Valentine’s Day is an interesting holiday. As a kid, it’s one of the best days of the school year, mostly because of the fun paper valentines, super sweet cupcakes, and sugar hearts you get to share with your classmates. As an adult, it can be wonderfully romantic, incredibly depressing, or just kind of blah. Some people I know don’t even really celebrate at all, calling the day a “Hallmark holiday.” If Valentine’s Day with all its red and pink hearts, flowers, and chocolate aren’t for you, perhaps a change in routine could make it a more enjoyable day.
How about hosting a party for friends? You could invite couples, a group of your favorite fab singles, or a mixture. Just because you’ve been together long enough to forgo the prix fixe menu at the local hot spot or you’re sooooo single, a friendly gathering is always the answer. You still deserve a special day, right?
If you’re looking for one seriously show stopping Valentine’s Day main dish, this is it. The roast is pricey (Maybe your friends could divvy up wine, champagne, and dessert duty!), but the perfectly simple preparation here leaves it as the star of the show. A standing rib roast looks incredibly impressive on the table, but this one couldn’t be easier to prepare. Just make the herb butter the night before, slather it on the roast, and cook the next day. Oh yeah, and prepare to wow your guests.
Horseradish and Herb-Crusted Beef Rib Roast
slightly adapted from Chef John Besh
seen on Food & Wine
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 head garlic, cloves coarsely chopped
1/2 c. prepared horseradish
3 TBSP chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 TBSP chopped fresh rosemary
1 1/2 TBSP chopped fresh sage
salt and freshly-ground black pepper
1 (8-lb.) beef rib roast (also called standing rib roast)
1. In a food processor, combine butter, garlic, horseradish, thyme, rosemary, and sage to form a paste.
2. Season roast generously with salt and pepper and stand fatty side up. Spread herb butter over the top. Roast can be cooked immediately or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap sprayed with olive oil and refrigerated up to overnight. (I like doing this so the herb flavors can soak into the meat a bit.)
3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Stand roast on a rack in a very large roasting pan. Bake 2 1/2 – 3 hours, until an instant-red thermometer inserted into the center registers 125 degrees F for medium rare. Transfer roast to a carving board and rest at least 20 minutes or up to 1 hour before serving.