the oven for 6 minutes, then devoured.  I wanted to add some baby arugula to these but we only had romaine, and that did not seem right.  Lucy had hers without onions and horsey sauce.  R requested a ham and cheese with extra mayo, served neither hot nor cold, but medium, please.
Christmas Leftover Poutine.  This was the ultimate leftover meal.  Take leftover french fries from your prime rib sandwich night, top with leftover creamed spinach from Second Christmas, and top with chopped prime rib from the very last four inch by four inch chunk and shredded gruyere and parmesan from the creamed spinach.  Broil in the oven on low for 10 minutes, or until the smell drives you insane and you try to grab the cast iron skillet with your bare hands.  Ouch.
Delicious leftover chimera of french fries,
creamed spinach, prime rib and gruyere
This may not seem like a lot, but at the time it felt like we had been eating prime rib for two weeks.  Which is kind of true.  No one got food poisoning.  Not sure I would be up for cooking that large of a beast again in the future!

Here are some other meal ideas I considered in the leftovering process:

Prime Rib curry with sweet potatoes
Prime Rib and mushroom stroganoff
Prime rib soup with barley and carrots

Leftover scrambled eggs, sausage gravy and
creamed spinach atop leftover biscuits
Leftover poblano chile puff and sharp cheddar on toast

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