This year the Christmas dinner I prepared for my loved ones centred around a prime rib, a beautiful piece of beef that was easy to make and oh so delicious and tender to eat. I don’t have any photos to share, so you’ll need to use your imagination. Picture a piece of beef that’s crusted with a mouthwatering garlic, pepper and salt rub, roasted to a toothsome crispiness on the outside, and done to a succulent, faintly pink tenderness inside.
All I can say is, it was so good and definitely worth the price ($10.99 a pound) for such a special occasion. Nothing went to waste; we ate the entire roast and I used the meaty rib bones the next day to make a rich beef stock.
Here’s how I prepared my roast of just under 5-1/2 pounds, which was enough for 8 adults (granted, we’re not big meat eaters, so you will need to take your guests’ carnivore factor into account when deciding how large a roast you need).
Ask your butcher to cut the roast from the rib bones and tie it back together to save yourself some work when it’s time to carve the meat. It’s not a big deal to separate it yourself when it’s ready to carve, but it’s one more step at that busy time when you’re putting the finishing touches on your meal.
Remove the roast from the refrigerator about one hour before roasting to allow it to come toward room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 450°.
Put three cloves of garlic, a tablespoon or so of freshly ground pepper and roughly a half tablespoon of kosher salt in a food processor and whizzz until finely minced. Alternatively, you can mince the garlic by knife and press and rub in the salt and pepper.
Place the prime rib in a roasting pan, bone side down, and show it a little love by massaging the garlic mixture all over the top and sides. If you have a sprig of fresh rosemary lazing around that needs a purpose in life, throw that into the pan. It adds wonderful aroma and will also flavour the sauce later.
Put the roast into the hot 450° oven for 15 minutes, then turn the temperature down to 325°. Most of my family likes their meat well-done (okay, everyone except me), so I roasted it for 30 minutes per pound in total, checking the internal temperature near the end of that time. I was looking for a final internal temperature between 155° and 160°, knowing the temperature would continue to rise another 5-10° during the resting time. When the roast has reached the desired temperature, remove from the roasting pan and wrap in foil to rest. This resting time is crucial; even well-done beef will be juicy and tender if you do this. Now it’s time to make the sauce (or, you could call it gravy).
Prime Rib Sauce with Red Wine
Pour the fat out of the roasting pan and discard. Place the pan on one or two stove burners turned to medium high. Add a good splash of red wine to the juices left in the pan (sorry, I didn’t measure, but I probably used about a 1/2 cup). Stir until all the enticing caramelized bits have released from the bottom of the pan. Put a tablespoon or so of corn starch in a glass, add a good half cup or so of cold water and stir with a fork until blended. Add to the juices in the pan and stir until thickened. If the sauce seems too thick, add a little more water at a time to thin it. Pour it through a fine strainer, for a smooth final result. I made only about a cup of the sauce, which was enough for us (jn my family, you either love it or don’t use any at all).
There was no need to add seasonings, as the drippings were infused with the salt and pepper from the rub. The sauce was dark and intensely flavourful, and was a real hit with those gravy lovers around the table.
So, there you have it, prime rib and sauce with red wine, a true special occasion indulgence.