This Christmas Eve was a rarity, as my husband and I had the holiday all to ourselves - and our pooches, of course. Lola and Woogie, our furry children, are a constant source of entertainment and unconditional love.
|Lola and Woogie
Although we were without the usual cacophonous crowd, we definitely did not escape calamity.
To skip back a little, we have actually had a sad few months, as our six year old Lola, an east LA street dog my husband rescued as a pup, suddenly went lame - to the point of not being able to get up.
|Lola, the day she was rescued
Months of desperation and testing (and a ridiculous amount of $$$ later) we have a diagnosis. An autoimmune disease is attacking her joints, and it looks like our sweet girl is going to be on immune-supressive drugs for the rest of her life. And, as long as it's treatable, that's fine with me. I am immensely relieved.
The moment she started the meds she was back to her feisty, silly self, with one exception. Continual licking of her ankle joints necessitated the dreaded cone of shame.
This pretty princess had never before been subjected to such horror.
Initially it was comical. She'd bonk into a piece of furniture and freeze until we came to save her. By day two you could see her annoyance growing. Day three - she'd had enough. She started using the cone like a battering ram. When it inevitably caught on something, be it a table, chair or the sliding glass door, she would throw her entire 60 pounds into the obstacle, blasting forward with the determination of a bull in a china shop.
The first serious casualty occurred on Christmas Eve, when she caught the corner of our wine rack and brought the whole thing crashing down onto the wood floor, taking out a plaster stand that holds our wine opener. Luckily it's a low rack and the bottles are thick. No wine was lost, and that was a miracle. Wish I could say the same for my bottle opener...
Well, on to the subject at hand - the food...
I found a magnificent, one bone prime rib, perfect for two, rubbed it with an olive oil-herb paste, wrapped it tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerated for two days.
Searing the rib in a cast iron skillet transforms the herb-garlic paste into a flavorful crust.
Ian loves that hint of smoke flavor, so he added a little stout-soaked pecan wood to the barbecue while the rib finished cooking.
Once removed from heat, allowing the meat to rest at least 15 minutes ensures a tender, juicy result.
While the rib is resting, turn up the heat to finish the brown butter shallot sauce.
In all seriousness, after the rib rested, Ian cut the bone off, stood it up and sliced it in half. This is the way it fell.
The perfect prime rib for a romantic Christmas Eve dinner for two.
And this special night deserves a special wine.
A 2012 Dark Star Cabernet Sauvignon was the perfect compliment to the prime rib with its deep, bold structure.
Decanted and allowed to breathe for an hour or so before serving smooths out the tannin bite in this in-your-face red to a velvety texture you wont soon forget!
* Notice the crack in this bottle, compliments of miss Lola and the cone of shame. I was hesitant to open it, but once strained and decanted the wine was fine, the crack miraculously did not effect the integrity of the bottle.
The recipe below is versatile. Double or even triple both the rub and the sauce ingredients depending on the size of your rib.
Prime Rib Rub
1/4 C Sage Olive Oil
2 T each chopped fresh herbs: rosemary, thyme, parsley
2 T crushed garlic
1 T Lawry's Seasoned Salt
1 T cracked black pepper
1 T Dijon mustard
Mix oil, herbs, garlic, seasonings and mustard together well, smear all over prime rib then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate 24 - 48 hours.
Remove from refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature 1 hour prior to searing.
Sear all sides of rib in a smoking hot cast iron skillet, just about 2 - 5 minutes per side until a nice brown crust is achieved.
Transfer to 225 degree barbecue, with or without smoke, and cook until internal temperature reaches 130 degrees. Let rest 15 - 30 minutes before carving.
Brown Butter Shallot Sauce
4 T salted butter
1 T chopped garlic
1 finely chopped shallot
1 T chopped parsley
1 T Worcestershire Sauce
1 T Sherry
1/4 Beef Broth
Heat butter over medium-low heat until it starts to brown. Do not let burn!
Add garlic, shallot and parsley and saute until soft. Add Worcestershire, sherry and broth and let reduce over low heat until you are ready to carve the prime rib. Slice rib and arrange on platter. Pour sauce over.
* Sauce recipe adapted from Guy's Big Bite - Food Network
** Cucina Valentina Artisan Olive Oils are now available on this blog (see shopping cart in upper right) or by clicking the Etsy bar on the right - or just click here: Etsy.