Quite a few years ago, my family and I got tired of serving up yet another turkey dinner at Christmastime. I mean, Thanksgiving and Christmas are barely 4 weeks apart (sometimes more, sometimes less). Who really, truly wants to eat turkey again so soon? So my brother and I took it upon ourselves to come up with the ultimate feast. A once-a-year extravaganza of food we would never normally cook, mostly due to budget and health considerations. Say hello to the roast.
For me, one of the most elaborate things you can bestow upon your dinner party is a glorious roast. From a whole beef tenderloin to a rack of lamb, over the years we’ve served them all. I find this elaborate because I don’t normally eat a ton of meat, either regularly or in one sitting. And to serve a roast, you typically need to have quite a few guests to help you devour it (because we certainly don’t want any tiny little morsel of it to go to waste).
This year, we decided to go classic old-school: prime rib. This feeds both the Texan in me and my brother, and the Brit in my husband. To create the ultimate steakhouse dinner, make this prime rib roast with the jus (a well-seasoned, light gravy) along with the Yorkshire puddings and creamed spinach that we added to the menu this year.
Seek out the best quality roast you can find from a reputable butcher. Look for a first cut, 3-bone prime rib which gives you more meat and less fat. That being said, you want to make sure that you get a roast that has nice marbling throughout. If you really want to splurge, be sure to ask for Prime grade beef, rather than Choice which is what most supermarkets carry.
You can leave the ribs attached to the roast if you like, but to make carving easier once the roast is cooked, ask your butcher (or do it yourself!) ahead of time to cut the ribs off of the roast. Then reserve the bones, and re-attach them to the roast after browning using kitchen string or butcher’s twine. The other advantage of doing this is that it allows you to add the rib bones to the jus when finishing it before serving—another beefy layer of flavor.
Recipe: Slow-Roasted Beef Prime Rib Roast
Makes 6 to 8 servings
- One 3-bone standing beef rib roast (about 7 lbs)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups good-quality beef stock (ideally from the freezer section)
- 1 cup dry, full-bodied red wine
- 2 or 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- Remove the roast about 2 hours prior to cooking (a roast of this magnitude benefits from being closer to room temperature prior to roasting for more even cooking). Cut the bones away from the roast (you can have your butcher do this), then lay the bones on a cutting board and set the roast on top, making sure that the roast is positioned on the bones where it was cut. Using butcher’s twine or kitchen string, tie the roast twice between the bones, running parallel to the bones, and re-attaching the bones to the roast. This will help keep the roast intact and ensure that it doesn’t overcook.
- Pat the roast dry with paper towels, then sprinkle it generously all over with salt and pepper.
- Preheat the oven to 325F, positioning the oven rack in the lower third of the oven. Heat a heavy roasting pan large enough to fit the roast over medium-high heat on the stovetop. Sear the roast fat side down until well browned. Sear the rest of the roast all over until well browned.
- Pull out the roast, add a roasting rack and place the roast bone-side-down on the roasting rack. Transfer to the oven.
- Roast until a meat thermometer registers 115F for rare or 125F for medium-rare, about 1 ½ to 2 hours. It’s imperative to have a meat thermometer for this purpose, you don’t want to just guesstimate! Remove the roast from the oven, transfer the roast to a carving board, and tent it loosely with foil. Let the roast stand for about 30 minutes before carving. This “resting” period allows the juices to redistribute and will result in a juicier, more tender roast. The internal temperature of the roast will continue to rise as it rests. This also leaves you with the perfect opportunity to make Yorkshire Puddings.
- While the roast is resting and the Yorkshire puddings are baking, pour the fat and juices into a gravy separator and remove the fat (reserving 6 tbsp for the puddings). Return the juices to the roasting pan and set the pan on the stovetop over medium heat (you may need to put it over the griddle burner or 2 burners). Add the beef stock, wine, and thyme sprigs. Cut the strings on the roast and put the bones in the roasting pan. Using a wooden spatula, scrape the browned bits off the pan bottom. Let simmer until reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Strain into a gravy boat.
- To serve, carve the roast into 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick slices. Serve with the jus and Yorkshire Puddings alongside.