Au Jus for Prime Rib

Au jus in a bowl and drizzled over beef

The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 22 mins
Total: 32 mins
Servings: 8 to 10 servings
Yields: 2 cups
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
28 Calories
0g Fat
5g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 to 10
Amount per serving
Calories 28
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 199mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Protein 2g
Calcium 22mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Au jus (from the French culinary canon meaning "with juice" and pronounced "oh-ZHOO") is a simple but sophisticated sauce that's thinner than a gravy and very concentrated in flavor. It's made from the meat's juices along with aromatic vegetables and beef stock, and it's ideal for roasted meats and roast beef dishes like prime rib.

This au jus recipe assumes you have just roasted a large beef roast, as the meat juices and the little toasty bits at the bottom of the roasting pan are important components of the recipe.

The nice thing about prime rib is that, unlike turkey, it's relatively easy to prepare so that it comes out tender and juicy. This means that, unlike turkey gravy, your jus is more for adding flavor than providing moisture. Use leftover roast beef or prime rib and au jus to make French dip sandwiches.

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Ingredients

  • 1 (11- to 18-pound) cooked beef roast
  • carrots (chopped)
  • 1 medium onion (peeled and chopped)
  • 2 celery stalks (chopped)
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Black pepper (to taste)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for prime rib au jus
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  2. Remove the roast from the roasting pan and let it rest, covered with foil, on a cutting board in an area that's warm. If there is a lot of fat left in the pan, pour most of it off—you can refrigerate it in a Mason jar to add concentrated flavor and richness to soups, stocks, chilis, and even pasta. When pouring out the fat, take care not to lose any of the meat juices.

    Roasting pan with juices in it
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack 
  3. Place the roasting pan on the stovetop, across two burners, and add the chopped carrots, onion, and celery.

    Onion, carrots, and celery in a roasting pan
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  4. Cook on high for a minute, stirring everything around with a wooden spoon until the veggies are a bit browned and most of the liquid has cooked off—but don't let anything burn.

    Vegetables browned in roasting pan
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  5. Pour in about half of the stock and cook for another minute over high heat while scraping all those toasty bits (called fond) away from the bottom of the pan with your wooden spoon.

    Stirring vegetables cooking in roasting pan
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  6. Pour the contents of the roasting pan into a large saucepan along with the remaining stock. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by about a third.

    Simmering in a saucepan
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack 
  7. Pour the liquid through a mesh strainer. For a finer strain, you can line the strainer with cheesecloth. Let it sit for a couple of minutes so that you can skim off any fat that rises to the top.

    Vegetables straining over a bowl
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  8. By now, your roast will have finished resting and will be ready to carve. If the roast has thrown off any additional juices while it rested, stir these into the sauce.

    Carved prime rib and au jus on the side
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  9. Add salt and pepper to taste.

    Salt and pepper next to the au jus in a bowl
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack 
  10. Each portion of meat should get 1 1/2 to 2 ounces of au jus sauce.

    Au jus with prime rib and vegetables
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  11. Serve warm and enjoy.

    Au jus with prime rib on a platter
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Tips

  • The au jus works well with a traditional prime rib recipe. Note that for smaller roasts up to 8 pounds, the closed-oven method works quite well.
  • A fat separator can be useful for separating the fat from the meat juices so that your jus isn't too greasy.
  • Keep in mind that au jus is not a gravy, so don't expect a thick, heavy sauce.

Recipe Variations

Use this recipe to make au jus for roasted chicken, veal, or lamb simply by substituting the appropriate stock for beef stock.