A toast to the holiday roast -- here's how to find, cook and enjoy it

Gathering with family and friends to enjoy a delicious holiday meal is always one of the highlights of the season for me. When it comes to holiday entertaining, I think that there is nothing more elegant — or easy — than serving a beautiful roast. Most people would agree with me on the elegance factor, but easy? Yes, it’s true. There is no need to ever again be intimidated by a roast. You can prepare and serve a roast equal to any culinary professional, by following a few simple rules.

Determining the size of roast to buy for your holiday dinner is step #1. I recommend using these general rules to determine how much meat you need to purchase per individual serving:

—Boneless Roast: 1/2 pound, uncooked per person

—Bone-In Roast: 1 pound, uncooked per person

—Standing Rib Roast, also known as a Prime Rib Roast: allow 2 servings per rib-so a six rib section should serve about 10-12 people

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Next, it’s important to remember that tender roasts like these are always cooked uncovered using dry heat methods.  This results in producing the flavorful, deep brown crusty exterior that makes roasts so delicious. It’s also important to allow the roast to rest before carving to ensure that the juices in the center have time to redistribute for maximum flavor and tenderness.

There are really only two ways to cook a tender roast such as a Chateaubriand or Rib Roast.  One is the “Quick Roast Method,” where you use a higher temperature oven to sear the roast during the cooking process. This is the fastest and easiest way to cook a roast. Here’s how it is done:

  • Preheat oven to 400˚F.
  • Lightly oil and season roast.
  • Place the roast on an elevated rack in a roasting pan. Roast uncovered, using times indicated below. Allow 20-40 minutes resting time before slicing and serving.

The other method is the “Sear and Slow Roast Method,” where you sear the roast in a pan or on the grill for two to three minutes on each side and then finish it off in the oven. This is my personal favorite as it provides a nice even doneness from end to end and the searing process really seals in the juices. Here’s how to do it:

  • Preheat the oven to 250˚F.
  • Lightly oil and season the roast with an all-purpose seasoning
  • Sear the roast in an oven proof pan, with small amount of oil, or on the grill for 2-3 minutes on each side or until well browned.
  • Place the roast on an elevated rack in a roasting pan. Roast uncovered, using times indicated below. Allow15-20 minutes resting time before slicing and serving.

Below you will find our charts that give you exact cooking times for roasts using either the Quick Roast or Sear and Slow Roast methods. When preparing a roast, there is no shame in using a meat thermometer to accurately track the internal temperature of the meat.

And, for just the right added touch to ensure holiday roast perfection, I would recommend serving it with this easy-to-prepare recipe for Blue Cheese and Cabernet Sauvignon Demi-Glace.

Blue Cheese and Cabernet Sauvignon Demi-Glace

Serves 4 to 6

1/2       teaspoon olive oil

2          tablespoons shallots, finely chopped

1          teaspoon garlic, finely chopped

1/2       cup Cabernet Sauvignon

1          cup Demi-Glace*

2          ounces Maytag Blue Cheese, crumbled

In a sauce pan heat olive oil. Sauté shallots and garlic until transparent.

Add Cabernet Sauvignon to pan and reduce by half.

Add Demi-Glace to pan and slowly bring to a boil.

Stir in blue cheese.

Serve with Beef Roast or Steak.

*Demi-Glace can be made from scratch or purchased from a specialty food store such as Omaha Steaks.