When we were growing up the main dish at our Christmas dinner was either ham or turkey, sometimes both depending on how many people were coming for dinner. More recently my sister and I have found that we prefer making a beef rib roast. We found a recipe in a cookbook from Po’okela Church. It’s so easy and we’ve followed it ever since.
This year we made a three-rib, seven pound roast, a little larger than we normally make because we had guests. We brought it out of the refrigerator about 15-20 minutes before we planned to put it into the oven so it wouldn’t be really cold when it went in. At the same time we pre-heated the oven to 375 degrees F.
After patting the roast dry with paper towel we seasoned it all over with a mixture of Hawaiian sea salt, another seasoned salt, and lots of freshly cracked black pepper. You can use whatever combination you prefer but just make sure you season it well on all sides. Rough measurements for a roast this size is about 2 tablespoons of salt (both the Hawaiian and seasoned salt) and another 1-1.5 tablespoons of black pepper.
We place the roast on a rack in a roasting pan and put it into the preheated oven for one hour. Now here’s the funny thing about this recipe, after the hour you turn off the heat and leave the roast in the oven. DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR. The roast will continue to slow cook in the residual heat of the oven (about 2-3 hours).
An hour before you want to carve the roast, turn the oven back on to 375 degrees and set the timer to 45 minutes from the time you turn the oven back on. After 45 minutes, remove the roast, cover the top lightly with foil and let it rest for at least 15 minutes. This will produce a perfect medium rare roast beef – just the way we like it.
Food safety experts might not care for the way we do this. I’m no expert but I will say that we’ve been doing this for years without incident (and I hope that continues). I will say that I saw Trisha Yearwood do a similar technique with a turkey and that scared me.
Like I said, my sister and I like our beef medium rare. If you’d like it more well done you could either turn up the temperature or leave it in a little longer on the second roast. I made the mistake once of waiting until the oven was back up to 375 degrees before starting the 45 minute timing and the roast came out medium well instead of medium rare.
Whatever your holiday tradition is, I hope you had a wonderful time and shared it with those you love.