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Snake River Farms Friends and Family Holiday Cooking Tips


The holidays are upon us! We checked with some of our favorite foodies, friends, chefs, and co-workers to compile a list of tips to help you prepare the best holiday meal ever.


Simple Seasonings for Bold Flavor
Sara Scott Chef and Culinary Consultant. Author of the critically acclaimed cookbook, The Wild Table. Former Executive Chef for the Mondavi Wine and Food Center.

For the best prime rib season the roast generously two days ahead with salt and pepper and refrigerate uncovered for the most flavor. You can do the same with tenderloin but limit to one day ahead. Cook on a rack in a roasting pan.

Season your tenderloin with salt, pepper and porcini powder for a nice crust and flavor.


A Holiday Dinner for Two
Seth Mortensen, Agri Beef Marketing Manager
The Double R Ranch Cowboy Steak is a huge steak, but I also think of it as a small prime rib that’s perfect for two. Use a reverse sear – cook the steak at 350 degrees in the oven to an internal temp of 120° F, then sear on a cast iron skillet. Serve with freshly grated horseradish.


How to Make a Great Prime Rib
Hugh Acheson, Chef, Restauranteur, Author

The secret to a great prime rib is the length of time of roasting and the slightly lower roasting temperature. These two secrets result in the beautiful fat rendering away and crisping into the flavor that is a great roast. Don’t trim it before roasting, for that fat is your built-in self-baster.

Let’s get our temps right here so your holiday doesn’t get ruined:
120° F for rare
135° F for medium
155° F for well

Preheat the oven to bake setting at 375° F

Place the rib roast on a roasting rack over a roasting pan. Season all over with 2 teaspoons of kosher salt. Let the roast sit on the counter for an hour at room temperature.

Place the roast in the oven and cook for about 17 minutes a pound. That will mean 2 ½ hours for an 8-pound roast or about 3 hours for a 10-pound roast. You are aiming for 120° F.

So let’s say you are going for a beautiful rare roast. WHEN THE TEMPERATURE WITH A GOOD INSTANT READ THERMOMETER REACHES 118°F I want you to crank up the oven to 500°F for just five minutes and once that time has elapsed take it out of the oven. Rest it for at least 45 minutes. (Also see Hugh’s recipe for a Standing Rib Roast with Shallot-Red Wine Jam and Black Pepper Gravy.)


Get the Party Started!
Annella Kelso, Snake River Farms Customer Care Manager

Our Kurobuta Boneless Half Ham is the perfect starter or hors-d’oeuvre for your holiday party. It only takes about an hour to heat it up and it just looks so festive sitting on the table. Put it on a small cutting board and let your guests serve themselves. Surround it with slices of a nice crusty baguette and some spicy or sweet mustard. You’ll be glad you did!


Little Secrets Make a Big Difference
Susie Heller, Co-author of Thomas Keller’s books, The French Laundry Cookbook, Bouchon and Under Pressure. TV Producer for numerous Emmy winning series, including Jacques Pépin’s “Fast Food My Way”.

If you will be using the drippings from the prime rib for a sauce, instead of cooking on a rack, make a bed of thickly sliced onions, whole carrots and celery stalks in the bottom of the roasting pan.

Make Yorkshire pudding to serve with the prime rib. Never cut all the fat from the roast. Season the prime rib generously. After roasting, while the roast is resting, cut the crispy edges of the fat into small pieces and put it in a pan before adding the batter for Yorkshire pudding which you can bake while the roast is resting.

Always leave plenty of time for your prime rib or tenderloin to rest before slicing it. A tenderloin will need about 15 minutes and a prime rib 20 minutes or longer.


Spread it on Thick
Sean Olson, Snake River Farms Customer Care Coordinator

The crust of your roast can be more even, crispier and pack more punch with a quick addition to whatever seasoning rub you choose.

Add two parts olive oil to one part red wine vinegar very slowly to your rub until it forms a pasty mixture. You can layer the paste to whatever thickness you desire and it should stay put – and be uniformly distributed – even on the sides of the roast.


Good on Steak, Great on Prime Rib
Beau MacMillan, Executive Chef, Elements at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain,
Winner Iron Chef Battle American Kobe Beef

I’m a huge fan of Montreal Steak Spice, I love taking my prime rib and first coating it with extra virgin olive oil and then patting it down heavily with the Montreal Steak Spice. Once the rib is covered in spice, I drizzle it with Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco and let it sit for a day then roast it low and slow.

Montreal Steak Spice Recipe
½ cup kosher salt
½ cup coriander, freshly ground
½ cup black pepper, freshly ground
½ cup pink peppercorns, freshly ground
¼ cup Szechuan peppercorns, freshly ground
¼ cup garlic powder
¼ cup onion powder
1/8 cup red chili flakes
1/8 cup whole mustard seeds


A Different Plan of Attack
Dave Yasuda, Snake River Farms Director of Marketing, E-commerce

My in-laws celebrate Christmas with sarma, a Croatian dish that’s similar to a cabbage roll. The tradition is wonderful, but to make the meal a bit more festive I’m roasting a Kurobuta Prime Rib of Pork. I’ll rub this bone-in roast with salt and pepper and cook to an internal temperature of 140°F. It’s a simple preparation but will be a rich and delicious complement to the sarma. Not making sarma at your house? No problem. The Prime Rib of Pork is a unique and festive dish by itself and a great alternative to prime rib or ham.