A standing rib roast is both a stunning presentation piece and stunningly easy to make. All one needs is a hot oven and solid roasting pan. I think it’s an ideal recipe to showcase a great piece of meat and indeed I encourage you to buy the best beef you can find and afford. The quality of the meat will make or break the success of this dish (well that and not overcooking it). I love that you can make an easy gravy with some wine, the cooking juices and bits, and a little jam thrown in to round it all out. This is where I usually dump that last bit of curious jam I bought on my travels somewhere, something not too sweet and with a good fruit flavor that pairs well with meat, such as a plum jam or quince but not raspberry or strawberry. Wine jellies are particularly good for this, but really try to use something you have. This is not about going out and hunting down an obscure ingredient. I like to set the roast up on the side board to roast just as we sit down to eat appetizers, then carve it, set it on a platter and pour the sauce over it all and set it down on the table. That way no one misses the dramatic effect of the huge piece of meat standing upright. —Sara Jenkins
Salt & fresh ground pepper
standing rib roast about 8 pounds (I usually figure about one rib’s worth for every two people)
1 1/2 cups
good, fruity smooth jam or jelly like a plum jam or wine jelly
Rub the salt and pepper all over the roast, massaging into the flesh and the fat. Rub the olive oil on over that. Place on a roasting rack bone side facing down in a pan and roast on high heat for about 20 minutes.
Turn the oven temperature down to 300° F and roast for 15 minutes a pound for medium rare, about 2 hours. Remove from the oven when done. Remove the rack from the pan and leave the roast to rest in a warm, draft-free place.
Pour the drippings out of the roasting pan into a container and place in the freezer to chill rapidly. Place the roasting pan directly down on the burner and turn the burner on to medium heat. Add the red wine to the pan and using a whisk or wooden spoon scrape up the burnt bits in the bottom of the pan. Let the wine reduce by half, then add the degreased cooking juices (skim off the fat that's risen to the surface) from the freezer. Continue whisking and stirring and allow to reduce by half again.
Add the jam or jelly and cook to dissolve. Make sure the sauce is reduced to a point where it’s a little bit thick and sticky. Whisk in the butter, pour into a sauce boat, and reserve it warm while carving the roast.
Carve the roast and arrange on a serving platter. Spoon a little sauce over it and then serve with more sauce on the side.