Sunday, December 30, 2012

Prime Rib au Jus

This was our main course for dinner last night.  It is an amazingly simple meal to make but the flavors are incredible.

Prime Rib Roast au Jus
- One 8-9 pound rib roast 
- ½ cup kosher salt 
- ½ cup freshly cracked black pepper 
- 2 medium onions, peeled and thickly sliced 
- 2 large carrots, peeled and thickly sliced 
- 3 stalks celery, diced large 
- 2 plum tomatoes, cored and diced large 
- 10 cloves garlic, peeled 

For the Au Jus Sauce 
- ½ cup dry red wine 
- 3 cups beef stock 
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste 

1. Preheat oven to 400F. 
2. Dry the meat with paper towels, then rub it all over with the salt and pepper. Pressing gently to be sure they adhere. Place the meat on a sturdy rack in a roasting pan and then arrange the onions, carrots, celery, tomatoes and garlic around it. Place in the oven and cook until well browned, about 20 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 300F, stir the vegetables around and roast until the meat it done the way you like it. To check for doneness, insert a remote meat thermometer into the dead center of the roast monitor the temperature. 120F is rare, 126F is medium rare, 134F is medium, 150F is medium well and 160F is well-done; we like to pull it at 125F. 
3. When the roast is done to your liking, place the roast on a cutting board and cover it loosely with foil. Set it aside for 15-20 minutes or so and allow the roast to rest. 
4. Place the roasting pan, with all the drippings and cooked vegetables, on the stove over high heat. Add the wine and bring to a simmer to deglaze, stirring to dissolve the brown crusty stuff on the bottom of the pan. Add the beef stock, bring back to a simmer and reduce the volume of the liquid by about one third (10-15 minutes). Season the sauce with salt and pepper and strain into a gravy boat. 
5. Carve the beef into slices about 1 inch thick and serve with the au jus. 

Cook's Notes: I used pre-made beef stock for the au jus (I did not have time to make it from scratch). It is important to allow the roast to rest for at least 10 minutes before you slice it.  It is also critical to use a remote sensing thermometer to monitor the temperature of the roast.  You can pick one up at most kitchen stores (or Bed, Bath and Beyond) for $25-35.  Once you cook a roast with a remote sensing thermometer, you will wonder how you ever cooked without one!

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