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Cabernet Reduction Sauce for Prime Rib

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    Cabernet Reduction Sauce for Prime Rib

    Hi friends, I mentioned this reduction sauce in a SUWYC post and it was agreed that a proper recipe post should capture it. So here goes, my first Recipe post, please be gentle with me.

    Executive Summary
    This is a sauce to prepare to accompany a prime rib and sides. The reduction concentrates great flavors and can be spooned over the sliced rib, any kind of potatoes, hell, just put it on everything OK? It takes from 3 to 4 hours to complete the process, typically while the rib is cooking. No special gadgetry is required. I first learned this from my eldest sister in the early 1990s, and several of us in the family have been using and tweaking it since. A couple of those are no longer with us, and I’m sure there were cookbooks consulted along the way but I have no way of knowing any proper attributions at this point… except for the certainty that I have zero to do with formulating this! So I can't give complete credit where it's due.

    Makes or Serves
    The amounts here are intended for a roast of about 6 pounds.

    Takes (how long)
    The majority of the process requires 3 to 4 hours, and then there is a final mixing step shortly before serving.


    2 bottles Cabernet Sauvignon
    2 cups Ruby Port
    4 cups beef stock
    3 large garlic cloves
    1 large shallot, peeled & halved
    2 bay leaves
    1 tsp dried thyme
    Salt & pepper to taste
    1 tbsp red currant jelly
    ¼ cup heavy cream

    Drippings & scrapings from prime rib roasting pan
    IMPORTANT: The more drippings and scrapings you can muster, the better this sauce will be. That is likely to constrain your choices of how you prepare your prime rib if you opt to go with this reduction. Caveat Roastor.

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    In a large saucepan, combine the wine, port, and beef stock. Add the garlic cloves, shallot, bay leaves, salt & pepper, and thyme, bring to a steady boil.

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    Reduce mixture to 2 cups, then strain off the solids and return liquid to saucepan on low heat. Stir in red currant jelly and heavy cream, simmer to thicken a bit. Sauce can hold at this point.

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    Collect as much of the drippings & scrapings & browned goodness as you can from wherever you were catching them. When you are about 20-30 minutes from service, heat up the waiting sauce and stir in all the drippings/goodness. Then use like gravy, but taste a bit first – it is intensely flavored and a little goes a long way!

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    Last edited by DaveD; December 25, 2021, 08:16 PM.

    Very nice, I'm going to save this recipe for later.


      Thank you. I have a prime rib in the freezer. This recipe is going into my Paprika to use with it.


        DaveD, thanks for the recipe. Maybe I misread something, but you add a lot of liquid, to include 2 bottles of wine. Then you instruct to reduce to 2 cups. What am I misunderstanding? That seems like one heck of a reduction.

        I have some left over drippings and stock my my rib roast yesterday, so trying to figure out how to make a good gravy or sauce. Thanks!


        • DaveD
          DaveD commented
          Editing a comment
          You are missing nothing! That's it exactly, it is one HECK of a reduction. The intensity of the resulting flavors is pretty amazing.

        Sounds really good to me. As for the reduction: I count to roughly 13 cups to begin with. So reducing to two cups makes sense GrillinNC . And it does take time. But I've done this sauce many times (well, pretty close, but not exactly this sauce. same amounts though), and I never go longer than 2 hours. And it's simmering (not boiling) during that time.

        Regardless it sounds like a big hit to me. There are two things I do different:

        1. I chop and fry the shallots in oil first.
        2. I use concentrated (liquid) beef stock, about 2-3 tbsp. Saves mes some reducin' time I guess. Could explain the time difference :-)

        Great post DaveD, thanks for sharing a detailed yummy recipe!


        • DaveD
          DaveD commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks Henrik ! Indeed, I'm sure the time diff is down to the use of the concentrated broth instead of regular strength. And I was overly conservative in estimating how long, I sure would hate to underestimate and have someone get into an overly sporty situation trying to serve on time...! I think it was three hours in yesterday's meal.

        I made this and used it on some lamb lollipops. The drippings came from the chuck roast I smoked the other day. No red or black currant jelly in the stores, I used marionberry. Really good!


        • DaveD
          DaveD commented
          Editing a comment
          Indeed, not easy to find red currant jelly. We grab it anytime we see it. Of course, online makes it a lot easier.


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