Ready for the next step? Make this Engagement Roast recipe

Every relationship reaches a point where the next step is inevitable. Tradition suggest cooking for your intended will prompt the most important question of all––will you be mine? You will have them praising your culinary abilities by the end of the meal. (Not recommended for vegetarians)

This standing rib roast is a big piece of beef.  Depending on how many are eating for dinner, I order one rib for each person.


  • If it’s a special occasion, order your roast from your butcher or ask when they have it available.  If available, get antibiotic free, grass fed beef.  It’s not necessary and the meat is costlier.  Regular rib roasts are okay too.
  • Ask them to leave the bones in and trim between the bones as in the photo. I leave the bone because the meat tastes better when cooked with them.  The best piece of roast has spiderweb-like marbling and about a half to one inch of fat on the outside.  
  • Always use a reliable meat thermometer. Every oven is different.  Some cook hotter and others are inconsistent. Take the meat out when the thermometer registers 10 degrees less that the recommended doneness.    The meat continues to cook for about ten minutes after it is out of the oven.  Internal temperature for medium rare is 120F.  Take it out and let it rest for 20 minutes. If you prefer medium, take the meat out of the oven when the internal temp reaches 130F and let it rest 20 minutes before carving.  My oven cooks hotter because I have a convection oven.  The heat surrounds the meat. I take it out of the oven when the internal temp reaches 125F.  We love the crust as much as the tender flavorful beef.
  • Use a cast iron pan if you have it.  The crust cooks just right, doesn’t burn, and keeps a consistent temperature.  However, a roasting pan is good too.
  • Sear all sides on stove top before putting it in the oven.
  • Always have your ingredients ready before you start

Ingredients for the coating.  The quantities are recommended amounts, but you can add more, less, or additional ingredients.

  • Dijon Mustard-coarse Ground (I get mine at whole foods)
  • 3-4 Tablespoons of good olive oil
  • 2-3 Tablespoons of minced garlic
  • 2-3 Tablespoons of coarsely ground black pepper
  • 3-4 Tablespoons of chopped oregano
  • 2-3 Tablespoons of kosher salt to rub all over the meat.  It sweats off during cooking.
  • Roast with 5 ribs

Prepare the mustard coating/paste by mixing the mustard, olive oil, garlic, black pepper, olive oil, and an additional Tablespoon of salt.


  • Preheat oven to 450F
  • Rub all surfaces of the meat with the kosher salt and sear on the stovetop on medium high until the edges are browned, about 5 minutes on each fatty side.  Alternatively, place the roast in the lower half of the oven for twenty minutes.
  • After the twenty minutes, remove the meat from the oven, and reduce the temperature to 350°F. Brush the mustard coating all over the top and sides of the meat and roast for about 1 1/2 hours longer, rotating the roasting pan 2 or 3 times for even browning.
  • After an hour and a half, take out the roast and start to keep track of the internal temperature.  Stick the thermometer in the thickest part of the roast taking care not to touch any bone.
  • When it’s reached the desired temperature, transfer the roast to a carving board, cover it loosely with foil and let rest for 20 to 30 minutes. 

I slightly undercook the meat because I can put it back in the oven if it’s undercooked, but I can’t reverse an overcooked roast.  I cook ours until the inside is pink but not dripping red.


Cut the roast at the bone and transfer the slices to warmed plates.  Alternatively, slice in ½ inch slices and serve.  Drizzle the juices over the mean.

Suggestions for serving

Horseradish/sour cream mixture, roasted root vegetables, any style potatoes, and salad

Wine pairings:

Favorites include California red blends cabernet, zinfandel, pinot noirs or rioja.  My favorite app for choosing wines is Vivino.  I’ve been using it for over a year and it’s great.