Rib Roast with Onions in Red Wine Sauce

This was my first time making a rib roast! So, if you’re a newbie, I’m here to tell you that this isn’t a hard recipe, and you should definitely try it! Okay, so I know these things look intimidating, and you might just glance right by them at the butcher. OR, you might love them, but not want to risk wasting all that money on something that might come out kind of tough. Well, it’s not as hard as you think, and I even made mine without my handy thermometer! So try it.

I made my Facebook status about not having a meat thermometer, and was given a bunch of tips on how to tell how the meat is ready. Here they are for you!

And no, I don’t recommend stabbing yourself with a knife. Or poking holes in your roast if you’re having fancy company over. This served four for dinner with leftovers for lunch the next day for all of us. Mmmm…


Oh, and the original recipe called for shallots. I LOVE shallots. But the fruit stand on the corner didn’t have any. And they had onions. So I used those instead and just cut into big chunks. Try this while whole, halved, or quartered shallots and let me know how you like it. I bet it’ll be even more delicious.

Boneless Rib Roast with Onions in Red Wine Sauce, adapted from here:


  • 1 boneless rib roast, tied (mine was 4.5 pounds)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 onions, peeled and cut into big chunks
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar or honey
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard


1. Pat roast dry and season with kosher salt and pepper.

2. Brown the roast either by placing in your roasting pan in the oven under the broiler for 10 minutes, rotating every few minutes so all the sides get browned – or – in a really large cast iron pan/dutch oven on high heat for about 4-5 minutes on each side. (I used the oven method, but really prefer doing this in cast iron)

3. Preheat the oven (or reduce the temperature) to 325 degrees.

4. Place roast in the pan and place the onions and garlic around it.

5. Place in oven and roast for about one hour (depending on the size of your roast), tossing the onions about halfway through, until the temperature reaches 130.

6. Remove from oven.

7. Transfer roast to plate and tent with foil.

8. If onions are not soft and browned, return to oven for another 15 minutes.

9. If onions are lightly browned, transfer to a bowl and add the balsamic vinegar, sugar, a pinch of salt, and pepper.

10.  In the roasting pan (or transfer the fat/drippings from the pan into a small pot) add the red wine and cook until syrupy (this took me about 5 minutes)

11. Add the water and cook over high heat until reduced to about half, about 10 minutes.

12. Strain liquid into bowl and whisk in the mustard.

13. Slice the roast and surround with the onions. Pour sauce over the roast and onions (reserving some for the side)

14. Serve and enjoy!