New Years Eve plans I tend to leave what we do up to my husband since it is his birthday. Sometimes we go out to dinner; sometimes we stay in and if we do stay in I always try to make something special for dinner. This year we stayed in but had an impromptu dinner party. I say impromptu only because it was planned late in the afternoon on the 30th and came together quite nicely and very quickly. Just a few text messages between friends and voila we had an amazing meal planned.
Before we started talking I wanted to make homemade pasta. So initially I was going to make it Italian night have a nice salad, some crusty bread, homemade ravioli and fettuccine I was going to make a couple of types of sauces to go with the pasta. By the time it was all said and done, Italian night ended up being come and cook what you want at my house and we will make it work.
We had Stuffed Mushrooms, Smashed Potatoes, and Four Cheese Ravioli with a Ragu Bolognese Sauce, Shrimp Cocktail, Tossed Salad, Crusty Bread and Prime Rib. It may have not been a conventional meal but everything went really well together. And all was delicious.
Our friends’ family tradition was to cook a Prime Rib in rock salt (yup I said rock salt) for either Christmas or New Years’ luckily for us this year; they shared it with us. I had never heard, tasted or seen this method of cooking. I have encrusted my share of meats in salt but never rock salt. It was quite interesting, incredibly simple and quite delicious.
Rock Salted Prime Rib
Thyme or your favorite herb(s)
Roast at 500’ for 12 minutes per pound – or meat thermometer read 130’
Rub olive oil all over the roast, sprinkle with herbs, surround with rock salt and cook
5 Tbs Olive Oil
3 Tbs Butter
1 carrot, finely diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 rib celery, finely diced
3-4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 pound ground veal
1 pound ground pork
½ tube tomato paste
1 can tomato sauce
1 cup of milk
1 cup dry white wine
Freshly cracked black pepper
In a 6-8 quart heavy bottom saucepan or dutch oven; heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat.
Add the onion, celery and carrot, sweat until veggies are soft and translucent but not browned, add the garlic in the last few minutes.
Add veal, pork and pancetta stirring into the vegetables, stirring to keep from sticking together and the meat browns. Remove some of the grease, to make it a little healthier. Add tomato paste, sauce, milk and wine. Simmer over medium low heat for 1 – 1 ½ hours.
Season with salt and pepper – toss some with your cooked pasta evenly to coat and enjoy!