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A Juicy Prime Rib Dinner for the Holidays

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A few special touches turn this classic into a sophisticated dinner

Despite what people may think, my family’s holiday dinner is anything but “chefy.” This is the time when I avoid overly complicated presentations and stick with classic dishes. But I always like to add a little something—a fancy garnish or an unusual ingredient—to mark the specialness of the occasion. This holiday menu, which combines family favorites with a few beloved menu items from my restaurants, AOC and Lucques, is in tune with this spirit. While all the dishes are straightforward at heart, a few twists make them feel elegant and unusual.

You can find hundreds more holiday recipes and menus like this one on the Guide to Christmas Dinner.

Menu Timeline

This menu isn’t difficult, but it does have a lot of steps. The key to making it do-able and stress-free is to plan ahead, do your shopping early, and organize yourself. Here’s a strategy for making it happen.

One week ahead:

  • Make, roll out, and freeze the tart crust

The day before:

  • Make the soup
  • Clean and dry the mushrooms
  • Make the chive mascarpone
  • Clean and prep the carrots
  • Slice the shallots for the carrots
  • Slice the olives
  • Make the horseradish cream
  • Make the buttermilk dressing
  • Defrost the tart crust in the fridge

The morning of:

  • Wash and spin-dry the salad greens
  • Toast the walnuts
  • Make the gremolata
  • Boil the potatoes
  • Cut the herbs for all the recipes
  • Make the tart
  • Take the beef out of the fridge to come to room temperature

In the afternoon:

  • Sauté the mushrooms
  • Prepare the butter for the beef
  • Smash the garlic for the beef
  • Heat the oven
  • Sear and roast the beef (begin about 2 hours and 45 minutes before you want to serve it)

Just before dinner:

  • Slice the apples and assemble the salad (don’t dress it until ready to serve)
  • Reheat the soup and the mushrooms
  • Open the wine
  • Roast the carrots and finish the potatoes while the roast is resting
  • Make the whipped cream just before serving the tart

Shopping List

Fresh Produce

  • 4 oz. radicchio (about 1 medium head)
  • 1/2 lb. baby arugula
  • 1-1/2 lb. small fingerling potatoes or baby potatoes (such as Yukon golds or red bliss)
  • 2 lb. medium carrots
  • 1/2 lb. wild mushrooms (such as shiitake, oyster mushrooms, chanterelles, black and white trumpets, and maitake)
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 apples (preferably Gala, Fuji, or Pink lady)
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 6 medium shallots
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 2 heads garlic
  • 1 chile d’árbol
  • 2 bunches fresh thyme
  • 1 bunch chives
  • 2 bunches fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 bunch fresh mint
  • 7 6-inch sprigs rosemary

Meat, Eggs & Dairy

  • 6 lbs. 3-bone beef rib roast, preferably close to the loin and prime grade
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 quart heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1-1/4 cup crème fraîche

Other Groceries

  • 2 cups dried cannellini beans
  • 3 Tbs. prepared horseradish
  • 3/4 cup walnuts
  • 3 Tbs. fleur de sel
  • 1 Tbs. fennel seeds
  • 1/2 cup oil-cured olives
  • 1-1/4 cups macadamia nuts
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 6 oz. bittersweet chocolate

Pantry Staples

  • 1-1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1-1/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper

The Menu


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