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“Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.” — Ruth Reichl

Hi there,

For many people, Christmas dinner wouldn’t be complete without roasted beef. My friend, Russ Ahrens, over at,, sent me this delightful story and recipe.

As a kid in elementary school, I always looked forward to dinner on Christmas. It was one of a few times when my mother, sister, and both brothers would all get together as one big family. I guess, as siblings get married they drift off to live their own lives. However, back then we were a very tight-knit group, and every year even after my oldest brother got married and had kids, we invaded my sister-in-laws house for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I can still remember the 20-minute drive there and seeing all the deserted stores in the strip malls as we passed. They were all closed because it was a holiday. Nobody shopped on Thanksgiving Day or Christmas Day. We all spent time, for good or bad, with our families. I don’t know if the same can be said for today, but it seems like the retail stores never close anymore and people don’t spend holidays together.

Back in the eighties, my family ate an entire 23-pound turkey with all the trimmings on both Thanksgiving and Christmas. The turkey was big, inexpensive and there was still plenty of leftovers for all of us but we did more drinking than actually eating back then. It wasn’t until I was in my late twenties when my one brother told me he hated turkey, even though he was the one who was always asked to carve it! He confided in me that he would much rather be eating something like Italian food on Christmas Day. He loved things like lasagna or spaghetti and meatballs rather than turkey. I guess that is why he married a beautiful woman with an Italian family history, but I’m just guessing.

I, being the last of the clan, attended family dinners at both my mother’s and brother’s houses every year. It wasn’t until we lost my oldest brother and my son was born that I started hosting the big family Christmas dinner at our house. Knowing how my brother disliked turkey, I decided to make the first Prime Rib Roast for a different and new holiday experience.

There was still more beer than anyone could drink; shrimp cocktail, mashed potatoes and gravy, and the same old vegetables. The only things that were new were the beef, and one new vegetable, asparagus with hollandaise sauce. My brother was not a vegetable eater but he loves his meat and potatoes. I watched as my brother ate every bite of a nice thick slice of prime rib. It was cooked just the way he liked it, rare. His piece of meat was so big I don’t think he could even fit a single vegetable on his plate as the rest of it was filled with potatoes and gravy. My wife and sister-in-law (the Italian one) ate both the ends between them. They liked their beef well done. There was a piece of medium for my mother and medium rare for both my sister and myself.

Everyone loved the Prime Rib of Beef and we now serve it every year, and it is now a Christmas dinner tradition. In light of how my family loves this meal and looks forward to it every year, I am sharing my recipe below with all of you so you can join us in this amazing entrée: Standing Rib Roast also called Prime Rib. Enjoy and Merry Christmas!

Standing Rib Roast (Prime Rib)

Instant read thermometer


Prime Rib – 5 to 7 ribs 10 to 14 people
4 cloves of Crushed Garlic
2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive oil
½ tsp coarse Salt
½ tsp fresh ground Pepper
½ tsp Onion Powder


When you order the beef you can have your butcher separate the meat from the ribs and tie it back on. This makes slicing it easier later on.
Pat the meat dry using paper towels. Place the meat in a large shallow pan. I use my largest broiler pan.
Mix together in a small bowl- crushed garlic and two tablespoons of olive oil. Rub this mixture all over the roast using your hand to coat it evenly with garlic and oil. Sprinkle on salt, fresh ground pepper, and onion powder on top of the oil, and garlic on top of the mixture. Let the beef stand out on a large plate for two hours, until it is at room temperature.
Preheat oven to 300°.
After the beef has sat for two hours stick in the thermometer probe and Cook in a 300° oven for 3 to 4 hours until the meat thermometer reads 140° – Rare. Remove the beef from the oven. Cover with tin foil and let rest/stand for at least 20 minutes. The meat will continue to cook and rise in temperature for another 5° to 10°.
After 20 minutes carve one inch thick and serve.

NOTES: Serve with Mashed Potatoes and Pan Gravy.

If you enjoy this recipe and would like the others including gravy, you can find me at or on INSTAGRAM: DRUNKENCHEF82

The Drunken Chef (Rus

I hope you enjoyed meeting Russ and thank you Russ for this wonderful story and great recipe.

24 responses to “CHRISTMAS DAY DINNER –”

  1. Darlene – British Columbia, Canada – Writer of children's stories, short stories and travel articles.!/supermegawoman!/pages/Darlene-Foster-Writer/362236842733
    Darlene says:

    A great story. It´s all about family isn´t it. (no matter what you serve)

