Hey all… Well first and foremost, I hope that everyone reading this is well, and that you’re loved ones are well. I know that these are crazy, scary times. For those reading this in the future, we’re smack dab in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the world is essentially upside down. Two days ago was Easter 2020, but it sure didn’t feel like it. While I’m very blessed to have my wife and three beautiful children at my side, I still missed spending the holiday with more of my family. But, it is what it is, and we all have to make the best of our situation and just be grateful when those near and dear to us have their health.
On a lighter note, holy crap I’m back! I know it’s been a lonnnnnggggg minute since I’ve posted anything on the blog. I’ve apologized for this before, and I’ll do so again, life just manages to get in the way. Between work and three crazy active amazing children, I just haven’t had time to cook, let alone blog. I don’t know if that’s necessarily going to change much in the near future once we hopefully get back to normal, or whatever our new normal will be, but for right now, with this partial quarantine in effect and all schools and sports closed, I find myself with some free time. Normally this time of year I’d be on a baseball diamond seven days a week coaching multiple teams!
So, onto the food… For Easter dinner this year I decided to make a Standing Rib Roast. I made it with a mustard, honey, garlic & herb crust, and honestly… It’s delicious. Below is my recipe, along with some wine pairings. I hope you give it a shot!!
Serves: 6-8 people
7-8lb Beef Rib Roast
1tbsp Ground Black Pepper
1/2 cup Spicy Brown Mustard
1/3 cup Chopped Fresh Parsley
6 Cloves of Garlic, chopped
1tbsp Dark Brown Sugar
1tsp Ground Black Pepper
OK, first of all, you’ll want to pull your rib roast out of the fridge two hours before you plan on cooking. You do this because you want to get as close to room temp as possible. If the center of the roast is too cold, it’s going to take forever to get to temp, meanwhile the outside of your roast is… roasting.
So let’s say two hours have passed and you’re ready to roll. Preheat your oven to 450F. Coat the outside of the roast with salt and pepper, then place bone side down (fat side up) in your baking pan. Cook for 20 minutes, and then remove from the oven and allow it to rest for 15 minutes.
While resting combine all of your ingredients for the crust, and reduce the heat in your oven to 350F. Liberally brush the top and sides of the roast with the mustard mixture and place back in the oven. Periodically rotate the baking pan to ensure even cooking. As far as your remaining cook time, that depends on how you want it cooked. I prefer medium rare but the wife and kiddies typically prefer closer to medium, so I cooked it for 90 minutes which gave me a perfect medium rare in the middle, and medium closer to the outsides. If you’re in the same boat as me and you have an instant read thermometer, you’re looking at an internal temp in the center around 130F. If you want it on the rarer side go less time, cooked more, go longer. But in my world, the ideal cook time was 90 minutes.
Once the roast is cooked to whatever internal temperature you’re looking for, remove it from the oven and allow it to rest at room temp for 15-20 minutes before carving. If you start cutting it earlier all of the juices are going to run out. Once ready, cut the bones off the roast and then slice it up and serve with whatever side(s) you’ve chosen. For this meal, I did a crispy vegetable Israeli couscous that was fantastic! (don’t ask for the recipe, I didn’t write anything down… lol)
So now let’s talk wine. Obviously we’re dealing with big flavors and red meat, so we need some big ‘ole red wines. You can go Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot, Zinfandel, Grenache (Garnacha), Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, a full bodied red blend… Your choices are pretty wide open here. Below are a few wines that I would recommend from different regions and at varying moderate price points.
Mas de Daumas Gassac “Pont de Gassac” Rouge, Languedoc, France – The Guibert family purchased their land in the Gassac Valley of Southern France in the early-70’s knowing that they wanted to be farmers, but not knowing what to farm! After consulting with a number of terroir specialists, including the famed Emile Peynaud, the winery of Mas de Daumas Gassac was born. They are now universally regarded as the premier producer in the Languedoc. The “Pont de Gassac” is one of their entry level bottlings. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot. It has lots of peppery herbs, smoke and tobacco characteristics, medium to full-bodied richness, sweet tannin and plenty of mid-palate depth. It’s a fresh, lively and nicely balanced wine to drink over the coming 6-7 years. A tremendous offering at this price point. (Retail $14-17, Practicing Organic) PP Score – 92pts
Exopto “Horizonte de Exopto”, Rioja, Spain – As has been the case in the past, Rioja tends to be a magnet for French vignerons, and it certainly got its hooks in Frenchman Tom Puyaubert. Exopto’s wines are definitely part of the new guard of Rioja, with zero American oak and more pronounced fruit and body. The “Horizonte de Exopto” is Thomas’s middle tier wine, a blend of 80% Tempranillo and then equal parts Garnacha and Graciano, raised in a combination of new and old French barrels. On the nose are aromas of cherry, blackberry, crushed black and pink peppercorn, pantry spice and a hint of game. The palate matches the aromatics, with lush fruit up front and firm assertive tannins leading to a long, lingering finish. This is an outstanding wine for the price. (Retail $17-20, Practicing Organic) PP Score – 93pts
Bedrock Wine Co. Old Vine Zinfandel, Sonoma Valley, California – Bedrock is the brain-child of Morgan Twain-Peterson, the Golden Child of California Zinfandel and field blends. The Old Vine Zinfandel is taken from prestigious sites like Bedrock Vineyard, Monte Rosso, Nervo Ranch, Sodini Ranch, Stampede Vineyard, Casa Santinamaria Vineyard and more, with an average vine age of 85 to 129 years old. In the glass is a full bodied wine of ruby hue. On the nose are aromas of black cherry, bramble fruit, dried herbs, potpourri and pantry spice. On the palate are lush, ripe fruit notes of black cherry and overripe raspberry with nuances of dried herbs, and ground black pepper, leading into a long, lingering finish redolent with spice and subtle heat. One of my favorite affordable Zinfandels of all time… (Retail $25-30) PP Score – 94pts
So there you have it. My first post in forever which happens to be a Standing Rib Roast, and a few wines that I would recommend. I hope you try the recipe, and the wines, and I hope that you enjoy. The world might be a crazy place right now, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a little happiness! Well, hopefully more posts coming somewhat soon. In the meantime, crack open a bottle of red, or white, or pink… sit back, relax, and enjoy your life and your loved ones!! Cheers!