It was Christmas for us, but Happy Holidays whatever it is you celebrate. If you don't celebrate anything, then a rad weeknight in December to you.
So before I start this one, I am going to admit to you: This blog entry is 4 in 1. I do four things that either have gotten an entry in the past or would have been up for a re-do. I utilize stuff I've done before on each step, but I did it all within 3 days and it all kinda works together.
The other thing, I did something bad. I admit it now, I didn't use a thermometer. I took my chances, and I just happened to get lucky, but I don't recommend taking this on without a thermometer. So don't be a me, and use a probe, or even just a simple meat thermometer.
First thing's first: I had to replace my old spatula. It's been without a handle since like the first 2 weeks after I bought it, but I rocked it handle-free for about 2 years. It's time to relieve it though.
So pretty. Time to get this thing started.
Salt and pepper every surface. Then put it on some racks. It's gonna chill in the fridge for at least a day (3 would be best).
Uncovered, on the bottom shelf. It's better to not have too much stuff nearby to prevent cross-contamination.
On to part 2: seasoning a cast iron skillet. I bought this one because it's a 9" and my others are 7". It's also a wreck. No biggie, it can be saved very easily.
The only time you will ever use soap and water on this thing is when you are about to season it. Get it nice and clean.
Then get it completely dry.
A few tablespoons of cooking oil. I used canola, but any neutral flavored high smoke point oil will work.
I just used my hands. Top and bottom, and the handle. No part will be untouched by the oil.
If you have any excess, sop some of it up with a paper towel.
Get the oven super hot, 450 or higher depending on your oil's smoke point.
Wash those oily hands!
Got some butter out to soften. A necessary step for this one.
As it gets closer to the cook time, pull the roast out of the fridge. It will be pretty cold. So contrary to what I would usually tell you about meat, you want to keep this out at room temp for one hour. If you put it in the oven cold, it'll mess with the cook time.
And now for part 3: Apple Cheddar Crumble for dessert. Don't be weird. Sometimes I say that and it makes people wince. First off, Cheddar and green apple is one of those weird flavor profiles that somehow work well together. Secondly, while I use cheese in this, it is not a sweet/savory dessert. It is first and foremost a dessert and you should absolutely Try It Out.
Here we have the stuff we need for the filling: 8 peeled green apples, 1/4 cup of brown sugar, 1 cup of sugar (not pictured), 1/2 tsp kosher salt, juice of a lemon, 2 tsp of cinnamon, 1/4 cup of apple juice, and half a shot of bourbon.
Dump it into a bowl and mix it up.
The topping: 2 cups of flour, 1 cup of sugar, 1 tsp kosher salt, 1 tbsp of corn starch, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 2 cups of grated cheddar cheese and 1 cup of melted butter.
Pour the butter in last before getting started.
Mix it up together very lightly just to the point where everything is integrated, and then, in the words of the Thyme Lord, just walk away. Just. Walk. Away. Why? Well the recipe I used to use pretty much ordered me to mix it all together till it's smooth. I say do it till it looks kind of sandy. Why? The old recipe's topping was always kinda chewy, never crunchy. I wanted crunchy, and overworking this will create a ton of gluten and would explain why it was always chewy. So when it's just sandy is when you haven't worked too much gluten into it and it'll come out crispier. Also, that doesn't mean this is gluten free. I don't have a recipe for that yet. Sorry.
Put the apples into the now-seasoned cast iron skillet, and start topping with the crumbs.
You don't wanna seal this up. Just like a pie, you need somewhere for the steam to go, so I never try to pack it down too hard.
Ready to go.
I put this in at 350, and you should check it in 20 minutes.
This took me about 35 minutes total, but once it's bubbly and crisp on the top, it's time to take it out. Now the hard part: this has to sit on the counter and cool for no less than one hour. Excruciating I know, but it is ordered on the blog this way for a reason. Because in the time it takes for this to cool, another thing will need to cook...
Oh, did you forget about the roast?? Back to part 1. Hopefully you didn't forget to soften the butter. Now you can grab any combination of herbs you see fit. Here I have rosemary, parsley, thyme and oregano. And don't forget the salt and pepper.
Also, I'm weird and I like hot sauce, so a few dabs of some good flavorful hot sauce will only help the flavor (no, it won't make the roast spicy at all).
Use the back of a spoon to integrate everything into a nice spreadable compound butter.
Make sure to wash your hands with hot water up to the elbow, because there's no easy way to do this except... Get up in there!
Smear the butter onto every surface of the aged roast.
Covered in herb butter, with some optional Yukon gold potatoes also in the pan. Also, don't forget in our household we roast it with the fat cap on top. Also... Don't ever ask your butcher to cut the fat off of meat. That's the flavor... That's also for another blog entry, let's not do this now.
This is the part I was warning about earlier. I did not use a thermometer. At all. I roasted this at 325 for 70 minutes. It was about a 16 minutes a pound on a 5 pound roast. Now before the mathematicians come to tear my head off, no, I didn't forget about the last 10 minutes.
The last 10 minutes were spent with the heat at a blaring 500 degrees, to get the outside crust as crisp as possible.
There she is. In all her glory.
But again, comes another challenge, and one that is not optional. A roast this large has to rest for no less than 15 minutes. I let it rest for like 20 because I don't wanna take my chances.
Even without a thermometer and a roll of the dice from a cook time I got off the internet, I was rewarded with a crispy exterior and a luscious rosy pink interior. I freakin' did it! (Seriously. Seriously, just get a thermometer. It'll cut down on your anxiety. This could have gone tits up and completely ruined the entry.)
Plate up the potatoes, a few slices of your roast, and serve it up with a piece of apple cheddar crumble.
A very meat and potatoes Christmas Dinner. Perfection for me.
What? I promised a 4th Part?
Well... What about the leftovers?
Here we have the leftovers. A good chunk of meat, and the drippings. Inside the fat cap there is some of the juice leftover. Put that in a pan, with a little bit of the fat, and cut it with some store bought broth if you need to.
Cut up the rib eye nice and thin.
Here we have some softened butter and some horseradish.
And boom. Horseradish butter.
If you happened to have some other leftovers, say, these mashed potatoes from a party you went to over the weekend, they can be panko breaded to be a side dish.
Fry the potatoes, simmer the rib eye in the au jus, and toast the buttered bread over a flat top.
The lovely rosy pink will be gone, but if you simmer it slowly it'll remain just as delicious and tender.
And boom. A nice rib eye beef dip with horseradish buttered bread and little potato croquettes. A nice leftover dinner.
Whew! That was a long one. But it was worth it to spend Christmas with the woman I love, the dogs I adore, and the family that I sometimes choose to tolerate.
Ha, kidding. Love you all too.
Happy Holidays from us, Case and Ava