Feast of Leftovers: Sour Cream Biscuits

Oh the joys of harvest and fresh local vegetables. After the excess of candy and treats, some simple hearty vegetable soup is what the day requires!


As always I have extra sour cream and since I have a large pot of cabbage and bean soup – what any soup needs is a nice freshly baked biscuit. And I love sour cream biscuits. Simple and easy to make – and helps get rid of that sour cream sitting in my fridge. I posted another version of sour cream biscuits that uses vegetable shortening. These use lard – and lard makes the best biscuits. Yes rendered pig fat is a a culinary blessing!
(I will post my cabbage and bean recipe soon – my other soup recipes are: Prime Rib, Turkey)

4 cup white flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 tablespoon salt (or less if desired)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup Lard (at room temperature!)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 large egg
1/4 cup milk

parchment paper

Preheat oven to 350°F
Mix all the dry ingredients thoroughly in a bowl.
In a separate bowl mix the sour cream with the egg until blended.
Place lard in large bowl, and cut with knife into small cubes. Now dump in the dry ingredients!
Use a pastry cutter to blend the shortening into the flour mixture until the mixtures has a course pea-sized texture.
Add the sour cream and cut mixture until it is course crumbs.
Using clean dry hands knead dough 6 to 8 strokes; if dough is too dry and not binding together, slowly add a bit of milk a teaspoon at a time. The mixture should just bind together without being too dry or too moist!
All of the above should be done fairly quickly to avoid over-working the flour and activating the gluten! (which would make the biscuits tough…)
Roll out dough 1/4 inch thick. Lightly dust with flour if it is sticking to the rolling pin. Fold in half, and then fold in half again.
(Yes that would now be a quarter – but this is cooking not math class!)
Now roll out once more to about 1/2 inch thick and cut biscuits (no bigger than 2 inches wide!)

Place biscuits on parchment paper in a cookie sheet. The biscuits should just be touching each other – this will make them puff upwards more than then expand sideways!
Brush the top with any left-over milk to make the tops brown evenly.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes (until desired golden brown on top)

Let cool a few minutes – and then enjoy!

These biscuits are not only excellent with soup but also really tasty with butter and your favourite jam.

Food : Prime Rib BBQ!

English: USCA Choice standing rib roast (2 bone).


First you will need a Prime Rib roast. How big should it be? Depends on how many people and how much meat they like to eat! And how much you want to spend!

The rule of thumb is: 1 Rib feeds 2 People. So a 2 Rib roast would feed 4 People. For a backyard BBQ feast that has a lot of other food you can probably estimate 1 Rib for 2.5 People. This is assuming 1 Rib is equal to about 1 Kilogram or about 2.2 Pounds.
Adjust things accordingly for weight!

When you buy your Prime Rib roast look for one with good layer of fat. Fat is flavour. Fat keeps the meat moist while cooking. You can always cut off the fat when serving! You want at least a 1/4 inch (less than 1 cm) of fat on the side away from the bones.

Get a GOOD Meat Thermometer!
The most important item you need in cooking a Prime Rib roast is a good meat thermometer! Prime Rib should not be overcooked. Yes you can estimate times but really the best way to cook this premium cut of meat is with a good, reliable and accurate thermometer. I use a digital thermometer that stays in the roast throughout the cooking process. The one I use has a long lead from the meat probe to an exterior display that sits outside the oven. Very nice for monitoring the cooking progress without opening the door!


1) Let the meat come to room temperature before roasting. This may take an hour. A cold Prime Rib will not cook properly, with the outer portion overcooking. Never try and cook a frozen Prime Rib roast!!! Use paper-towels to pat dry the surface of the meat.

2) DO NOT SALT. Salt pulls the moisture from the meat. Season with garlic, or some other rub if you desire. I just rub on some fresh ground pepper.

3) OPTIONAL: Garlic! grab a garlic clove or two and slice into small slivers. Now take a very sharp thin knife and slice small holes all around the roast, inserting a garlic sliver into each hole.

