Prime-time holiday season dinner idea

Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, the same old, same old dinner duo of turkey or ham can get incredibly boring. When planning those big dinners this year, consider serving a smoked standing rib roast slow cooked on your smoker or grill .1227Meat

In addition to saving room in your oven to cook other dishes, smoking really brings out the flavor of this grand piece of meat. The cut will come out extremely tender, unbelievably juicy and have a bold flavor. Paired with au jus and a creamy horseradish sauce, this recipe will sure to be a fond holiday season memory and turned into a yearly tradition.

A standing rib roast is better known as “prime rib.” The term “prime rib” is a misnomer — only 20 percent of beef rib roasts are deemed “prime,” according to USDA standards and are usually sold to high-end restaurants. Make sure to buy the roast with the ribs still attached — this will bring out the most flavor. A four-bone standing rib roast is big enough to serve eight to 10 people.

For this recipe, you will need a four-bone standing rib roast, butcher’s string, seasonings of your choice, roasting pan and grate, and natural charcoal or smoking chunks.

A note about charcoal: Always use natural charcoal, not briquettes. The briquettes are made from softwoods, and then mixed with ground coal, starch, Borax, sawdust and limestone. Natural charcoal is just that — partially burned hardwood that is superior in taste. Also, consider using a charcoal chimney so you do not have to use lighter fluid. Lighter fluid taints the flavor of the meat and is a known carcinogen.

To make the spicy horseradish sauce, combine 1 cup sour cream, 1/4 cup horseradish, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper. Stir all ingredients together and chill for at least four hours or overnight to let flavors blend.

Time to fire up the smoker or grill. Use the indirect method of cooking for a grill — that is, build a fire on one side of the grill and cook on the “cool” side. The ideal temperature for smoking a prime rib is 265 degrees. Using an aluminum pan and grate, place the roast bone side down and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes per pound. A good meat thermometer is a must to reach the desired temperature of 130 degrees for rare, 140 degrees for medium rare and 150 degrees for medium. All meat continues to cook after being removed from grill — remove roast 10 degrees before desired temperature. Let stand for 20 minutes loosely covered in foil.

To make the au jus, pour out most of the fat from the pan. Place the pan over heat and add one container of high-quality beef stock. Stir to release any brown bits in the pan. Add some red wine, to taste, if desired. Bring to boil and cook until stock is slightly reduced.

After the meat has sat for 20 minutes, remove the string and slice to desired thickness. Serve with the au jus and horseradish sauce on the side.

This is one meal that is sure to be remembered for many holiday seasons to come.

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