The season's greeting I'm looking forward to most? Cooking and eating massive hunks of animal protein. I welcome the Thanksgiving turkeys, the holiday hams, and the pork tenderloin. Bring on the roast chicken, the seared rack of lamb, and beef shanks. To buy and cook these whole birds and regal cuts is to showcase your generosity. To eat them is not merely to consume or enjoy. It is to indulge.
Add to the lineup of traditional Big Meat preparations the following recipe. It's prime rib filled with a Creole-inspired stuffing that's chocked full of spicy-smoky Andouille sausage, a variety of vegetables, and garlic. The dish comes courtesy of Robert St. John, executive chef and owner of the Purple Parrot Cafe in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
His stuffed prime rib roast is easier to pull off that a perfect Thanksgiving turkey and less expensive a rack of lamb. If it's too cold to grill, you can always sear the cut using a large grill pan or cast iron skillet (or, in a pinch, a kitchen blowtorch) and finish it in a 375°F oven.
The finished product, in all it's sausage-and-beef-glory, looks as awesome as it tastes.
With food this good, the holidays can't come fast enough.
Andouille-Stuffed Prime Rib
Recipe by Robert St. John, executive chef and owner of the Purple Parrot Cafe in Hattiesburg, MS
What you'll need:
1 Tbsp bacon fat or canola oil
1/2 lb Andouille sausage, diced
1/2 yellow onion, small diced
2 celery ribs, small diced
1/2 red bell pepper, small diced
1 cup button mushrooms, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp Creole seasoning
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 4 to 4 1/2 lb. prime rib roast, trimmed of excess fat, and brought to room temperature
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 Tbsp steak seasoning
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How to make it:
1. In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt the bacon fat or canola oil. Add the Andouille sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned, about 5 minutes.
2. Drain the excess fat, if necessary, leaving about 1 Tbsp remaining in the pan. Reduce the heat to medium low and add the onions, celery, red bell peppers, and mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent, 6 to 8 minutes.
Add the garlic, Creole seasoning, 1 Tbsp black pepper, and the basil. Cook, stirring, until well incorporated, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large mixture bowl and allow to cool. Then mix in the egg and breadcrumbs.
3. Stuff the prime rib. Using a long, narrow knife, bore a hole about 3 inches wide in the center of the roast that runs the length of the meat. Rest the roast with one flat side down and then stuff the hole with the Andouille mixture, packing it in with a spoon or your fingers as you go. (Note: Depending on the size of the roast, you may have excess stuffing leftover.)
4. Preheat your grill to direct high heat. Brush the outside of the prime rib with olive oil and coat with the steak seasoning and remaining black pepper. (Mastering these three steps are the keys to perfectly cooked barbecue.)
5. Sear the prime rib on each flat side until well caramelized, turning once, about 20 minutes total. Transfer the roast to indirect heat, close the grill lid, and cook until desired doneness, about 1 hour and 15 minutes for medium rare.
6. Allow the roast to sets for 15 minutes. Then slice into 1-inch-thick steaks and serve.
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