Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Toaster Oven Tuesday - 21 January 2014

It was several years ago, probably four or five by now, that I grew tired of fixing our family's traditional ham at Christmas.  We all like ham, but it wasn't special, as ham was something we easily had at other times of the year, like Easter or just whenever I'd buy the 3-count, thick-sliced ham slabs from Costco.  And for Christmas, I wanted something special, more elegant if you will.  

Christmas and Thanks-giving were the only two holidays I really decked out the table even though it's just the three of us.  We of course, do celebrate Easter, but not usually with a big fussy meal as Easter always falls on a Sunday and with going to church, there isn't the same time available to fix a special spread.

Our newest food tradition is to have a prime rib roast.  I've always purchased them at Costco as I love their meats.  I did notice this year, though after-the-fact, that Costco was definitely not the least expensive.  Local chain groceries were selling them cheaper.  I did not check on them at the groceries, so I don't know if their quality was the same or not.

This year's rib roast was a 5.5-lb piece of deliciousness...once it was cooked of course.  A five to six pound roast is usually a good size for us, and I thought it should be perfect for the toaster oven as well.

Since I'd purchased the roast almost a week before Christmas, I stuck it in the freezer, removing it just two days before to thaw in the refrigerator. 

I hadn't checked it until I took it out a few hours prior to cooking, and using my instant read thermometer discovered it was still pretty cold at it's core, like below 28° ! I had some concerns about how much time to allow.

 The first year I made the rib roast, I also found this seasoning blend at Costco and have used it each time.  It smells so-o-o good when it's cooking and tastes delicious too.

Unwrapped, ready for seasoning.

Covered with seasoning and ready to stick into the oven.  The pan I used is the broiling pan that came with the oven.  It was ideal and caught all the fat that melted off the roast.

 Oh yum, it looks and smells wonderful.  It should be obvious, due to its size and height, that I used the lower rack.  I followed the guidelines for roasting that are on the back of the seasoning package which were 14-17 minutes per pound at 325° F.  At the time it should have been done it was still quite far from the needed internal temperature and ultimately took an additional half hour or more to reach temperature, and then still had to rest for 30 minutes.  I don't believe the additional time required was any fault of the toaster oven, but rather due to the roast being still in a rather frosty state inside.

You can see here where it is plattered, that it turned out beautifully, and to just the right level of doneness for our tastes.  We ate heartily, and had leftovers that were reheated on a plate, sliced and put into a sandwich or two, and then finally, the bones were cleaned of meat, then boiled for several hours, picked again for any missed meaty pieces and the broth and remaining meat, along with some vegetables and barley were turned into a hearty soup. So while this rib roast is a pricey cut of meat, we only indulge in it once a year, and we eat from it for a number of meals. 

And once again, the toaster oven proved to be an excellent kitchen tool in the absence of a 'normal' oven.

1 comment:

  1. Good GRAVY!! You cook PRIME RIB in your toaster oven?!?!? That's just crazy awesome!! I'm really *so* glad you're doing this, Lee ... I would *never* have thought of this. Honestly, I always associated toaster ovens with grilled (broiled?) cheese and cooking frozen appetizers and pizzas. You are broadening my horizons!!! :)


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