Meltingly tender and full of flavor, prime rib—also known as a standing rib roast—is a showstopping main course for a special Sunday supper as well as a popular choice for a Christmas feast. As long as you’ve remembered to put in a special order with your butcher for the beef, you can assemble this impressive dish with a minimum of hands-on time.
Prime Rib with Red Wine Jus and Rosemary Butter
4-rib standing beef rib roast, about 6 lb. (3 kg)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch (5-cm) pieces
2 celery stalks, cut into 2-inch (5-cm) pieces
2 leeks, white and light green portions, sliced 1/2 inch (12 mm) thick
2 fresh rosemary sprigs
1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) red wine
2 cups (16 fl. oz./500 ml) beef or chicken stock
4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) (2 oz./60 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh rosemary
Pat the rib roast dry with paper towels, then season generously on all sides with salt and pepper. Set aside at room temperature for 1 hour.
Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 425°F (220°C).
In a flameproof roasting pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the carrots, celery and leeks and season with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook the vegetables, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Arrange the rosemary sprigs on top of the vegetables, then place the roast, bone side down, on top of the rosemary.
Transfer the pan to the oven and roast for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (180°C) and continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the roast reads 130°F (54°C) for medium-rare, 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 45 minutes more, or until done to your liking. Transfer the roast to a carving board and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Using a slotted spoon, remove the vegetables from the pan.
Place the roasting pan on the stove top over medium-high heat. Pour in the wine and deglaze the pan, stirring to scrape up the browned bits. Add the stock and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. The consistency should be similar to that of heavy cream.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the butter and rosemary until thoroughly combined. Season with salt.
Once the jus is reduced, whisk in half of the rosemary butter, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a sauceboat.
Carve the roast and arrange on a warmed platter. Serve immediately with the jus and remaining rosemary butter alongside. Serves 6 to 8.
Williams-Sonoma Test Kitchen