4) OPTIONAL: While the roast is sitting out (see step 1) you can do this! BBQ Rib is even better with a good roast rub. Here is a rub recipe (and you can make your own!).

1 tablespoon coarse ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried minced onion
1 teaspoon dried minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flake

Mix together the pepper, onion, garlic, parsley and pepper flakes.
Remove the butcher’s twine and lightly coat the roast and ribs with oil.
Season on all sides (including the space between the ribs and roast) with the dry rub. Re-tie the beef roast and ribs back together. Now let sit at room temperature for an hour.

5) Set up your BBQ (grill) for indirect heat and preheat to low (250-300°F).

6) Place the roast, bone-side down, on a roasting rack and pan combination. Add enough beef stock or water to fill the pan about 1 inch deep. Optional: Add some dried mushrooms to flavor the liquid base! If you are using a digital thermometer insert it into the roast!

7) Place the roast and pan on the grill on the indirect side where you don’t have any burners on. Close the grill lid and cook until the rib roast hits 10 °F less than your desired level of doneness.
NOTE: This should take about 3 hours for medium rare. It’s a good idea to turn the roast around every 45 minutes or so. (For rare – pull at internal temperature of 115°F. For medium rare – 125°F. For medium – 135°F).

8) Remove the roast and pan set up and let rest at room temperature until the internal temperature stops rising – about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, turn up the grill heat to high (you want it very hot – about 500 °F).

9) Taste the au jus (seasoned broth in the pan) and season to taste with salt and pepper to taste. Keep the au jus warm.

10) Now fully remove the rib bones. Then place the rib bones cut side down over the heat. Also sear the roast 2-3 minutes on the cut side and 1-2 minutes on the other sides.

11) Once the outside of each portion is nicely seared remove from the grill. You may let it rest for a few minutes but it isn’t needed – as it already settled during the previous rest.

12) Slice as desired. Top with some of the au jus and serve.

Sit back and enjoy summer!

Feast of Leftovers: Sour Cream Biscuits

The wonder of this time of year is how much food can be squeezed into a refrigerator, and how much food I can consume without trying!

I seem to have extra sour cream and since I have been making soup – what every soup needs is a nice freshly baked biscuit. And I love sour cream biscuits. Simple and easy to make – and helps get rid of that sour cream sitting in my fridge.
(My soup recipes are: Prime Rib, Turkey)


2 cup white flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 425°F
Mix dry ingredients thoroughly in a bowl.
Use a pastry cutter to blend.
Add the shortening and cut shortening until mixture has course pea-sized texture.
Add the sour cream and cut mixture until it is course crumbs.
Knead dough 6 to 8 strokes; if dough is too dry and not binding together, slowly add a bit of water a teaspoon at a time.
Roll out dough 1/4 inch thick. Fold in half. Roll out again and fold in half, and half again.
Now roll out to about 1/2 inch thick and cut biscuits;
bake on greased cookie sheet 10 to 15 minutes (until desired golden brown on top)

Let cool a few minutes – and then enjoy!
Not only excellent with soup but also really tasty with butter and strawberry jam.

Feast of Leftovers: Prime Rib Soup!

Prime Rib Soup

The Feast of Leftovers continues for me – and probably for many of my readers. I mentioned yesterday I had a lovely Prime Rib dinner for Christmas Eve. (Prime Rib cooking instructions are here). Yesterday the nicer cuts of leftover prime rib were consumed as part of the Feast of Stephen (December 26)

Now I have 4 nice large bones from the Prime Rib – and the less choice scraps of meat (too much fat, gristle, overcooked – my aren’t we fussy North Americans!). So the solution is soup! (I have a Sour Cream Biscuit recipe here if you want something to go with the soup. Easy to make while the stock is simmering!)


To create a Prime Rib soup you  make things up!  Soup from leftovers is improvisational cooking and experimentation. For Prime Rib soup trim off the excess fat – but still leave some fat on the bones and other scraps. Remember fat is flavour!  You can always skim off the floating fat at the end of the cooking.

