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Slow-Roasted Beef Standing Rib Roast with Brown Ale Butter Sauce


Serves 8 to 10

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 120

The trick to evenly cooking a large bone-in beef roast like this is to roast it at a very low temperature for a long time. This way, the meat stays evenly pink throughout. Let the meat rest and then, just before you’re ready to serve, crank up the oven and brown it.

  • 1 Tbs. fennel seeds
  • 2 tsp. coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. celery seeds
  • 1 tsp. caraway seeds
  • Kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 4-bone (9- to 10-lb.) beef standing rib roast, lightly trimmed of exterior fat and top 1/2 inch frenched, if desired
  • 2-1/4 cups (18 oz.) brown ale, such as Newcastle
  • 2-1/4 cups lower-salt beef broth
  • 3 Tbs. Dijon mustard
  • 2 oz. (4 Tbs.) cold unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • Flaky sea salt, for finishing

Mix the fennel, coriander, cumin, celery, and caraway seeds, 2 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. pepper on a large cutting board; roll over them with a heavy rolling pin until lightly cracked. Roll the roast in the seeds to coat on all sides. Gather any remaining seeds and pat them onto the beef. Set the beef aside at room temperature for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 200°F.

Position the beef bone side down in a large, heavy-duty, flameproof roasting pan. Roast until a probe or instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the eye registers 120°F to 125°F for rare, 130°F to 135°F for medium rare, or 145°F for medium, between 4 and 5 hours. Begin checking the temperature after 4 hours to avoid overcooking. Let the beef rest in the roasting pan, uncovered, at room temperature for 1 to 1-1/2 hours.

Raise the oven temperature to 500°F. Return the beef to the oven and roast until the seeds begin to brown, about 12 minutes.

Transfer the beef to a carving board. Pour off any fat from the roasting pan (reserve, if desired, to make Yorkshire Pudding). Set the roasting pan over medium-high heat, add the beer, and bring to a boil, stirring down the foam and scraping up any browned bits from the pan with a wooden spatula. Boil until the liquid is reduced to 3/4 cup, 10 to 15 minutes. Whisk in the broth and mustard and continue boiling, whisking often, until reduced to about 1-1/2 cups, about 10 minutes. Whisk in the butter just until emulsified, remove from the heat, and season to taste with salt and pepper; transfer to a gravy boat for serving.

To carve, remove the meat from the bones by running a long, thin carving knife between the eye of meat and the bones, along the interior curve of the bones. Then cut the beef into thick slices and lightly sprinkle with sea salt. Serve the beef with the sauce.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 720, Fat (kcal): 40, Fat Calories (g): 350, Saturated Fat (g): 17, Protein (g): 78, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 16, Carbohydrates (mg): 4, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 1.5, Sodium (g): 520, Cholesterol (g): 195, Fiber (g): 1,

Photo: Romulo Yanes

I made this for NYE, along with the Brown Ale Butter sauce, and the Yorkshire Pudding. It was a huge hit with my guests (I loved it to). After 4 1/2 hours at 200 degrees, my roast was only about 122 degrees and frankly, it didn't look that good. But after the rest period, and the 12 minute 500 degree blast, and another rest period, it was great! The roast was uniformly cooked, and while it was rare, that was perfect for this roast. My guests liked the cracked seed crust seasoning better than I did, so I'll probably keep that (or slightly modify it) for next time. I didn't think it added much. The beer/mustard/butter sauce, was nice, but I'm not sure it was worth the effort. I'll probably whip up a sour cream and horseradish sauce next time. The Yorkshire pudding was a hit, its a keeper. We didn't touch the bones, even thought I brought them to the table. I plan on using them to make beef stock. This recipe is keeper, the roast was a show stopper for my company. It takes a while, but most of that time is unattended, so its actually pretty easy. But you have to trust the process of "low and slow".

Excellent! Great crust.

Cook as low and slow as possible (110C fan-forced for me) until the internal temperature is done to taste. Rest, then blast at high temperature for 10-15 mins. The Brown Ale Butter Sauce is nice, but a perfect roast beef doesn't need accessories.

Have made this three or four times in the past 6 months. It's the best way to get our blended family to the table! The meat is tender and flavourful. Well worth the time.

I was a bit skeptical when I read this recipe as I was a bit worried about roasting in a 200 degree oven. However I took the chance and put my 10 pound roast in the oven and followed the instructions exactly as written. WOW!!! Absolutely the most tender roast I have ever eaten and perfectly and evenly cooked throughout. This is definitely my new way of cooking roast beef.

This was absolutely the tenderest and most delicious prime rib I have ever cooked. We could have managed quite well without knives! I had no issues with my oven(36" Wolf). I am cooking this again for family over the holiday as a welcome break from turkey.

Nice concept, but 200 degrees is said by some to be too low for most home ovens to hold at a reasonably constant temp (this includes my double Thermidor). The recipe is "Test Kitchen Guaranteed", but probably tested only at work and not at home. My roast cooked too fast b/c 200 degrees on my dial turns out to be 220 in reality (250 and above works great on my ovens).

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