Roast Boneless Prime Rib Of Beef With Jacques Pepin’s Wine Merchants Sauce

So my wife wondered if  I could do a roast beef dinner this weekend.  Thinking about what to do for the dish, I remembered doing a roast beef about 5 or 6 years back based on the online recipe:

I selected the cut of beef for the roast based on an article in Cooks Illustrated – “An Illustrated Guide To Beef Roasts” (which can be found online at:  So went over the Whole Foods, Newtonville to get a 3 lb boneless prime rib of beef. Since the dish was going to be quite rich, I chose to pair the roast beef with a sautee of baby broccoli with garlic.  To complete the dish, I thought it would be nice to  to sauce the dish with Jacques Pepin’s Wine Merchants Sauce (from Jacques Pepin’s Table, p. 283) – an online copy of the recipe can be found here:

A couple of notes – I substituted a cotes du rhone for the beaujolais, cornstarch for the potato flour  and grated the peeled garlic (instead of crushing and mincing)  in making the sauce. So I began my preparations by preheating my over the 450 degrees F.  I followed that up by gathering all the ingredients for the sauce (diced up the shallots, julienned the button mushrooms, grated the garlic and rounded up the wine, mustard and a bottle of Lea & Perrins worcestershire sauce).

Ingredients for the Wine Merchants Sauce

I then got out my boneless prime rib, seasoned it all over with 4:1 salt/pepper mix, placed it on the  rack that sat atop my baking pan.  I then added ~1/4″ of water in the baking pan.  I moved the roast to the oven and reduced the heat to 350 degrees and let it roast for an hour (so that it would cook to rare).

While the roast was in the oven, I began by sauteeing the shallots until they softened and added the garlic and mushrooms (and a little more grapseed oil).  I cooked down that combination for about 5 or 6 minutes.

Cotes du Rhone added to the sauteed shallots garlic and mushrooms

I then added the red wine and left it to reduce for the better part of 20 minutes (the original recipe said to reduce until you had about 2 tablespoons of wine on the bottom).

Reduction just about done

Once I had finished the wine reduction, I added a cup of a homemade chicken broth I had on hand, and reduced that mixture to about 3/4 cup.  Once that reduction was done, I added in the remaining sauce ingredients (mustard, worcestershire) and got the reduction down to about a half cup (taking about another 15 minutes).

Chicken broth, salt/pepper, mustard and worcestershire sauce added

Once the mixture was well blended, I added the starch slurry, let it thicken and immediately to it off the heat

cornstarch slurry/paste added to thicken the sauce

At this point, an hour had elapsed and I took the roast out to rest on the counter.

prime rib out of the oven and resting before carving

While the roast was resting, I got 2 bunches of baby broccoli sauteed with a little bit of garlic and salt.  I thought the baby broccoli might pair well with its slightly bitter aftertaste to counter the richness of the prime rib.

When all was said and done, I plated a portion of the baby broccoli, carved out some nice rare slices of the prime rib and covered it with about 4 tablespoons of the wine merchants sauce.

Rare roast prime rib with garlic sauteed baby broccoli and Wine Merchants Sauce

My wife was quite satisfied with the meal.  I think, though, I’ll have to repeat this meal at some point this winter. It appeared my wife was not quite up to the rare-ness of the roast.  So I’ll have to figure out the temperature at which to do the roast so it comes out a little more medium.

Update (29 Mar 2014)

I made the Wine Merchant’s Sauce for a steak dinner this evening.  In the original recipe, Jacques Pepin calls for a Beaujolais.  After a bit of research, I selected a Beaujolais Morgon (because it is normally associated with meats) from the Georges DeBouef company.  After making the sauce, I noticed it didn’t quite have the reddish/purplish tinge that I expected when I used other wines such as Rhones or Shiraz’s.  The wine flavors were actually quite complementary to the steak that I prepared for my wife and I tonight.

Update (21 Dec 2018)

Apparently the online references to the Wine Merchant Sauce is no longer available.  The recipe for the sauce from Chef Pepin’s book calls for:

4 T finely chopped shallots (2 shallots)
4 large mushrooms (4oz) julienned
2 large garlic cloves peeled, crushed, finely chopped (1/2 T)
1 c red beaujolais
1 c unsalted defatted chicken stock

Sautee the shallots (canola/grapeseed oil/beef drippings) for about 10 seconds.
Add mushrooms and garlic and sautee for about 1 minute.
Add beaujolais and boil down until 2 T remain (1 oz).
Add the chicken stock and reduce everything to 3/4 cup.


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