Recipe: Herbed prime rib with au jus sauce

by Julie Snyder

Herbed Prime RibNothing quite says holiday dinner or special occasion like a big hunk of meat. Prime rib always makes a lasting impression on a dinner table.

Our version is wonderfully flavored with lots of herbs and an unexpected ingredient. The meat is amazingly tender, it cuts like a knife through butter and the flavor will leave you all sighing with pleasure.

Family and guests alike may refer to it as "beefylicious" from this day forward. Here is the best part -- it's really simple to make. You'll spend more time carving the dish than preparing it. Let's get cooking!

Herbed prime rib

Prep time: 20 minutes | Total time: 2 1/2 hours | Yield: 12 servings

Ingredients

For roast:
•4 teaspoons kosher salt
•1 tablespoon dry mustard
•1 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso coffee powder
•1 1/4 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
•1 teaspoon granulated garlic or dried minced garlic
•1 teaspoon onion powder
•1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
•1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
•1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
•1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
•1 tablespoon olive oil
•1 4- to 6-pound beef rib roast

For au jus sauce:
•pan drippings from roast
•1 1/2 cups beef broth
•1/2 cup merlot wine
•2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
•1 tablespoon water
•1 to 2 teaspoons cornstarch

Directions

For the roast:
Preheat the oven to 350 F.

In a small bowl, combine the salt, mustard, espresso powder, pepper, garlic, onion powder, thyme, oregano, coriander, and celery seeds. Set the dry rub aside.

Rub the roast with oil and sprinkle evenly with the dry rub. Massage with your fingers. With a sharp knife make several 1" by 1/2" slits into the fat side of the roast.

Place the meat in a large roasting pan, fat side up. Insert an oven-safe meat thermometer into the center of the roast. For medium doneness, bake until the thermometer reaches 150 F., about 1 3/4 to 2 1/4 hours.

Transfer the roast to a cutting board, cover with foil and allow to stand for 15 minutes.

For the sauce:
Pour the drippings into a large glass measuring cup. Skip off the fat and discard. Add the broth, wine and Worcestershire sauce to the drippings and pour the mixture back into the pan.

Heat over medium heat until bubbly, stirring to loosen the crusty bits from the bottom. If you prefer a thicker sauce, stir together the water and cornstarch. Whisk it into the bubbling sauce mixture and cook one minute. Strain if desired.

Slice the roast and serve with the sauce, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and a zesty horseradish sauce.

Cook's note

Do you expect to be time to be as rare as a prime roast come dinner time? You can prepare the roast for the oven, cover it loosely with plastic wrap and chill up to 24 hours. Then preheat the oven, take it out of the fridge and continue with the cooking instructions.

Do you have a favorite rub for prime rib? Share your secrets in the comments!

Image courtesy of iStockphoto.