A standing rib roast is a glorious, dramatic and delicious centerpiece for your holiday menu. The meat on a bone-in rib roast is extraordinarily tender and flavorful, and the Flinstone-esque beauty of the roast with the bones can’t be beat. (There is nothing wrong with the boneless version, which is simpler to carve and serve, but the meat on the showstopping bone-in roast is generally richer and juicier.)
When splurging on a standing rib roast, it is generous to assume about one pound per person, given the weight of the bones. That allows for leftovers — which you want, because leftover prime rib is rich enough that it reheats well — and it is also good cold. (Try it the next day with a little horseradish mayonnaise.)
Cooking a standing rib roast is actually very easy: a meat thermometer is the key to hitting it just right.
Standing Rib Roast with Zinfandel Onion Marmalade
1 5-pound standing rib roast, at room temperature
2 teaspoons salt, divided
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup country style Dijon mustard
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 pounds red onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups zinfandel wine
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat a shallow roasting pan with cooking spray.
2. Season the meat with 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt and the pepper. Combine the mustard, garlic, parsley, rosemary and thyme in a small bowl and rub the paste all over the meat. Place the roast in the pan and roast in the center of the oven for 30 minutes.
3. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and continue cooking until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the roast registers 135 degrees (for medium rare), about 55 to 60 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the roast stand 20 minutes before slicing.
4. While the roast cooks (or up to several days before), make the Zinfandel marmalade. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and sugar and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are very soft. They can get lightly golden, but don’t let them brown. It will take about 28 to 30 minutes. Stir in the wine and cook until the mixture gets syrupy, about another 16 to 18 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt (or to taste).
Makes 10 — 12 servings