Rib Roast with Red-Wine Pan Sauce

Residents of the Raleigh-Durham area were delighted when a historic warehouse in downtown Raleigh was converted into the stylish Enoteca Vin. At Vin (as locals call it), they find perfectly prepared food paired with excellent wines from around the world. In this recipe, chef Ashley Christensen has created an unforgettable prime rib by applying a dry paprika rub to flavor the exterior and slipping garlic slivers into the meat to season the interior. A sublime cut that is as tender as butter, prime rib is best served medium rare. Chef Christensen accompanies it with a buttery wine sauce with just a hint of tarragon. The result is a recipe worthy of the most festive occasion.–Bill Niman and Janet Fletcher

Rib Roast with Red-Wine Pan Sauce Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 30 M
  • 3 H, 15 M
  • Serves 4 to 6


  • 3-rib prime rib roast, about 6 pounds
  • 5 cloves garlic, cut into quarters lengthwise
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Spanish smoked paprika (buy it)
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-tablespoon pieces
  • 2 teaspoons chopped tarragon leaves


  • 1. Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C).
  • 2. Using a sharp paring knife, make 20 shallow incisions in the fat cap of the roast. Slide 1 piece of garlic into each incision. Use your fingers to rub the fat over the incisions to cover them.
  • 3. Combine the salt, pepper, and paprika in a small bowl. Rub the mixture over the roast, covering the entire surface evenly. Let sit at room temperature for about 1 hour.
  • 4. Set the roast, fat side up, in a roasting pan just large enough to hold it. (If you use a larger pan, the pan juices will evaporate, rather than collect on the bottom.) Roast for 15 minutes. Decrease the heat to 350°F (175°C) and roast for 1 1/2 hours longer, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat away from bone reads 125°F (52°C) for medium rare. If the temperature is too low, continue roasting, checking the temperature every 10 minutes. Transfer the roast to a cutting board and let rest for 20 minutes. (This resting period allows the juices to settle, so they won’t rush out when the roast is carved.)
  • 5. Skim away all but about 2 tablespoons of the fat from the pan juices. Put the pan on the stove top over 2 burners and turn on the heat to medium-high. Add just enough of the red wine to coat the bottom of the pan and scrape the bottom and sides to loosen any stuck bits of meat. Add the remaining wine and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a small saucepan and stir in the tarragon. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm over low heat.
  • 6. Carve the roast by slicing between the rib plate and the meat, angling the blade toward the bones to guide the knife through without damaging the meat. Once the bones are removed, cut the meat into thick slices. Place on a warmed platter and top with the red wine sauce. Serve.
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Recipe Testers Reviews

Sofia Reino

May 05, 2005

Words cannot describe everyone’s reaction at dinner tonight when I brought in this roast. The smell, the taste, the juices—we were 6 at the table, and there were no leftovers whatsoever! I used a rib that was slightly over 6 pounds and the timing was impeccable.Very easy to prepare, the meat was cooked to perfection an the juices were splendid. The surprising factor was the tarragon, which worried me at the beginning but was so subtle. Now, one bit of advice: Please do yourself a favor a use a wine that you would LOVE to drink, as the wine doesn’t fully evaporate in 5 minutes, so it’s important to use a quality one— you’ll be thankful you did.

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