Thursday, January 2, 2014

Xmas Day Rancho Winslow: Prime Rib!





..the end cut....interior was a perfect medium-rare to rare

On Xmas day at Rancho Winslow we had a rather subdued crowd. Both of the granmaws were under the weather, so they were missed (but got plenty of good food delivered to them). But Sara and Ilan showed up from Florida, Kara dropped by for a bit to ride the horse, Christian dropped by, and Havalah was there with the triple squealing spawns (one sick, as kids are commonly known vectors for disease). Robert “Empty Leg” Abraham made a showing, after having missed out on Thanksgiving’s feast. CBoy and Princess Di (The Martha Stewart of Manchaca) were riding herd, with me holding down the stove. The main event was a 7-rib prime rib, a cut of meat that I’ve cooked whole herds of in the distant past at Pelican’s Wharf.




..."before"...

The method is simple: let it come to room temp (takes about 4 hours for a big rack), lather on the salt and pepper, put it in an oven at 250°F for 3 to 3 ½ hours, until it reaches 120°F internal degrees, tent it with foil, and let it rest for 30 minutes, and then have Robert slice it with his grandfather’s carbon steel carving set with the antler handles. Dude was a vet; he knows how to cut animals. It came out perfectly medium-rare and was as tender as a baby’s butt. Not sure if my cooking caused that, or if the meat from Grover at Johnny G’s Butcher Block was the culprit. Maybe we doubled up and each contributed their share. Regardless, it was very delicious, juicy, and tender. The best yet.






We had some nice wines to go with. We all went searching for the Silver Range Malbec that I had gotten at Spec’s for Thanksgiving, but they were out (as usual). I substituted a 2012 Gouguenheim Malbec, a 2011 Silver Range Cab, and a 2012 Urban Malbec (all Mendoza Valley, ARG), and the clear winner was the Gouguenheim, declared better than the previous Thanksgiving’s Malbec from Silver Range. Now IT will be sold out when I return for some more, as is typical of Spec’s. There was also a chilly bottle of Anna de Cordiníu Brut Rosé Cava that Havalah needed some of during a spawn squeal session, and a bottle of District 7 Cab that we never cracked.





...the first of three skillets-full of marrow bones......to make 3 gallons of stock




...the finished cup and a half of rich, unctuous demi glace, next to the horsey sauce......


I had taken about 9 pounds of marrow-laden soup bones, browned them off, and reduced them in a couple of  gallons of low-sodium beef stock for about 5 hours over a frisky flame, to conjure up about a cup and a half of rich, thick, sticky demi glace for the meat. I also threw together some horsey sauce from sour cream and a little mayo, roasted garlic, horseradish, a dab of lemon, Worcestershire, Dijon, and chives. Di whipped up a batch of her famous double-stuffed twice-baked potatoes, and we roasted some Brussels sprouts (I prefer to call them “cabbage veal”). Diane made a huge layered green salad; very fresh and nice with some bleu cheese vinaigrette dressing. I used that same meaty, oily skillet from the bones to sauté up a big wad of sliced mushrooms, with roasted garlic, salt, pepper, a dab of the demi glace, and a touch of cabernet and sweet butter. They were yum.



 

...spuds....




...mushrooms.....




...roasted cabbage veal........





...huge salad.....




...the noshatorium......




...pie land......


Noshes included a roasted nut and dried fruit mélange, cream cheese with a fruity-chile jam, a big globe of aged Gouda, and some spinach-artichoke dip. Luckily nobody ruined their appetite.  The bakery department at HEB contributed a Lemon Chess (buttermilk) pie, and a four fruit pie; both were just fine and perfect once the food had settled a tad. We all ate and drank until we couldn’t anymore, exchanged some nice gifts and friendship, and got full as ticks. It was a good thing.

Mick Vann ©   

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