Rosemary Rib Roast with Horseradish Cream Sauce

I’ve had this blog in my “back pocket” ever since last May before the hot summer temps made their presence. I figured the weather was too hot to be appropriate for posting but now that Autumn has taken hold, it’s perfect.

Leave it to chef/author Molly Stevens to come up with an equally elegant version of a holiday fare beef rib roast for a smaller crowd, and in less time too! The high heat method here works perfectly for a small 2-rib roast. Carving the meat off the bones prior to cooking provides an opportunity to slide rosemary between the bottom of the roast and the bones adding depth of flavor to the meat.

While it is preferable to season the roast as far ahead of time as possible, it can also be done in just a few hours, which is what happened to us. Realizing it was a holiday without dinner plans (say what?), I suggested retrieving our prime rib from the freezer and making a special meal from that. (It had been a steal at the supermarket a few weeks prior at 50% off.)


Our dilemma was the time factor, we had only about 7 hours until suppertime. So we did a quick-thaw method of the 5-pounder in some warm water, and then got busy thumbing through Molly’s All About Roasting cookbook to find this gem. And we highly recommend making the light and flavorful Horseradish Cream Sauce as an accompaniment.

When purchasing the meat, ask your butcher for a small-end (or first-cut) roast, meaning a roast cut from the loin end of the steer, where the meat is tender, flavorful and leaner than at the large end…

… And, you’re welcome!

One Hour Rosemary Rib Roast

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1, 2-rib beef roast (4 1/2 – 5 lbs.)
  • 1 salt
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, crushed to a paste
  • Coarsely ground black pepper
  • 14 fresh rosemary sprigs, (3-4″ each)
  • Horseradish Cream Sauce (see below)


  • 1/4 cup prepared horseradish sauce
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (optional)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green onions or fresh chives


To make sauce: In a medium bowl whip heavy cream until it forms soft peaks. Stir in sour cream. Fold in horseradish sauce and Dijon mustard. If desired, top with green onions or chives.


  1. Carve the meat off the bones. Season the meat(and the bones) all over with salt and pepper, and rub with garlic paste.IMG_2974
  2. Wrap the roast in rosemary sprigs. Begin by laying 3 lengths of kitchen string long enough to wrap generously around the roast.
  3. Set the rack on the strings. Now arrange at least 4, preferably more, rosemary sprigs on the bones perpendicular to the ribs.
  4. Place the roast back on the ribs on top of the rosemary and add the remaining sprigs around the top circumference running in the same direction as the ones underneath.
  5. Tie the strings tightly around the roast (helpful to have someone else assist you). Once it is secured, set the roast on a tray or in a shallow baking dish and refrigerate, loosely covered for 4 hours, or up to 1 to 2 days. Let sit at room temperature for 2 hours before roasting.
  6. Heat the the oven to 450 degrees, 425 for convection.
  7. Place the roast on a heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet or in a shallow roasting pan not much bigger than the roast itself. (No need for a rack.)
    Our expensive oven thermometer has been on the fritz (low battery maybe?), so we used an instant-read in the end.
  8. Roast in the oven for 1 hour, then check the meat by inserting an instant-read thermometer in the center—the internal temperature of about 115 degrees for rare, or 120-125° for medium-rare. As you check for doneness, keep in mind that the high heat will cause the temp to rise rapidly. Once the roast gets above 100°, check every 5 minutes or so.
  9. Transfer the roast to a carving board, and rest for 20-30 minutes. Snip the strings, discard the charred rosemary, lift the meat off the bones, and cut it into 1/4-to-1/2-inch-thick slices.
  10. Spoon any juices over the meat as you serve it, and pass the horseradish cream sauce. (And you may have to fight over who gets the luscious bones to gnaw on!)

Recipe from Molly Stevens “All About Roasting”

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