Family Meal

by Chef David Ferguson




Filtering by Category: Beef Recipes

Rosemary, Thyme, & Fennel Crusted Rib Eye Roast with Horseradish Cream Sauce

Prep Time:  8 hrs    Cook Time:  4 hrs    Serves:  8-10


Nothing is more impressive on a Holiday table than a gorgeous roast, and Rib Eye is the King of roasts.  Now while the time table on this may seem intimidating, it's the oven that does most of the work for you.  I used a 7 lb roast for this recipe, with a cook time of four hours.  If you need a larger roast for your crowd at the table than this, I would suggest breaking it down into 2-3 rib sections so that your cook times line up.  

The day before you put your roast in the oven, season it heavily and place it uncovered in the fridge. This technique is called  a "dry brine", and it will achieve two things for you: It will infuse the meat with flavor, and it will draw out excess moisture so you get better caramelization.  Let the roast sit in the fridge for a minimum of eight, and up to 24 hours before cooking. Before you place the roast in the oven, let it come up to room temperature for two hours first.  The closer the roast is to room temp, the more evenly it will cook.  I would also suggest browning the roast at the end of cooking as opposed to the beginning.   This is the opposite of what most recipes will tell you.  Starting at a lower temperature and then raising to 500 or throwing on the broiler at the end though will avoid the tough ring of overcooked meat than can often result from a hard sear or browning at the start.  



  • 3/4 cup rosemary leaves
  • 3/4 cup thyme leaves
  • 3 tbsp fennel pollen
  • 1 6-bone standing beef rib-eye roast (10–13 pounds)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Horseradish Cream

  • 1 1/2 cups crème fraîche or sour cream
  • 1/2 cup prepared white horseradish
  • 6 tbsp chopped fresh chives
  • 4 tsp fresh lemon juice


Grind the rosemary and thyme leaves in a spice mill or with a mortar and pestle to a powder. Transfer the leaves to a small bowl and mix in with the  fennel pollen, salt, and ground pepper. 

Place the  roast fat side down on a cutting board with a long side facing you. Using long strokes, cut the roast into two 3-bone roasts. French the rib bones 1½" from tip of bones, if desired (this is strictly for presentation and will have no affect on the cooking of the roast). Score the fat cap in a crosshatch pattern, spacing cuts 1" apart.  This will help the fat fully render as the roast cooks. Coat the roast heavily with the rosemary mixture. Place the roasts fat cap up, on a rack set inside a roasting pan. Chill, uncovered, at least 8 hours and up to 1 day.

Place a rack in lower third of your oven and preheat to 225°. Roast meat, rotating pan once, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of roasts registers 125° for medium-rare, or 130° for medium; about 3 ½–4 hours. Remove from the oven and tent with foil.  Let the roasts rest 30 minutes.

Whisk all the ingredients for the horseradish sauce together in a mixing bowl and then season with salt and pepper.  Cover and chill in the fridge.

Meanwhile, move rack to the upper third of the  oven; increase oven temperature to 500°. Roast meat until deep brown and exterior is crisp, 8–10 minutes. It may be necessary to use the broiler if you oven does not go this high.  In this case, lower the rack in the oven and broil on high until the desired color and texture is reached. Serve roasts alongside horseradish cream sauce.  Happy Holidays!

Grass Fed Burger with Aged Cheddar, Caramelized Onion, Spinach, Dijonaise, & Fried Egg on Toasted Brioche

Prep time:  10 mins    Cook Time:  30 min    Serves: 4

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After far too much rain, it’s time to get back outside and enjoy some nicer weather.  To that end, you can’t beat a great hamburger off the grill.  Like all recipes, a hamburger is a sum of it’s parts.   If you invest extra time and effort  in some basic technique and splurge on some more indulgent ingredients, you will be rewarded with a superior burger.  

Hamburgers are usually made from ground chuck with a certain blend of lean meat and fat.  This blend is represented in a proportion, usually printed on the package. The higher the fat percentage, the more flavor the hamburger is going to have. For this recipe, I would recommend an 80/20 blend of lean to fat.  This is the typical blend most restaurants use and it provides great flavor.  You could of course use a leaner blend like a 90/10, if you are attempting to get into beach shape

Picking a good cheese to compliment the rest of your ingredients is important, and here you will see the benefit of spending a little extra cash.  A sharp aged cheddar adds a nuttiness and a depth of flavor that will elevate everything else.  

Caramelized onions can’t be rushed, otherwise you are just searing them.  Low heat and time are the only way to go. Slice the onions about an ⅛ of an inch thick, this will help to keep them from burning after so much time on heat.  You should start the onions in a cold pan over low heat, stirring occasionally, and deglazing the pan with water, stock,  or even beer.  The onions will absorb any liquid you put into the pan and add even more flavor. The longer you cook the onions, the more the inherent sweetness will come out.  

A fried egg makes everything better.  Hamburger are no exception.  I would suggest a sunny side up or over easy egg, just make sure you have plenty of napkins.



  • 1 lb 80/20 grass fed ground beef; 4 ¼  lb patties
  • 8 oz aged extra sharp cheddar cheese; sliced
  • 1 large yellow onion; sliced ⅛” thick
  • 1 large beefsteak tomato; sliced
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • ¼ cup mayo
  • ⅓ cup dijon mustard
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 brioche buns
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp olive oil


Preheat grill on high heat.  Season hamburgers liberally with salt and pepper and set aside.  Put sliced onions in a large saute pan with vegetable oil and set over low to medium low heat.  Allow onions to cook and slowly pick up color.  When the onions begin to stick to the pan, deglaze with a tbsp or two of liquid (any liquid will work, water, stock, beer, etc…) and continue to let onions cook.  Cook onions until they are a very soft and a deep golden brown.

Whisk together mayo and Dijon mustard for Dijonaise in a mixing bowl, then set aside

Push a small dent into the middle of each patty.  While this may seem odd, it prevents the hamburgers from swelling in the middle as they cook.  Cook the hamburgers for 4-5 minutes before flipping.  Once flipped, dress the hamburger first with tomato, then the caramelized onions, then with the aged cheddar.  Melting the cheese over the tomato and onions will help keep them toppings in place. Grill burgers until the cheese has melted and allow to rest while you finish the rest of your preparations.

Melt butter in a large saute pan and toast the brioche buns over medium heat on both sides.  Set aside and then return the pan to medium-high heat with the 2 tbsp olive oil.  Once the pan is hot, fry your eggs one or two at a time, whatever you are comfortable working with.  Season the eggs with salt and pepper before assembling your burger.  

Dress the top and bottom bun with the Dijonaise before adding your burger, then topping with fried egg and spinach.

Skirt Steak, Arugula Salad, Queso Blanco, Red Pepper Coulis, & Chimichurri

Prep Time:  20 mins.    Cook Time:  12 mins.   Serves:  2

Skirt steak is a cut more prized for flavor than tenderness.   Fatter than filet with slightly more steps in preparation, it is not the usual choice for home cooks.  However, it is a great choice to match with the bitter, peppery arugula greens, and the sweetness of roasted bell peppers.

Skirt steak can come with a tough membrane that needs to be removed before cooking.  You can request that your local butcher remove it or you can remove it yourself at home.  If not cooked properly skirt steak can be tough.  A quick pan sear to medium rare or medium is the preferred technique.  Make sure to slice against the grain, as with most steaks, to maximize tenderness.  

I used baby arugula in the salad as I think it has better flavor than the more mature greens.  The only drawback to this is that baby arugula can be a bit stemmy.  While definitely a labor of love, removing the stem from the leaves will give you a nicer product.  


  • 1 lb skirt steak
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 1 cup baby arugula; stems removed
  • ⅓ cup sweet corn
  • ¼ cup crumbled queso blanco
  • 1 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp sherry vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic;  chopped and divided
  • ½ shallot; chopped fine
  • ½ shallot; sliced thin into rings
  • ¼ cup + 1 tbsp olive oil; divided
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Place red pepper directly on oven rack and cook 10-15 mins until skin begins to char.  Place pepper in a mixing bowl and cover with a towel.  Set aside.

Place a saute pan over medium heat and add in 1 tbsp olive oil along with chopped shallot and 1 clove chopped garlic.  Saute garlic and shallot for 3-5 minutes.  Once cooked, add the garlic and shallot to a food processor.  Return to the red pepper and remove the skin and seeds.  Add the cleaned pepper to the garlic and shallot in the food processor along with the sherry vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.  Process pepper on high until very smooth, then pass mixture through a fine mesh sieve.  Set aside.  

Add ¼ cup olive oil along reserved garlic, oregano, basil, thyme, parsley, red pepper flakes and lime juice to a mixing bowl.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside.  

Place a large skillet over high heat.  Add vegetable oil and heat pan until very hot.  Season skirt steak heavily with salt and pepper before placing in pan.  Cook skirt steak 3-4 minutes on each side before removing from the pan and letting rest 5-10 minutes.

Toss together baby arugula, corn, and sliced shallot in a mixing bowl.  Drizzle salad with olive oil and fresh lime juice then season with salt and pepper.  Serve salad alongside skirt steak, topping with crumbled queso blanco.  Serve chimichurri over steak with red pepper coulis on side.  

Braised Beef Short Ribs, Sweet Carrot Puree, Pan Roasted Baby Potatoes, Button Mushrooms, & Seared Onions

Prep Time:  40 min    Cook Time:  2 ½ hrs    Serves:  2

Winter weather and colder temperatures call for a hearty braise.  This recipe may seem daunting, but fortunately most of the work is done in the oven. Developing the flavors gradually will help ensure you have a robust dish with decadent texture. Trust me; it’ll be well worth it in the end.

To begin, sear the ribs on high heat in a large pan on all sides. Sautéing the carrots, celery and onions in the leftover drippings will produce caramelization and build the deep flavors that a good braise delivers. 

When preparing the carrots, cut them into equal size slices and simmer in water with sugar and salt.  Cook the carrots until they are extremely tender, and reserve the liquid used to simmer them to make your puree.  Gradually add the reserved liquid as you process the carrots so you don’t accidentally add too much.  

The mushrooms are cooked twice; once in the oven to remove excess water, and then finished in a pan with butter when you’re ready to serve.  It’s important to cook them this way, as simply placing them in the pan first will result in soggy mushrooms that have steamed in their own liquid.

Cook the onions quickly in butter over med-high heat.  You want to cook them fast with higher heat and let them retain some texture while still picking up some flavor from the pan.  

When the ribs are finished, strain the solids out of the braising liquid and reduce until thickened for use as a sauce.  You may need to skim the liquid to remove some excess fat.  Simply remove the thin translucent layer of fat that will accumulate on top with a ladle and allow the liquid to reduce until it coats a spoon.  Stir in a small knob of cold butter to finish the sauce off the heat.


● 1 lb bone in beef short ribs

● 48 oz beef stock

● 1 cup  Amber ale

● 2 celery stalks, cut into ¼” slices

● 7  medium carrots, peeled and divided (2 cut into ¼” slices, 5 cut into 1/2 “ rounds)

● 1 ½  yellow onion, divided (1 rough chopped, ½ sliced into ¼” crescents)

● 2 cup button mushrooms, chopped

● 2 oz bacon

● 6 baby yukon potatoes

● 6 oz chives, divided (4 oz whole, 2 oz chopped fine)

● 4 oz thyme, whole

● 4 cloves garlic, minced

● 2  tbs olive oil

● 4 tbs vegetable oil, divided

● 4 tbs butter, divided

● 3 cups water

● ¼ cup granulated sugar

● salt and pepper to taste

● flat leaf parsley for garnish


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Place a large pan over high heat with 2 tbsp vegetable oil. While the pan is heating, season all sides of your short ribs liberally with salt and pepper.  When the pan has come up to temperature, begin searing the short ribs for 1 minute on each side.  When all sides have been seared, remove the short ribs from the pan and set aside.  

Remove any used oil from the pan. Reduce to medium heat and add in remaining 2 tbs of vegetable oil, garlic and rough chopped onions, stirring occasionally.  Cook for 2 minutes before adding in the celery and carrots.  Allow carrots and celery to begin to brown before pouring in the beer. Begin stirring with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to remove any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Continue stirring to allow the beer to reduce and evaporate before returning the short ribs to the pan. Once in the pan, pour in enough stock to almost cover them leaving only the very top of the short rib exposed.  Add in the whole chives, thyme, and bacon and bring to a boil. Put on the  lid and place   in the oven for two hours. 

Coat the chopped mushrooms evenly with 2 tbsp of olive oil before spacing them apart on a lined sheet tray. Roast in the oven for 15-20 mins to remove any excess moisture and then set aside.  

Combine the remaining carrots with the water, sugar, and a liberal pinch of salt in a small sauce pot.  Set the pot over medium heat and bring up to a simmer, allowing the carrots to cook until very tender.  Strain off the carrots, reserving a ¼ cup of the liquid.  Add carrots to a blender and begin blending on low, gradually easing towards high to avoid splatter.  Carefully pour in reserved liquid in stages, pureeing the carrots until very smooth.  Season with salt (to taste) and set aside. 

Place a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat and add in 1 tbsp butter.  Place the reserved onions into the pan and season lightly with salt.  Allow the onions to cook until they soften and start to brown, tossing occasionally.  Reserve the onions once they have finished.

Place potatoes in a medium sauce pot and cover with water.  Season the water heavily with salt and set the potatoes over medium heat to simmer until fork tender.  Remove the potatoes from the water and slice in half.  

Once the short ribs are fork tender, remove from the pan and strain off the solids in the liquid.  Return the liquid and short ribs back to the pan and reduce over medium high heat.  

Finish the mushrooms and potatoes while the braising liquid is reducing. Place a medium sized pan over medium heat and melt 1 tbsp of butter. Place the potatoes cut-side down into the pan.  Cook for two minutes on each side until golden brown, remove from pan, and set aside.

Return pan to high heat, along with 1 tbsp of butter. Add the mushrooms and allow to brown, tossing occasionally. Once browned, incorporate the chopped chives and potatoes and season with salt and pepper to taste.  .  

Once the braising liquid has reduced to the point where it will coat a spoon, remove the short ribs.  Add remaining 1 tbsp of butter and stir to emulsify.  Serve the short ribs, potatoes, and mushroom over the carrot puree spooning the reduced sauce on top. Finish by garnishing with whole parsley and the browned onions. Enjoy!