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Creating au jus for your prime rib is less about flair and more about capturing the essence of quality ingredients. This recipe is designed to be straightforward, requiring only what you probably already have at home. Learn how to make au jus in a few simple steps starting with the drippings from your prime rib roast. It’s all about enhancing, not overwhelming, the natural flavors.
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Au jus is, without a doubt prime ribs biggest supporter. It doesn’t aim to overshadow the main event; instead, it complements. It’s the bff every beef dish wishes it had. Not to mention making au jus is quick. With just a few steps, you’ll create an au jus that takes your meal from great to unforgettable.
WHY LEARN TO MAKE AU JUS
- Easily elevate your dish. Take any meal from great to mouthwatering with this simple meat-based sauce. Its’ rich and glossy texture adds a touch of sophistication, making even the simplest of meals fancy and indulgent.
- Quick and easy. Au jus offers a simpler alternative to traditional gravy. With a straightforward cooking process and no starches involved, you can enjoy a flavorful sauce without the hassle involved in making gravy.
- Customize to taste. When you know how to make au jus from scratch, you have the flexibility to customize the flavors based on your taste preferences. Adjust the seasonings or experiment with herbs to create a signature au jus that’s unique to you.
- Great make-ahead sauce. Au jus is a great sauce to make in advance as it stores and freezes well. So if you have any extra from a holiday meal, feel free to pop that in the freezer for a boost of flavor for future meals.
INGREDIENTS TO MAKE AU JUS
- Drippings from prime rib: The amount of drippings collected at the bottom of your pan will vary depending on the fat content of your roast, but it will be between ¼ cup and ½ cup. Just use everything that has been collected at the bottom of your roasting pan – there is no need to take an exact measure of the drippings.
- Beef stock: This forms the base of the au jus sauce. The slow simmering process takes on the flavors of drippings and onion and slightly thickens the sauce, which intensifies the overall taste.
- Onion: Adds a hint of sweetness, which complements the savory flavors of the other ingredients.
- Fresh thyme: A few sprigs of fresh thyme adds a herbaceous and aromatic element to au jus that complements the beefy flavor of the drippings and the stock.
- Salt and pepper: Salt enhances the overall flavor while black pepper adds a bit of spiciness, cutting through the richness of the sauce.
HOW TO MAKE AU JUS
- Add diced onion to the drippings and the remaining shallots from the prime rib and saute over medium heat until the onions start to take on some color.
- Add beef stock and thyme and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the liquid is reduced by two-thirds.
- Strain through a fine mesh sieve and transfer to a gravy boat. Discard the onions.
TIPS FOR MAKING AU JUS
- Deglaze the pan. After roasting prime rib, deglaze the pan with a little bit of stock after removing the meat. Scrape up the flavorful bits from the bottom of the pan and add this liquid to your au jus for an extra boost of flavor.
- Use low and slow simmering. Simmer the au jus over low heat for a longer period of time to allow the flavors to meld and intensify. This slow cooking process also helps to reduce the stock to a more a rich and concentrated sauce.
- Adjust seasonings as needed. The amount of salt needed will depend on how salty your drippings and the beef stock are. Start low and adjust salt and pepper as needed. Don’t over-season because the reduction will intensify the flavors.
- Skim the fat after straining. This is optional but helps to maintain a balanced flavor and prevents the sauce from becoming too greasy. The best way to skim off excess fat from the au jus is to let it sit for a few minutes and allow the fat to naturally rise to the surface. Then, use a large spoon to scoop out as much as desired.
RECIPES TO MAKE WITH AU JUS
HOW TO REHEAT & STORE AU JUS
Store au jus in an airtight container like a mason jar in the refrigerator. To reheat, transfer it to a small saucepan and warm on stovetop over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through.
HOW LONG WILL AU JUS LAST IN THE FRIDGE?
Properly stored au jus will last up to 4 days in the refrigerator.
CAN I FREEZE AU JUS?
Yes! To freeze au jus, transfer it to a wide-mouth mason jar, leaving at least an inch of headspace to allow for expansion. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat per instructions.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
While prime rib drippings add extra richness, you can still make tasty au jus without it. You can use 3-4 tablespoons of butter to replace the fat and still get that rich flavor.
Traditionally, au jus sauce is meant to be thin as it’s not thickened with any flour or starches like gravy is. However, if you want to thicken it, you can add a few tablespoons of slurry (a blend of cornstarch and water) to give it a little more definition. Whisk the cornstarch slurry into the simmering au jus until it reaches the desired thickness.
Absolutely. You can make au jus up to 4 days in advance and store it in the fridge until needed. When ready to serve, reheat it until it’s warmed through and transfer to a gravy boat or serving vessel.
Who knew that this simple-to-make yet incredibly flavorful sauce can easily elevate your cooking and enhance any meat? Knowing how to make au jus sauce is an easy yet powerful skill that adds a touch of gourmet flair to your meals.
MORE cooking tutorials:
- How to Make Balsamic Glaze
- How to Make Bechamel Sauce
- How to Make Risotto
- How to Make Gravy
- How to Carve a Turkey
- How to Caramelize Onions
- How to Roast Garlic
- How to Make Vegetable Stock
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How to Make Au Jus
- If you used a stove-top safe roasting pan, add onion to the drippings and shallots remaining in the pan and cook over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the onions start to take on some color.
- Add beef stock and thyme and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the liquid is reduced by two-thirds, about 20 to 25 minutes.
- Taste the drippings and see if additional salt and pepper is needed. Strain through a fine mesh strainer and transfer to a gravy boat or serving vessel.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.