For the past nine years, Mr. Chicken Chick has been in charge of the Roast Beast for our family’s Christmas Day celebration. He makes an enormous beef rib roast that takes the better part of one week to prepare and keeps the family talking about it for the rest of the year. I finally eked the recipe out of him for posterity. Here’s what he tells me…

Rachel Divider



Rib roast
1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 tablespoon kosher salt
large cutting board with drain hole or over-the-sink cutting board
Butcher’s twine 
Heavy-duty aluminum foil
Roasting pan with roasting rack
Spice grinder or food processor
Meat thermometer


4 to 10 days prior to roasting (minimum of 4 days)
Ensure the refrigerator keeps a temperature between 33°F and 37°F. Plan on one pound of beef per person, including the bones. Buy a whole rib roast with a minimum of 3 ribs. Have the butcher remove the bones then tie them back onto the meat or do it yourself prior to roasting.

(These are the ribs with the meat removed. Mr. Chicken Chick ties up the meat prior to baking)

Cover a roasting pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil. (ensures easy clean-up) Place roasting rack in pan. Cover top of meat loosely with plain white paper towels and place beef in roasting rack. Place the beast in the fridge.

Change the paper towels every two days. The surface of the beef will turn a dark burgundy color as it dries out. The beef will take on a subtle, distinctive aroma after a few days, which is normal and signals the break-down of the proteins in the meat. Small brown spots are normal. If they concern you, trim them off before roasting.

(This is the color to expect after aging.)

Calculate cooking time: Ten minutes per pound achieves a medium rare rib roast.One hour before cooking, remove the roast from the refrigerator and remove the paper towels completely. Allow the roast to rest and come up to temperature a little bit.

Roast back on top of ribs

Coat the roast with plain vegetable oil.  Add the peppercorns, thyme and rosemary to coffee grinder or food processor and grind well. Add one tablespoon of kosher salt to the pepper/herb mixture. Liberally rub roast with herb mixture.

Preheat oven to 450°F. Roast the beef at 450°F for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300°F for the remainder of cooking time. Remove beef from oven when thermometer reads 122°F at the thickest part of the roast. Cover with aluminum foil and allow to rest 20 minutes to 1/2 hour.

2006 Roast Beast

A note about cutting: This roast is very juicy- the first several years we failed to take that into account when cutting and the beef juices made a mess not only on the counter, but on the white dog’s head one year- a tactical error for which she was thankful and remains hopeful will recur annually. This year, Mr. Chicken Chick drilled a hole in the cutting board to allow the juices to drain into the sink. Remove butcher twine and take beast off the bones. Slice and serve.

(No provisions were made for ensuring that the juices did not wind up on the dog’s head. It wasn’t pretty)
(Drain hole drilled in end of cutting board and positioned over the sink)