When I moved from Los Angeles to San Jose, my parents and brother drove up to visit for Thanksgiving. I decided to go all out and made my very first prime rib roast ever. It was perfect. I impressed the heck outta my Mom, who finally said, “Who knew you could cook! I should have let you cook all these years!”
Ahhhh young grasshoppa has talent! That would have surely beat washing dishes!
Each year for the holidays, usually Christmas dinner, I’ll make the prime rib roast. The recipe has changed very little, a hot sear and then slow and low is the key to absolutely perfect prime rib.
It’s easier than you think, almost foolproof if you have a meat thermometer. Even if you do goof and leave it in the oven a little longer than desired, it will still be amazing moist and tender (because of the slow ‘n low cooking temp)
Don’t be fooled by the word “prime” in the name of Prime Rib Roast – just regular ‘ol supermarket Choice cut rib roast is fine, no need to splurge (and what a massive splurge that would be!) for the Prime cuts.
These days, I like to dry age my roast (This weekend would be the perfect time to start the dry aging if you are game to do it yourself!), but it’s absolutely not necessary.
The recipe I use most comes from Cook’s Illustrated with some small changes. It’s come out perfect every single time.
How to Cook Perfect Prime Rib with Jus
Start with oxtails smeared with tomato paste – this will produce some crazy flavor for the Red Wine Jus (which honestly, is 42% of why I love Prime Rib). Throw some veggies into the pan and roast for 20 minutes to give it a head start.
After the oxtails and veg have had a nice bake in the oven, you can already see how much flavor it will add to the recipe.
Here’s the roast….instead of trying to carve the roast off the bone AFTER cooking, Cooks Illustrated advises to carve the meat off the bone before roasting for 2 reasons:
1. It’s easier to carve to serve without having to wrestle with bone.
2. The bone will flavor the au jus later in the cooking process.
You’ll want to cut the roast as close to the bone as possible – don’t waste any of that precious meat!
In a large frying pan or cast iron pan (preferred), sear each side of the boneless roast.
Get a nice crusty crust.
On each side.
Now we’ll tie the roast back onto the bones. I like using strips of cheesecloth. Easier than wrangling with twine and that fancy tying thing. Two strips is all you really need – tie it like a present.
Tie the roast back on — this is important, because the bone will serve as our “rack” in the roasting pan so that the roast cooks evenly. The bone also gives a lot of flavor. Push the oxtails and veg to the side.
Roast 17-20 minutes per pound…for a 7 pound roast that would be 2 hours. Check temp with a meat thermometer – just stick the thermometer deep in the middle (don’t touch bone). 122F for rare, 130F for medium-rare.
Now it’s time to make the savory red wine jus! Spoon out the fat from the roasting pan (use it for the Yorkshire Pudding Recipe!) Return roasting pan with the oxtails, vegetables and the BONES of the rib roast (just untie them from the roast) with wine, broth and thyme.
Simmer it good.
And it’s done!
Serve with Jus
But don’t forget….for your favorite dog…
Perfect Prime Rib Roast with Red Wine Jus Recipe
Recipe adapted from Cooks Illustrated.
1) Get bone-in rib roast, preferable first-cut, ribs 9-12 for most flavor. Choice grade of beef (i.e. not the pricey Prime grade) is what you'll ask for.
2) Take note of how many pounds the roast is prior to cooking (bones and roast) to determine cooking time
3) Use a meat thermometer
Ingredients:1 bone-on beef rib roast (about 7-8 pounds)
1 1/2 pounds oxtail bones
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 onions, quartered
3 carrots, cut into thirds
3 stalks celery, cut into thirds
1 whole head garlic, halved
2 tablespoons cooking oil, divided
salt and pepper
1 cup red wine
1 3/4 cups beef broth
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1. Take roast from refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for 2 hours. Preheat oven to 400F, place rack on lowest position. Rub oxtails with tomato paste, place in roasting pan. Add onions, celery, carrots and garlic, toss with just 1 tablespoon of the cooking oil. Roast for 20 minutes.
2. In the meantime, cut the bone from the rib roast (try to carve as close to the bone as possible). Rub roast with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and generously season with salt and pepper. Heat large frying pan on high heat. When smoking hot, place rib roast, fat side down in pan and sear each side 5 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool for a few minutes. Place the roast right back onto the bones. Use kitchen twine or strips of cheesecloth to tie roast back onto the bones.
3. When the oxtails and vegetables are done, remove pan from oven.
4. Reduce the oven temperature to 250F.
5. Push the oxtail bones and vegetables to the sides, place roast, bone side down in roasting pan. Return pan to oven. Roast for 17-20 minutes PER POUND or until temperature of the middle of the roast is 130F (medium-rare to medium). Transfer roast to cutting board, carefully untie the bones from roast. Cover loosely with tin foil. Rest for 20 minutes.
6. While roast is resting, make the red wine jus. Keep the oxtails and vegetables in the roasting pan but pour out all but 1 teaspoon of the fat (reserve for Yorkshire Pudding if desired). Place the bones that you've untied from roast in roasting pan 2 burners set on high heat.
7. Pour in the red wine and cook until wine is reduced by half. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up the bits. Add the beef broth, chicken broth, thyme. Turn heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes. Add any juices accumulated from the rib roast on the cutting board. Turn off heat.
8. Remove the oxtails and the bones. Strain the jus with mesh strainer, pressing down with wooden spoon to extract out all the juice from the vegetables. Carve the roast, serve with the jus. Give the bones to a nice dog.
Perfect Accompaniment to Prime Rib — Yorkshire Pudding
How can you resist!? The beef fat from the roasting pan goes into making these airy Yorkshire Pudding popovers.