Home cooking with Denver’s top chefs: Michael Shiell’s rib roast

Food in Chef Shiell's kitchen. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

We can’t all be chefs, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try like hell.

And what better time to step it up than Christmastime? We asked Milk & Honey owner and chef Michael Shiell to show us how to make one of his holiday favorites, and he obliged with a lesson in rib roast in his own kitchen.

“What I love about cooking is the gathering,” he said.

He grew up with a big family in New York, where he was considered family by the Pellegrinos — owners of the famous and legendarily exclusive Rao’s. He grew up around restaurants and quickly made a name for himself as a chef.

“To me it’s just a way of life,” he said. “It brings people together and keeps them together.”

His advice to everyone cooking at home: Be yourself. Use recipes as guidelines and cook to your palate.

Here is the rib roast recipe in full:

Perfect Medium Rare Rib Roast with Roasted Vegetables
By Milk & Honey executive chef Michael Shiell

Serves 4-6

4-5 pounds bone-in rib roast
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon kosher salt
Rosemary and thyme sprigs
1 onion, 1 head of garlic

  1. Place rib roast on a plate and bring to room temperature, about 4 hours. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.
  2. Using a knife, cut an X in the fat cap of the roast. Place rosemary and thyme sprigs into the X that was originally cut into the roast.
  3. Cut four incisions in the meat and place a whole clove of garlic in each incision.
  4. Generously rub salt and pepper over the entire roast and place it in a chafing dish.
  5. Roughly cut an onion into chunks and distribute it with more garlic cloves around the roast in the chafing dish.
  6. Drizzle the entire roast with olive oil.
  7. Roast the meat in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Turn the oven off and, leaving the roast in the oven with the door closed, let the roast sit in the oven for 2 hours. Remove roast from the oven, slice and serve.

Roasted Vegetables

Extra virgin olive oil
2 parsnips
1 rutabaga
1 King Trumpet mushroom
5 cloves garlic
1 large shallot
8 carrots
7 Brussels sprouts
5 fingerling potatoes
1 sprig chopped rosemary
1 sprig chopped thyme
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Set oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Roughly chop vegetables into 2-inch pieces.
  3. Mix rosemary and thyme with vegetables.
  4. Place in a glass Pyrex baking dish.
  5. Coat vegetables with extra virgin olive oil.
  6. Place mixture into oven and cook for 30-35 minutes.
  7. Vegetables should be golden and caramelized. Test by cutting through a fingerling potato. If the knife goes through easily, all of your vegetables are done.
And since you’ll have two hours while that roast is sitting in the oven…

Ashley Dean

Author: Ashley Dean

Ashley Dean covers dining and nightlife, and other odds and ends. She previously covered music and did some copy editing for the Denver Post, the Colorado Daily and the Daily Camera. She's from New York, likes her bourbon straight and has strong opinions about Kanye West. She can be reached at adean@denverite.com, 303-502-2804 or @AshleyDean.