I made this once for Christmas dinner, and it was absolutely amazing. Pretty easy too. This version is adapted from one in Gourmet Magazine.
1 (7 to 8 pound) trimmed prime beef rib roast (3 or 4 ribs) — see note
extra virgin olive oil
3 T chopped fresh thyme leaves, divided
fresh ground pepper
2 heads garlic
2 T unsalted butter, softened
3 T all-purpose flour
¼ c minced shallot
2 T red-wine vinegar
¾ c dry red wine
1 bay leaf
3-4 c beef broth
Preheat oven to 475. Put roast, rib side down, in the center of a 13×9 flameproof roasting pan and rub all over with oil.
Cut about ½-inch from tops of garlic heads to expose cloves and discard tops. Rub beef all over with cut sides of garlic and sprinkle with 2 T thyme, pressing to adhere. Season beef generously with salt and pepper. Put garlic heads on a double layer of foil and drizzle with a little oil. Wrap garlic tightly in foil.
Roast beef in middle of oven 30 min. Remove beef from oven and with a bulb baster, skim all but about ½ cup fat from pan. Baste beef with fat remaining in pan.
Reduce temperature to 375.
Add garlic to oven. Roast the beef, with garlic, for 1-¼ to 1-½ hours more or until a meat thermometer inserted into center registers 120-125 degrees. Transfer garlic in foil to a rack and transfer beef to a platter, reserving pan juices. Let beef stand 25 min. (Meat will continue to cook reaching about 130 degrees for med/med-rare.)
While beef is resting, remove all but about 2 tbls fat from pan. Add 2 tbls butter, 3 tbls flour, and shallot to pan and, on top of stove, cook over moderate heat, stirring, 2-3 min. Unwrap garlic and squeeze roasted garlic into shallot mixture and discard skins. Add vinegar, wine, bay leaf, and remaining thyme, and boil mixture, scraping up browned bits and mashing garlic against bottom of pan, until reduced by half, ~5 min. Add beef broth and simmer until reduced, ~5-10min. Pour sauce through a fine sieve into a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
Cut rib roast into slices and serve with sauce.
Note: Don’t need to buy this big a roast; I’ve made this with a 5-pounder, 2 ribs. Important thing is to adjust the cooking time and watch the internal temperature.