  2. Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen – I'm a writer, cook, gardener, photographer, poet, quilter, and accomplished daydreamer. I'm also a wife, mother, grandmother, sister. cousin, aunt, and friend, no particular order on any given day. I've been a writer all my life, newspaper reporter and columnist, radio news writer, and magazine contributor, and poet and short-story writer as the spirit moves. Now, I turn my attention to my cookbook, the blog, and a cooking column "Memorable Meals," which runs in our county newspaper. Besides my family, I love dogs, cats, good coffee, chocolate, and my never-dwindling pile of books I intend to read. Our family ran a small Vermont Inn for 18 years, with our focus on local, organic ingredients. I cook from scratch, and try not to use anything that has ingredients I cannot pronounce! After many years of daily serving up local delicacies, cooking classes, and catering, we are now only open for special events, and the odd cooking class. We also host musicians and artists, having helped produce a musical festival and other musical events for nearly 20 years. Many incredible artists have found a place at our table. Wonderful experiences, we will treasure always. My family and friends are my practice subjects. With a family that includes nut, peanut, tree fruit, and vegetable allergies, gluten intolerance, dairy intolerance, vegetarians, vegans, heart conscious, and a couple of picky eaters, there has to be a few quick tricks in the book to keep everyone fed and happy! Personally, I do not eat red meat or most full-fat dairy (usually) for health reasons, making the occasional exception at Thanksgiving and Christmas or our anniversary if the duck is locally raised. I do eat fish and seafood, so I try to come up with alternatives and substitutions when available. I serve local organic eggs and cheeses to my family who can tolerate dairy (My husband recently had a heart attack, and I need to watch my own cholesterol so I am careful, but have been known to let a little piece of really good cheese accidentally fall on my plate!). I believe strongly that eating in a way that is good for our planet is also good for our bodies, and I try to educated myself about our food sources! I cook by the seasons and draw on inspiration from the strong and talented women in my family who came before me, as well as the youth in the family who look at the world with fresh eyes. Food links us all, whether sharing a meal, cooking it together, or writing about it for others to enjoy. I love taking an old recipe and giving it a modern spin, especially if I can make it a littler healthier and use foods that are kinder to the Earth and to our bodies. I believe strongly in sustainable, delicious eating of whole foods, and the wonderful flavors we have at our fingertips! And finally, I love conversing with all the talented cooks and chefs out there who dot the globe! It's a wonderful, world full of culinary pen pals, and I cherish them all! XXXOOO Dorothy
    Dorothy’s New Vintage Kitchen says:

    Beautiful story. I love that you made your own tradition! We always have turkey on Thanksgiving, but on Christmas it depends on who will be there. It could be prime rib, or duck, lamb, or even lasagne!

    • I was so pleased that Russ took the time to give me this story. We go to my son’s house for Christmas dinner and I always bring lasagna. Enjoy your weekend Dorothy.

  3. the Painted Apron – Life is all about creativity for me, as long as I'm creating something I am happy! I hope I will inspire your daily life and give you ideas for your own wonderful creations!
    the Painted Apron says:

    Love the story!!

  4. Jacqui Murray – Laguna Hills, CA. – Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular prehistoric fiction saga, Man vs. Nature which explores seminal events in man’s evolution one trilogy at a time. She is also the author of the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers and Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. Her non-fiction includes over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, reviews as an Amazon Vine Voice, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Savage Land.
    Jacqui Murray says:

    That’s what we’re eating for Christmas, too–if the price gets a tad more affordable. It’s doubled out here in California.

  5. V.M.Sang – UK – I was born and educated in the north west of England. I trained as a teacher in Manchester and taught in Salford, Lancashire, Hampshire and Croydon. I write fantasy novels currently. I also make cards, knit, crochet, tat, do cross stitch and paint. I enjoy walking on the Downs, cycling and kayaking. I do not enjoy housework, but like cooking.
    V.M.Sang says:

    Sounds delicious. And looks it, too. Rib is my favourite cut of beef, but we don’t have it often as it has to be a large joint in my opinion.
    We’re having goose this year. It is, in fact, the traditional bird here in the UK, although turkey has now overtaken it. But turkey only became available after the discovery of America, so until at least the 17th century, people had goose.
    I remember that my grandmother always had a goose at Christmas, not a turkey.
    Perhaps we should go back to more traditional meats, as turkey is now available all year round, as breast, breast fillets, thighs and drumsticks.

    • I agree about the size of the beef. You really need to take out a bank loan to buy it and have a crowd to serve. I have never eated goose. When you prepare it this year, why not take some photos and send the recipe with a story and I will use it here if you want.

      • V.M.Sang – UK – I was born and educated in the north west of England. I trained as a teacher in Manchester and taught in Salford, Lancashire, Hampshire and Croydon. I write fantasy novels currently. I also make cards, knit, crochet, tat, do cross stitch and paint. I enjoy walking on the Downs, cycling and kayaking. I do not enjoy housework, but like cooking.
        V.M.Sang says:

        I’ll try to remember to do just that. Thanks.

  6. we do the aussie thing here since it’s so hot for christmas – prawns and salads and smoked salmon and ice cream and cold drinks… Some people still have roast dinners but i think it’s dying out as a tradition.

    • Honestly, your Christmas selection of foods sounds wonderful. The whole idea of “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire” is wonderful in theory but exhausting in execution. Thanks for stopping by and enjoy your weekend.

  7. Retirement Reflections – Vancouver Island, BC – Prior to retirement, I lived and worked in Beijing China for fourteen years (Middle School Principal/Deputy Director at The Western Academy of Beijing). Leaving international life behind, my husband and I retired to Vancouver Island in June 2015. To document both this transition and our new adventures, ‘Retirement Reflections’ was born. I hope that you enjoy reading these reflections, and will be willing to share your own.
    Retirement Reflections says:

    Awesome story. For me, Christmas is definitely about family!

  8. This sounds wonderful! After all the turkey leftovers from Thanksgiving, I’m usually ready for a nice red meat dish. I like mine with the cool red center, tender and juicy! Woo, it’s making me hungry just thinking about it! 🙂

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