While it can be expensive if you don't buy it on sale, a standing rib roast is always impressive (when properly cooked) and it's a snap to make too.
Once you get the meat into the oven, mix up the batter for the Yorkshire puddings and refrigerate. After the roast is cooked and resting, pour the batter into the muffin tins and bake.
For the rib roast, I used Ina Garten's recipe with some modification. Her recipe calls for a 7 to 8 pound standing rib roast. Since I was cooking one that weighed only 3.5 pounds (more than enough for four people and we had leftovers too), I eliminated the last step where you kick up the temperature to 450 degrees. Just make sure to keep checking with a meat thermometer and roast it to the degree of doneness you like. When the meat reaches 125 degrees, for me that's perfect and I take it out of the oven. The cooking continues even while it rests on the countertop. During the time it's resting, I put the Yorkshire pudding into the oven. When they come out about 20 minutes later, the medium-rare roast is ready to slice and eat.
Standing Rib Roast
1 T. kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
Rub the meat all over with the salt and the pepper. Two hours before roasting, remove from refrigerator and let it come to room temperature (I let mine sit out for only one hour, but I had a smaller roast). Place the rib roast in a roasting pan in a 500 degree preheated oven. Roast it for 45 minutes, then reduce temperature to 325 degrees and roast for another 30 minutes. Test with a meat thermometer for the required doneness. If you're cooking a small roast, as I did, it may be done. I took mine out of the oven at about 125 degrees. For a larger roast, check the temperature. If it's not done yet, boost the oven temperature back up to 450 degrees and roast for another 15 to 30 minutes. Take the meat out of the oven and let it sit, covered with aluminum foil, for at least 15 - 20 minutes before slicing.
1 cup milk
2 - 4 T. butter or beef drippings from the roast
1 cup flour
snippets of fresh herbs (I used chives, sage and thyme)
1/2 tsp. salt
Combine flour, chives, thyme and salt.
Whisk milk and eggs. Add to the flour and herb mixture. Refrigerate while the roast cooks.
Spoon a little bit of melted butter or beef drippings into the bottom of each of about 12 muffin tins. Tip the tins to coat. Pour the batter into the individual cups, about 1/2 to 2/3 full. Bake in a 450 degree preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes.