This is a great holiday meal -- festive, rich, and delicious. The roast is expensive, but it is worth it. It is relatively easy to prepare, leaving a lot of time with your family and friends. Enjoy a martini or some champagne while the meat rests, and then serve with some side dishes that have a lot of flavor: Brussels sprouts (I prepare mine with bacon and shallots), creamed onions, potatoes au gratin, and roasted squash. A good wine is essential, something to balance the richness of the menu. Dessert can be as simple as a Christmas cookie.
1This cut of meat usually needs to be ordered from a butcher, so the order should be placed well in advance (especially during the holidays).
2Take meat from the refrigerator, remove all packaging, and pat dry with paper towels. Let stand at room temperature for one hour. After one hour, preheat oven to 500 degrees and allow oven to heat for 10-15 minutes after it reaches its mark.
3While oven is preheating, rub the meat with the oil, and sprinkle generously with fresh cracked pepper. Mix horseradish and kosher salt (to taste) together and pack on top of the roast (bones should be curved downward).
4When oven has been hot for 10-15 minutes, place roast in pan with a v-rack (again, bone side down). Place some coarsely chopped onion, celery, carrot, and thyme in the pan if you'd like to serve it au jus. Add some water or stock to the pan to keep the vegetables from burning.
5After twenty minutes, turn the oven to 350 degrees, and allow to roast for 75-90 minutes more (one hour and a quarter). Begin taking the temperature of the roast, in the middle and not touching any bone. You'll need to let the roast rest before carving, when the temperature will rise, so look for 120-125 degrees for rare to medium rare; from 130-155 for medium to medium well. Note: A good idea is to cook it to medium rare and then place a carved piece in the hot roasting pan for those who like it more well done.
6Tent the roast with foil on a cutting board and allow to rest for 15 minutes. If you're serving the roast au jus, reserve two tablespoons of drippings in the pan and add the wine, reducing it to a glaze; add the stock and reduce until it is well flavored. Drain and skim any fat or vegetable bits.
7Carve the beef quickly through the crust, plate and serve with the au jus, or with a horseradish cream.