As Thanksgiving approached, King Daddy and Dammit Boy become more and more agitated at the thought that for the fifth time in a month and a half I would force them to eat turkey. I am a traditionalist, but I am not cruel. Even though I had already bought the cranberry relish that only I eat because the boys hate it and the turkey base for the gravy from Williams-Sonoma (truly outstanding and the only thing I can afford there), I was ready to retire Tom Turkey for the year. Maybe for a lifetime.
So we had prime rib for Thanksgiving. It was intimidating. When I picked up my two-bone prime rib from the butcher on Wednesday I pretended to be nonchalant as I looked at the $85 price tag. That’s about 25 senior breakfasts at my beloved Krystal. And I thought: What if I screw this up?
But this is what I discovered. Making a prime rib is way easier than cooking a turkey. Zero effort. I made my own rub, but I could just as easily have thrown some Montreal Steak Seasoning on it. Then you just stick it in the oven with a digital thermometer and take it out when the internal temperature is 115 degrees. That was it. When I carved it, Mark had a moment. An actual moment.
So here’s the funny thing about this dinner. I was going to make Julia Child’s scalloped potatoes to go with since a regal piece of meat requires a regal accompaniment. But I learned something about King Daddy that I had not known in our almost 25 years of marriage. He has a thing for boxed scalloped potatoes, much as I have a thing for the blue box Kraft mac and cheese. So with our $85 prime rib, we had $1.79 scalloped potatoes. And it was a perfect match.
- ¼ cup fennel seeds, ground to a powder
- 2 tablespoons ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- ¼ cup New Mexico chile powder
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon dried orange peel, minced
- ½ cup olive oil
- 5-6 pound prime rib
- Combine all spices and add the olive oil. Mix until a paste forms.
- Rub the paste generously on the prime rib.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Put the prime rib on a rack in a roasting pan. Roast, uncovered, 20 minutes per pound for medium rare.