Some recipes for Prime Rib just have you dump all the ingredients into a big enough pot and let it simmer away until done while adding pre-made beef stock or bouillon cubes for flavour.

We will make our own stock base from the Prime Rib bones. Part of the reason I do this is to control the salt content. Because we are using leftovers that are seasoned it is a good strategy to wait before adding more seasoning.  You can always add more of what is missing – but you can never take it back once it is in the pot!

Step One: Prime Rib Stock

Place the bones (ribs)  in a pot large enough to hold the bones and just cover with water. You do not want too much water at this point as it will dilute your flavour. Also add in the less choice cuts of prime rib meat you have in the left-overs. If you have some better slices of leftover prime rib save that meat for adding at the end.

Next add to the pot 1 medium onion (whole), 1 or 2 cloves garlic, and the root vegetables of your choice. I like adding 1 parsnip root and 2-3 carrots. Make sure you have enough water to cover the contents of the pot. Set on stove-top and bring to boil. Then let simmer for at least 90 minutes. Longer is better. Remember you don’t want a full boil – only a slow simmer!

Go find a good book and a glass of wine and do some reading! Remember the bones and meat are already cooked so what we are doing is extracting flavour.  The longer you allow this to simmer the richer the broth! This is soup foreplay – so a long slow simmer helps to intensify the end result.

While the stock is simmering you can prepare any additional vegetables you may want to add to the final soup. I like adding chopped celery, potatoes, peas, and mushrooms. You can also add a chopped carrot or two. Set them aside for later. Keep the potatoes in cold water so they do not turn black!

When you think the stock is done (the meat will be falling off the bone)- take it off the heat and let it sit 15 minutes. Once the stock has settled you can skim off the excess fat at this point. Remove the larger items (bones, meat chunks, root vegetables, onion) from the stock and set aside for use later – or if you don’t like super-cooked veggies just toss them in the green-bin!

Step 2: Season the Stock

Take a fresh pot and place a fine sieve  over the fresh pot.  Now gently pour your stock into the new pot. Time for the taste test! Get a small spoon and sample the stock. What does it need? Salt? Spices? More beefy flavour? Does it need a little more water? Or maybe some pre-made beef stock to add both volume and flavour. This is the part where you use the magic of your senses to make the soup your own!

If I have leftover Prime Rib gravy I will add it to the stock. The gravy will thicken the stock so go easy! As well in go any leftover sauteed mushrooms I might have. Since these are already seasoned – make sure you add these before adding more salt! If I need more salt I will sometimes add 1/2 teaspoon of Marmite for flavouring, or a few squirts of Worcestershire sauce.

You can now freeze your stock, or use some for the next step in soup making!

Step 3: Add vegetables (and other ingredients that need to cook)

Once you have adjusted the seasoning (and the volume of liquid) – add the uncooked vegetables to the prepared stock. Some people like adding barley – remember barley will absorb quite a bit of liquid. I would add no more than 1/2 cup of soup or pearl barley. (Myself I like adding Japanese Udon noodles at the end to my soup so I don’t add barley – this is your soup so make it the way you like!)

Place the soup on the stove and bring to boil. Turn down to a simmer and let cook for 20-30 minutes or so (until vegetables are cooked to your liking. Barley also usually cooks in 30 minutes).

Step 4: Finish the soup and eat!

IF you had leftover meat from the Prime Rib that you did not use in making the stock then you can add these choice bits of meat to the soup so the meat will be heated, and soften. Make sure it is cut into bite sized pieces. It is up to you when you add this meat – I add right away so it cooks for 30 minutes and falls apart.

If you kept the bones and meat from making the stock, you can strip any better bits of meat to add back to your soup. The longer the bones and meat have cooked the easier it will fall off the bone and gristle. Add this meat back when the soup has finished cooking.

If you are using Udon noodles you can add these at the end. Let your soup come back to a boil and the turn it off. Add black pepper to taste.


Remember this is not an exact recipe so you can experiment and find what works best for you.