Here we are approaching another New Year and an open calendar. We believe the best way to celebrate any occasion is to gather with some dear friends, cook up an amazing meal and share a toast together! Here’s a celebration menu with the star of the show, Ultimate Prime Rib, getting the Griller’s Gold wood grilled treatment.
For a great party gather relatively early in the evening and have some great cocktails. Even though we’re grillers here on this blog, we know our way around a bar as well. Two great cocktails to start the evening off are a classic Champagne Cocktail as well as an Old Fashioned. Both are quick and easy to make, here’s the techniques:
Champagne Cocktail: Super easy!
- Bitters (we like Angostura for this, although Peyaud’s are also good)
- Sugar Cube
- Champagne or sparkling wine – but don’t go sweet like Asti Spumante, regular sparkling wine, champagne, prosecco or sparkling rose all work great
Drop the sugar cube into the bottom of a champagne or wine glass, then add a few drops of the bitters and fill with the champagne, that’s it!
This is for a classic Old Fashioned. Note some variations at the end. And these scale up nicely so if you’re making a bunch, just do it in a pitcher or bar shaker. For each drink:
- Sugar Cube or 2 teaspoons simple syrup
- 2 dashes Angostura Bitters + optional: 1 dash orange bitters
- 2 ounces bourbon, brandy, Canadian Whisky (ex: Crown Royal) or American whisky (Seagram’s 7)
Put all the ingredients into the bottom of a mixing glass or cocktail shaker. Using the handle of a wooden spoon or a cocktail muddler, smash the sugar and mix the ingredients. Pour over ice in a large rocks glass and add 1-2 ounces of club soda or 7 up (for a Sweet Old Fashioned) or ½ ounce of sour mix plus club soda (for a sour Old Fashioned). Garnish with an orange peel and a maraschino cherry. (photo: diffordsguide.com
Ok now that we’ve got the pump primed, onto the food. For cocktail snacks, nothing beats charcuterie – meats, cheeses, olives, nuts, mustards, jellies, etc. for being able to relax, be social and enjoy the company of your friends. We’re not going to cover that here, but the internet is FULL of ideas for this – just search Pinterest, Google or other places for ideas!
The Dinner, Starring Ultimate Prime Rib!
Our whole goal when we host a dinner party is to be able to be a guest at our own party. Therefore we love it when we can do most of the cooking in advance. For this meal, here’s our menu:
Ultimate Wood Roasted Prime Rib (Recipe below)
Smashed Red Skin Potatoes (Recipe)
Roasted Asparagus wrapped with Prosciutto (Recipe)
Roasted Mushrooms (Recipe)
On that plate, you’ll have a big slab of wood-roasted prime rib, topped with fantastic roasted mushrooms with garlic, herbs and capers, a side of crispy smashed red skin potatoes and delicious spears of asparagus wrapped with prosciutto ham! Amazing!
And as far as that “be a guest at your own party” thing? Well, the potatoes make ahead and warm back up nicely, the Asparagus takes only 15 minutes to roast in the same oven where the potatoes are warming back up and the mushrooms reheat beautifully too – so your game plan is make the beef and have it resting (more in the recipe below) then 20 minutes prior to dinner time, toss the sides into a 350 degree oven, and the rib roast back out onto the grill to sear. The roast comes off, the sides come out, slice and serve!
Ultimate Prime Rib Recipe
This recipe couldn’t be easier!
The trick is our favorite pellet grill trick – Reverse Searing – where you cook low and slow until almost the right temperature, then let things rest, then a fast sear in a hot grill and slice and serve. Here’s an in-depth look at that technique.
Buy (for a dinner party for 6-8 people):
Beef Rib (or Ribeye) Roast:
We like to do this with boneless rib roasts – they cook a touch faster. Buy one in the 6 to 7 pound range. Costco and Sam’s Club are the national chain players on this but also don’t be afraid to trust the butcher. This will not be an inexpensive cut of beef but it will be impressive when it’s done! If you can get Prime grade beef, do it, if not, just look for the one that shows the best marbling,
Trim the fat cap on the roast so that it’s an even ¼ to ⅛ inch thick then score it in a crosshatch pattern. That allows the seasoning to get down into the meat.
We like to season ours about 3-4 hours prior to cooking and let it “temper” (rise in temperature) on the kitchen counter. For seasoning, our favorite is good ‘ol SPG – salt, pepper and garlic powder. To that you could add onion powder as well. 2 parts salt, 1 part each of the rest. Give it a generous amount over every surface of the roast. We tend to think of steaks as flat objects – season both sides, but roasts are more like cubes!
You’ll want your grill nice and clean for this as when it’s time to sear, you’re going to crank the heat way up and that can cause fires if you have grease built up. So start with a clean grill!
Then preheat to 250F using your favorite Griller’s Gold pellets (we like Smokeshack or Competition for this recipe) for at least 20 minutes (cuz’ baby it’s cold outside!). Put a probe thermometer or your grill’s probe thermometer (if so equipped) into the thickest part of the meat, make sure it’s in meat and not a pocket of fat. And then head to the grill. Place the roast in the middle of the grate, shut the lid, set for your desired setpoint, close the lid and go join your friends.
A roast of this size will take 2-3 or more hours to get to 118F (which is the right temp to pull it off for warm red rare – if wanting pink Medium Rare then go to 122F). Just keep an eye on things and make sure you’re there to pull it off at the right temp.
When it hits the right temp, remove the meat from the grill, then wrap it in 2 layers of foil and nestle it into a picnic cooler lined with a towel on the bottom and a towel over the top. It will snuggle in there and the carryover heat will make it perfect. It can rest for up to 2 hours in there without appreciably cooling.
Then when you’re 35 minutes from eating time, fire the grill to 450 or 500F. When it is fully preheated and you’re 20 minutes from dinner time, put your sides in the oven as mentioned before, then, walk the roast back out to the grill, remove it from the cooler, and partially unwrap the meat, leaving it sitting in a “boat” of foil (that will catch juices and fat and keep your grill from catching fire).
Close the grill up and give it 10 minutes at this temperature, then remove it from the grill. Bring it back in and slice it into ½’ thick slabs of beefy glory! You’ll be the Prime Rib hero when you serve this to your friends and family!
Pair this with a great dry red wine, more cocktails, and good cheer!
From your family and friends at Griller’s Gold, to you and yours – Cheers to a Happy 2024!