A good Au Jus can do some seriously amazing things to just about any cut of beef, but what it does to prime rib — now that is something truly spectacular. If you’re looking for a simple prime rib Au Jus recipe to take your holiday roast to the next level this year, this is the recipe for you.
Today, in addition to an easy recipe for the best prime rib Au Jus (one that can be made in less than 10 minutes), we’ll also cover what it is that differentiates it from a stand-alone beef broth and traditional brown gravy, how to make it without beef drippings if needed, why Au Jus seasoning should be kept simple, plus, what you can serve it with…besides prime rib!
TRANSLATION AND PRONUNCIATION
Au Jus is a French word that directly translates “with juice,” and refers to a cut of meat served either in the juices obtained from roasting or the juices that the meat has cooked in. Now you know what it means, but do you know how to say it like a pro? If you’re wondering how to pronounce the word, the video below will quickly sum things up for you…
WHAT IS AU JUS SAUCE?
We know how it’s served, but what is it exactly? A classic Au Jus sauce begins with fat. But not just any fat — beef fat. Pan drippings to be more specific. This, in combination with beef broth, gives it an over the top beefy flavor that takes meat to a whole ‘nother level of savory.
AU JUS VS. BEEF BROTH
Because Au Jus sauce is thinner than your typical gravy, it is often mistaken for beef broth and nothing more. But, make no mistake — it is more than just broth.
AU JUS SAUCE VS. BROWN GRAVY
Au Jus, like gravy, begins with a fat and a thickener (i.e. flour or cornstarch). However, you’ll find traditional brown gravy to be quite a bit thicker than an Au Jus sauce would be. Gravy tends to hold its own as a condiment, clinging to and/or smothering a cut of meat, whereas a good Jus sort of becomes one with meat, enhancing its flavors with beefy goodness, and pouring over the sides.
HOW TO MAKE PRIME RIB AU JUS SAUCE
- Add beef drippings or butter to a saucepan and melt.
- Add flour and whisk.
- Whisk in beef broth.
- Simmer 4-5 minutes to reduce slightly.
1. HEAT BEEF DRIPPINGS
As previously mentioned, the sauce typically begins with beef pan drippings (i.e. the liquid accumulated in the bottom of a pan from a prime rib roast). See the note below if you do not have any (or enough) pan drippings.
HOW TO MAKE AU JUS WITHOUT THE PAN DRIPPINGS
If you do not have enough beef drippings, you can substitute butter for the beef fat in your sauce. However, note that beef drippings are preferable as they will intensify the beefy flavor and overall savoriness of your sauce.
2. COMBINE BEEF DRIPPINGS AND FLOUR
The fat is added to a saucepan over medium heat and melted down to liquid form (if needed). Then, the flour is sprinkled over the fat and whisked together. The flour to broth ratio is such that the sauce will have body to it, but not so thick that it would be classified as a traditional “gravy.”
3. ADD BEEF BROTH AND SEASONING
Once the fat and flour are combined, beef broth is slowly added to the mix, whisking all the while. After all of the broth has been incorporated, the seasoning goes in. The seasoning for Au Jus sauce is as follows: soy sauce, Kosher salt, and black pepper. All of these ingredients will enhance the beefy quality of the sauce. You don’t need to overcomplicate the seasoning when it comes to Au Jus. Its sole purpose is to enhance a cut of meat, not overpower it.
Allowing the sauce to simmer will help it to thicken ever so slightly and intensify flavors. This will take 4-5 minutes on the stovetop, and then, it’s time to serve!
TROUBLESHOOTING | HOW TO THICKEN AU JUS SAUCE
While Au Jus may not be intended to be a gravy, if you’d like it thicker, you can certainly make that happen. To thicken your sauce further, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Add a 1 tablespoon of flour, and whisk to combine. Then, add about 2 tablespoons of the prepared Au Jus sauce to the butter/flour mixture. Whisk to combine, and add it all back to the saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring until thickened.
AU JUS FOR PRIME RIB…AND SO MUCH MORE!
This sauce is often served with prime rib, but is certainly not limited to prime rib alone! It’s a classic pairing with French dips and steak sandwiches alike. You could also use pan drippings from either a tri-tip roast or roasted beef tenderloin to make this recipe, or go the butter route and beef up the flavor for any of the following cuts of meat:
Au Jus is a versatile sauce and wonderful for topping so many things! It’s most definitely a recipe worth getting under your belt…especially when you consider just how seriously easy it is to make. If you’ve got 10 minutes, you’ve got time to take your meaty entrees to the next level with a ladle full of beefy goodness. Enjoy!
THREE MORE SAUCES YOU’LL LOVE
- Creamy Horseradish Sauce takes less than 5 minutes and requires only two ingredients: prepared horseradish and sour cream!
- Authentic Chimichurri Sauce is the perfect blend of parsley, cilantro, jalapeños, and lime. It’s great for topping proteins, as a salad dressing, and can even be used as a marinade!
- Easy Blender Béarnaise Sauce is like Hollandaise sauce on steroids, amped up with fresh tarragon and perfect for topping both vegetables and beef!
A quick and easy recipe for prime rib au jus sauce featuring beef drippings, beef broth, and a quick simmer.
- 2 tablespoons beef drippings, butter, or a combination of the two
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 cups unsalted or low-sodium beef broth
- 3/4 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Add the beef drippings (or butter) to a large saucepan over medium heat and all to melt, if needed. Sprinkle the flour over the fat and whisk for 30-45 seconds.
Add 1 cup of the beef broth a splash at a time, whisking after each addition. Slowly pour in the remaining beef broth, whisking all the while. Add the soy sauce, Kosher salt, and pepper and increase the heat to medium-high.
Simmer for 4-5 minutes, allowing to reduce slightly. Serve and enjoy.