There's no denying that we love to entertain at home. Dinner parties extravaganza. From a big pot of beef curry to paella on a warm summer's evenings under the twinkling of festoon lights in the garden or on the balcony to a relaxed sit down meals, i love it all. I once cooked 10 dishes on my birthday for 33 people whilst i was just over 7 months pregnant with Hayden. That's how crazy i am about cooking and entertaining.
I love all the little details, the table setting, the candles, the linens, the flowers and foliages, choosing the wine, the background music, the long random chats, friends enjoying themselves and leaving the house in the ungodly hours.
For Boxing Day, we had some friends over for a relaxed lunch. Nothing too fancy. Oh, ok... a rib roast might look fancy but seriously, it was no four course meal. Not even three. We skipped starters. I think with all the indulgence from the Christmas lunch the day before, it was a great idea to do so.
I have a confession to make. On the food side of things, i don't usually measure ingredients when i cook. I also hardly follow cooking times. Instead, i use my instinct. Hence the recipes on this blog. I plan on documenting favourite dishes with great care and attention for Hayden. I would like to pass on to him some recipes on a bound book. Just one limited edition copy from me to him. Something for him to take to Uni so he can have a taste of home away from home. I would like for him to grow up having the same passion for food and finding adventures thru food. I hope one day, he would travel the world and experience all the cultures and dishes that his travels will offer. Already, he's showing some great expectations. He's trying everything. For now, at least.
Roast Prime Rib of Beef
For this, i used a 4 rib joint; the meat measures 12cm diameter x 19cm length. I pre-ordered this meat from the butchers and i was specific with the diameter and size of the meat [rather than the weight] as some rib joints, do come larger. I prefer cooking with this size as it's easier to manage. This is for me, by far the best cut of beef to roast and i don't use any other cuts.
This fed 7 however we also had ham as second meat and there's plentiful leftovers [half the meat] so i would say, 8 people with all the side dishes; roast potatoes, parsnips, carrots and cauliflower cheese and yorkshire puddings. Gawd. Just writing this makes me hungry again.
A little note..
Make sure the meat is at room temperature before you cook it.
The resting of the meat after cooking is very important so try to allow time for this when you're cooking the rest of your dishes and serving them to your guests.
The cooking time varies with the size of the meat. The below cooking time is a guide only.
The outer sides of the joint will cook well done and as you slice thru the meat towards the centre, it goes from medium to medium rare.
4 Rib Joint [Medium Size see notes above roughly 2kg] | 1 whole garlic sliced in half | 8 Bay Leaves | 4 Sprigs of Thyme | Salt + Pepper | 2 tbsp Sunflower Oil
Season the meat well with salt + pepper and using 1 sprig of thyme scattered all over.
Turn the oven to 180c [fan assisted].
Meanwhile, on a pre-heated cast-iron frying pan, add the oil and once hot, add the rib on the pan and sizzle all the sides until golden. Roughly 2 minutes on each sides. Turning and making sure not to burn the meat. Add 2 bay leaves to the pan whilst frying. This will add flavour and aroma to the rib.
Once the rib is all golden, transfer to a roasting pan and add the garlic and the rest of thyme and bay leaves. Add the oil from the frying pan on to the meat. Leave to cook in the oven undisturbed for roughly 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Take it out of the oven and test with the carving fork. Transfer to a wire rack with a plate or the roasting tin under it to allow the juices of the meat flow. Let the meat rest for 15-20 minutes before serving.
The Best Gravy
Transfer the meat juices and half the garlic and herbs [everything] from the roasting pan to a medium sauce pan and add 600ml of cold water. Then add 2 heaped tbsp of 'Bisto Best Beef Gravy' granules. Stir gently with a whisk. Bring to simmer. Taste. Season with salt + pepper. Turn off the heat.
Using a sieve, transfer the gravy to a serving pot.