Home > Food, Wine > Prime Rib Roast

Prime Rib Roast

Preparation: 30 minutes Cooking time: 2 hours Yield: 6

I was lurking in a local butcher the other day, the name of which sounds like an American farm,  when I stumbled over a rare cut of beef, something that I seldom see here – prime rib.

The cut comes from the rib cage of a cow, ribs 6 to twelve to be precise. If you slice the roast when uncooked, you end up with what are known as rib eye steaks. And the country in which prime rib is hugely popular? You guessed it; the good ol’ US of A, where it is also known as a standing rib roast, since it is normally roasted with the rib ends pointing skyward.

Note that the word prime does not denote the tenderness or quality of the beef grade, it is simply the appellation attached to this particular cut of meat.

Once again, recipes abound and quite naturally, everybody purports theirs is definitive. The basis for mine is something I found on the Television Food Network, of course with appropriate alterations.

Ingredient Selection and Preparation

Prime Rib: I bought a chunk about 1.9kg in size. It was trimmed, and vacuum packed, so it would have lasted well in the freezer. Trimmed means excess fat removed, not all fat removed. The fat keeps it moist during roasting and imparts significant flavour as well.

6 cloves of garlic: fresh crushed only, or one tsp of garlic paste per clove.

2 sprigs each rosemary and thyme: fresh and chopped. In the case of the rosemary strip the leaves off the stalks before chopping finely.

50ml olive oil: the cooking grade is fine, like pomace or any of the virgin olive oil grades.

1 tsp each salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 carrots: peeled and coined.

2 potatoes: peeled and cubed.

1 onion: peeled and quartered.

500 ml dry red wine: I used a delightful 2004 Somerbosch Shiraz I happened to have in my “cellar”. More about that later.

250ml beef stock: use the MSG free cubes if possible.

30g flour

30g butter


Boil the kettle for the stock and pre-heat the oven to 180 deg C.

Place the roast rib side down in a roasting pan, on a trivet if you have one. I use a trivet because it lifts the meat off the bottom of the roasting pan, and ensures proper air circulation during roasting.

Mix the olive oil, garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper in a small bowl, then spread it evenly over the meat.

Scatter the carrot,  potatoes and onion around the meat, and drizzle generously with olive oil.

Roast open for about two hours, or until the juices run clear. Use a meat thermometer if you have one. Medium roast is 71 deg C on my thermometer, and it comes out just perfectly.

I served mine with oven roasted potatoes, sweet potatoes and onions. Get the vegetables into the oven for the last hour and a half of roasting time.

When the roast is done, remove from the roasting pan, cover with aluminium foil and two to three kitchen towels to keep it warm. Leave it to stand for about 20 minutes to relax before carving.

Turn the oven off, and leave the veggies in it to keep warm

Remove the carrots and potatoes, but leave the onions in the roaster.

Place the roasting pan on the stove top, and add the beef stock to deglaze the pan. Add the red wine and reduce the sauce for ten minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

In the meantime, heat the butter in a small saucepan, then whisk in the flour to make a roux. Cook the roux for a minute or so, whisking constantly. Add about 200ml of the sauce from the roaster in a steady stream, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Add the roux to the sauce in the roaster. Whisk briskly until smooth and shiny.

Cook for a couple of minutes, whisking occasionally. If it’s too thick, add some water. Voila! A lovely shiny smooth red wine sauce to go with your succulent beef roast.

By now the roast will have rested, so open it up and cut the rib bones away with your carving knife. Carve lovely thin slices, across the grain, and serve with the oven roasted vegetables, a generous helping of gravy and a fresh green salad.


Wine of the Week

The 2004 Somerbosch Shiraz is a deep purple, belying the wines age.

Intense raspberry with oak notes and black plums caress the nose.

The mouth feel is pleasing, with the bouquet following through onto the palate, with an added hint of cassis.

The acidity is brisk, and offsets the fruit nicely.

The tannins are peripheral, and the substantial fruit lingers on the tongue.

Categories: Food, Wine
  1. Marc
    March 22, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    I missed your website whilst it was being revamped.

    Your recipes are absolutely wonderful. There is not one that our family have not enjoyed.

    Thanx and welcome back to the vitual world.

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