We had a ribeye roast for Christmas eve dinner. I had thought that it would take about an hour or so to cook, being all of three pounds. I had planned on an early dinner, so when I called Maurice, my father-in-law (home chef extraordinaire) for his take on to brown or not to brown the roast, I was sent into a tizzy with his advice to brown the thing and then let it roast slow and long to get uniform doneness (i.e., medium rare through and through; top to bottom). Plans for an early dinner crashed to accomodate the new 3 hour roasting time. It was a lovely meal for four, accompanied by mashed potatoes, the best gravy I ever made, and carrots. Gingerbread cookies for dessert (homemade from an old Gourmet magazine).

It turns out that Maurice was quoting the recipe from the cookbook he gave me for Christmas: Cook's Illustrated's Best New Recipe. You basically brown the roast in a pan, salt and pepper it, put it on a rack in the pan in a 250F oven for about 3hrs or until it reaches about 130-135. Let it sit for about 1/2 an hour and carve. I should also say that I was going to serve Prime Rib, but then Maurice talked me into the Ribeye roast, bought at Costco for a bit over $8.00 a pound. It was labled "choice" but was as good as any of the "prime" meat that I've got from Fairway.

So last night we had glorious leftovers. Pink, cold roast beef with dijon mustard and cornichons on the side (from the Maille jar that has the little pickle lifter in it!); a great heap of fresh spinach steamed down to a little dollop in a bowl, and baked potatoes with lots of pepper. It was a quick and easy dinner, that almost seemed uninspired, except for the memory of love and panic that went into cooking the roast.

Tonight there's no family dinner. The Husband and I are going out on a much needed date; Chloe (the sitter) and The Girl will order in a Pizza from the neighborhood pizza joint.

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