My FIL loved roast beef. (When the kids were little, they used to tease him: "What are we having for dinner, Buck?" And he'd say: "Roast Barf." *screams and laughter all around* )
My father was no slouch in the roast beef department either. Mother served it every Christmas Eve and one of his favorite restaurants, Dante's in Ft. Lauderdale (now defunct), served it as a special every Saturday night. You can imagine where the two of them (and sometimes the rest of us) had dinner every single Saturday, can't you?
Now it's never been something I made regularly. But when I made it for Dad, I made that old never-fail recipe from the Make It Now, Bake It Later cookbooks, where it sat in an oven for hours after a bit of high heat. And now that both those lovely men are gone, I haven't made it once. I'm going to rectify that right now. Vegetarians, you may want to shut your eyes, say hello and pass on by my blog today. Because there's a big slab of rare BEEF coming up.
This is yet another recipe I found in Fine Cooking magazine. A salt/herb encrusted roast. I'd never done it before. Sound complicated? It wasn't and the results were as tender as can be. My only suggestion: I wish I had browned it a little more before I put the salted dough on. So if you decide to try this, sear your roast nicely on all three sides. And once you take the crust off (yes, it actually comes off in one piece) wipe some of the salt off the roast.
As for this divine sauce, I know morels are really expensive, so use any wild mushrooms you have available; it's a lovely accompaniment for the beef. I happened to have some dried morels in the pantry so I used them. I used to make a horseradish sauce with roast beef, but this mushroom sauce beats it hands down. And if you have any leftover, make an omelet with it. Oh My. So good.
Herb and Salt-crusted Standing Rib Roast with Morel Sauce
From Fine Cooking Magazine, Make-ahead Holidays
2 cups kosher or sea salt
1 large egg white
3 T. freshly ground black pepper
3 T. chopped fresh thyme, stems included
2 T. chopped juniper berries
2 T. chopped garlic
1 T. chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
2 to 3 cups flour plus more for rolling
1 standing beef rib roast, about 7 lbs., or 3 ribs, cut from loin end, chine bone and fat cap removed
1 T. vegetable oil
Morel sauce, go HERE
In stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix 1 cup water with the salt, egg white, pepper, thyme, juniper, garlic and parsley. Mix on medium speed until blended. On medium low speed, mix in 2 cups of the flour, adding more as needed, until dough is firm and feels slightly dry and stiff, like Play Doh. Continue to mix for 2 minutes. The dough should be smooth and firm but not sticky. Add more flour if needed. Flatten dough into a rectangle, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 6 hours.
An hour before you’re ready to roast, put beef on counter and let sit at room temperature.
Position rack in center of oven and heat oven to 350.
Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Pour in oil and put the roast, meat side down, in skillet; sear until deeply browned, about 5 minutes. Remove roast from pan and set it, bone side down on rack in roasting pan.
On lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 1/4 inch thick rectangle. Drape the dough over meat, tucking in on all sides.