This Au Jus is made from the rich drippings of prime rib and is a luscious and savory sauce that elevates standing roast to a new level of deliciousness. This recipe showcases the secrets of creating the perfect textured gravy with the aromatic flavor of beef broth and a splash of red wine.
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Why You Will Love This Recipe
- Flavorful: This sauce is rich in flavor, capturing the essence of the meat’s juices and any seasonings used during cooking.
- Aromatic: It’s infused with the aromas of the roast’s herbs and spices, adding depth to its taste.
- Moisture and Juiciness: Au jus helps enhance the meat’s moisture, making each bite of prime rib even more succulent.
- Enhances Your Dish: The sauce adds another layer of taste to the dish, complementing the meat’s natural flavors.
What is Au Jus?
It’s a flavorful and savory sauce that is traditionally served with prime rib or standing rib roast. The term “au jus” is a French culinary phrase that translates to “with juice” or “with its own juices.” It’s made from the natural juices that are released by the meat as it cooks, from there you can add additional seasoning, broth, and wine.
How to Thicken
Flour is the key to thickening the sauce. Typically au jus, is thinner than standard homemade gravy, but I still use flour to keep it from being runny.
What type of Broth to Use
Since we are pairing this with beef, beef broth works best and will also help give it the rich dark color we are going for. But any broth will work including chicken broth, vegetable broth, or even water.
Do You Have to Use Wine
Using wine in the sauce can enhance the flavor and complexity of the sauce, adding depth and richness that complements the natural juices of the meat. Red wine is a popular choice for rich and bold flavor. Varieties like cabernet sauvignon, merlot, or pinot noir can be used.
Choose a wine that you enjoy drinking since the flavor will be concentrated in the sauce. Avoid using wine that is overly sweet or too tannic, because these conflict with the flavor.
You do not have to use wine in the sauce. It can be a flavorful addition to au jus, but it is not a mandatory ingredient. The key components of the sauce are the meat drippings and a flavorful liquid, which can be achieved using broth or even water as an alternative to wine.
I don’t strain my sauce but a lot of people prefer to! I remove the cooked herbs (thyme and rosemary) and add the remaining drippings to the sauce. We love a nice thick sauce.
Straining will remove any solids or impurities, resulting in a smooth and velvety sauce. A lot of people strain to help skim off the fat as well. We like to keep the flavor from the fat in the sauce. You will need a mesh strainer or cheesecloth to do this.
How to Prevent Separation
Prime rib is loaded with fat (that’s why it tastes so good!) so separation is completely normal, especially if you refrigerate leftover sauce and reheat it later. I wouldn’t get too caught up in separation. If it bothers you, here are some tips to try to reduce the amount of separation.
- When deglazing the pan with the wine and broth, be sure to incorporate the liquid thoroughly into the drippings and browned bits on the bottom of the pan. This helps disperse the flavors and prevents them from separating during cooking.
- Stir and whisk the sauce really well while it’s cooking. This can help combine the fat and liquid, preventing them from separating as they cool.
- Simmer the au jus gently over medium-low heat, rather than boiling it vigorously. Gentle simmering allows the fat and liquid to combine more harmoniously.
- Serve the au jus shortly after making it. Avoid letting it sit for an extended period, as separation can occur as the sauce cools.
- You can also use a fat separator. Fat is the major cause of separation. A fat separator is a kitchen tool that helps separate fat from liquids, allowing you to pour off the sauce while leaving behind excess fat.
Can You Make it Without Drippings
Yes, you can make any gravy without drippings. My Yellow Gravy Without Drippings will show you how. From here you can also add wine or additional spices for flavor.
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Smoked Paprika
- Cayenne Pepper
- Celery Seed
- Red Pepper Flakes
How to Store
It will last tightly covered and sealed in the fridge for 3-4 days.
How to Reheat
Reheat on the stove at low heat until warm.
You can also use the microwave and reheat in short intervals until warm.
The sauce will likely have thickened and in the fridge, it’s normal; gentle reheating will help recombine the components.
Portion the au jus into freezer-safe containers or resealable freezer bags. Leave some space at the top of the containers or bags to allow for expansion as the au jus freezes. You can freeze it for up to 3 months.
Defrost in the fridge overnight.
Pair With These Recipes
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Prime Rib Au Jus
- If you cooked your meat with fresh herbs, remove the cooked herbs and any large pieces of fat or other chunks of food from the drippings.
- Heat the drippings in a pan on the stove at medium heat. I use the same cast iron skillet I cooked the prime rib in.
- Add in the flour and stir. Continuously stir the mixture to avoid clumping until the flour is incorporated.
- Reduce the meat to medium-low. Pour in the broth and wine. Stir and continue to cook for several minutes until the sauce thickens. Strain the mixture using a mesh strainer or cheesecloth if desired.Taste repeatedly to ensure the sauce meets your taste. Add salt, pepper, or other spices as needed.