Half a Standing Rib Roast Is Your No-Brainer Holiday 2020 Feast

You’re following public health guidelines this 2020 holiday season, so, naturally, you’re going to have fewer people at the dining room table.

Which also brings about the very important question: What in the name of Kris Kringle are you going to cook?

Here’s one very good recommendation: Instead of making a massive roast, make half a massive roast, which still provides all the meaty protein of a satisfying meal (30 grams, specifically). Pair it with a simple high-fiber side (you want about 10 grams, total, at mealtime, to fell full).

The approach is half the hassle of a traditional standing rib roast—and it retains all of the good.

If you’re unfamiliar with this cut of beef, a standing rib roast is basically prime rib with the bones left in. A four-ounce serving contains 401 calories and 18 grams of protein. Yes, it’s a fatty cut (about 36 grams in that same serving, even with the fat trimmed down), but you don’t have to eat the fat if you’re not into it.

You most often buy a standing rib roast with six or eight bones. To feed a smaller group, order a two-bone rib roast. (This is the kind of thing you’re going to want to call ahead and make a special order for.)

The roast should shake out to about four pounds. If it’s a little heavier, that’s fine; it’ll just take a little longer to cook in the oven.

The recipe that follows is by Marcelle Afram, the executive chef of Compass Rose and the Michelin-starred Maydan restaurants in Washington, D. C.

Herb-and-Spice-Crusted Holiday Roast

What You’ll Need
1/4 cup olive oil
3 Tbsp pomegranate molasses (or 1 1/2 Tbsp honey mixed with 1 1/2 Tbsp balsamic)
1/4 cup minced garlic (about 1/2 head)
2 Tbsp chopped rosemary
2 Tbsp chopped thyme
2 Tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp mustard powder or Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper
4 lb bone-in standing beef rib roast

How to Make It
1. Preheat your oven to 500°F. In a large bowl,stir together all the ingredients except for therib roast. Season the roast all over with 1 Tbsp each Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Then rub the molasses glaze over the roast to coat well.

2. Transfer the roast to a large roasting pan with a rack insert (if you have one), bone side down. Place the pan in the oven and roast until seared, about 12 minutes.

3. Carefully remove the pan from the oven. Lower the heat to 350°F. When the oven temp hits 350°F, place the roast back in the oven until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part reads 120°F, about 60 to 75 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through cooking. Transfer the roast to a wire rack or cutting board to rest 15 minutes before serving, sliced, drizzled with the pan juices and seasoned with more salt, if desired. Feeds 6

Nutrition per serving: 616 calories, 30g protein, 10g carbs (1g fiber), 49g fat

This article originally appeared in the December 2020 issue of Men’s Health.

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