Perfect Prime Rib Roast Recipe - How To Cook Prime Rib Roast:
Beef Au Jus - Au Jus Beef Juice
Yields: serves many
Prep time: 15 min
Bake time: 3 hr
Prime Rib Roast (standing rib roast), at room temperature (very important)
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Pat the room-temperature standing rib roast (prime
rib roast) dry with paper towels or napkins. Smear the cut ends only of the roast with the butter.
Do NOT salt the outside of your prime rib roast,
as salt draws out moisture from the meat while cooking. You can use other
seasonings, if desired, but I find it is not necessary. I know that some people
do salt their prime rib roast before cooking, but trust me and don't salt - the
result will be a juicy, delicious roast to serve your family and guests!
Place the roast, ribs down or fat side up, in a heavy stainless-steel
Roasting Pan or other metal roasting pan.
Select a roasting pan that has sides at least 3-inches deep. (I do not recommend
using nonstick pans, as these pans yield fewer of the cooked-on bits that make the tasty au jus juice or gravy.)
The rib bones are a natural rack; you will not need a metal one.
Sear the rib roast (prime rib) for 15 minutes at the higher oven temperature (450 degrees F.), then turn the oven to the
temperature (325 degrees F.) for the rest of the cooking time. Every 1/2
hour, baste the cut ends of the roast with the fat accumulated in the roasting pan. Do Not Cover the roast.
About 45 minutes before the estimated end of the roasting (bake) time, begin checking the internal temperature (use a
good instant-read digital
meat thermometer). Play it safe and start checking early, as you don't want anything to
go wrong. This is even more important if you are adjusting for High Altitude Baking.
NOTE: If you ignore every other bit of advice I've given, please pay attention to this - For a perfectly cooked rib
roast, invest in a good meat thermometer. Internal temperature, not time, is the best test for doneness and you don't
want to blow this meal!
When checking the temperature of your prime rib roast, insert meat thermometer so tip is in
thickest part of beef, not
resting in fat or touching bone. Cook until rib roast reaches an internal temperature of 120 degrees F. (or your desired temperature).
Remove from oven, cover loosely with aluminum foil, and let sit approximately 15 to 20 minutes.
Cutting into the meat too early will cause a significant loss of juice.
Do not skip the resting stage.
Residual Heat or Carry-Over Cooking:
Residual Heat or Carry-Over Cooking: Remember, the rib
roast will continue to cook as it sets. The temperature will
rise to 125 degrees F. to 130 degrees F. internal temperature
(medium rare) in approximately 15 to 20 minutes.
If allowed to rest as long as an hour, the temperature will rise even higher. So, pay
attention to how long you let the cooked prime rib roast sit.
Carry-over cooking is caused by residual heat transferring from the hotter exterior of the meat to the cooler center. As a
general rule, the larger and thicker the cut of meat, and the higher the cooking temperature, the more residual heat will be
in the meat, and the more the internal temperature will rise during resting due to carry-over cooking. This means the meat
must be removed from the heat at an internal temperature lower than your desired final internal temperature,
allowing the residual heat to finish the cooking.
Using a Convection Oven:
Using a convection oven can cut as much as 25% off the cooking times listed for the regular oven.
also easier for your roast to dry out and cook too much in the convection oven. Watch the roast
carefully and please use a cooking thermometer to know when the roast is done and should be taken out of the oven.
Holding Cooked Rib Roast:
To hold cooked roast until serving
time, immediately turn off the oven and leave door ajar after removing roast.
Let roast sit 15 minutes on counter and then return roast to the oven, door closed, for
up to an hour or even 2 hours for the biggest roasts.
Check the temperature every 15
minutes. If will rise approximately 10° F at first, then gradually subside.
What Size of Prime Rib/Standing Rib Roast to Buy?
A full prime rib/standing rib roast is seven
(7) ribs, close to 15 to 18 pounds, and enough to feed a crowd of 14 or more
people (depending on how big of eaters they are). The term "standing" means
the bones are included in the roast, thus the roast can stand by itself. A
rib roast comprises of seven ribs starting from the shoulder (chuck) down the back to the loin.
For a generous serving of roast, figure on
two people per rib. That means if you plan to serve:
six (6) people - three (3) rib roast
eight (8) people - four (4) rib roast
ten (10) people - five (5) rib roast
twelve (12) people - six (6) rib roast
fourteen (14) people - seven (7) rib roast
Don't even bother with less than a three-rib roast, any less than that is
not a roast but rather a thick steak and would be better treated as such.
How To Purchase A Prime Rib Roast:
Photo by Elijah, Brooklyn NY
Photo by Jeff Altzner,Melbourne, FL
First of all, let’s dispel a common myth: The term
prime rib does not necessarily indicate a rib roast is prime
grade, and in most cases, it probably is not. Prime is
an official USDA designation of grade and few supermarkets display
this elite grade of beef because of its high cost relative to other
grades. Prime Rib has become more a style of cooking the meat
than of the quality of the cut. This is also why you rarely see this
cut labeled as Prime Rib at the supermarket but rather as Beef
Bone-In Rib Roast because the USDA requires that a cut of beef
must be officially graded as Prime before it can be so labeled.
Insisting you get a rib roast that is actually Prime grade is well worth the effort.
Less than 2% of all industry beef merits this designation from the USDA. You will
likely have to ask your butcher to special order a true Prime grade rib roast for your occasion, but when the forks hit the plate, your family and guests will
notice the difference and then some!
One universal truth of the meat world is that fat means flavor! But of course,
many prefer a leaner cut, and the whole beef rib (where rib roasts are
portioned) was kind enough to offer both. The whole piece is divided roughly in
half, a large end and a small end. The large end is defined by the presence of more fat pockets
throughout the meat, while small end rib roasts contain a single, intact muscle
and are leaner. Whether one is better than the other is really never more than a matter of
personal taste and how much fat your diet will tolerate. In choosing between
them and determining which will better suit your palate, it may help some of you
to know that the small end is where a butcher produces boneless rib eye steaks,
and the large end yields Delmonico steaks.
Fat Cap or Lid:
Some rib roasts are sold with the thick fat cap on top of the
meat intact, and some are trimmed. I prefer to have most of the
fat cap intact and trimmed to an even layer approximately
1/4-inch to 1/2-inch thickness. Most butchers will trim the fat
down for you. You could trim the trim the fat yourself by using
a sharp thin knife to trim the fat on the top of the roast to
So - it is up to you if you want the fat cap left on your prime
rib or if you want it removed.
Photo show fat cap intact on uncooked prime rib roast. Photo by the Barkers in
West Bloomfield, MI
Photo shows fat cap intact on this cooked prime rib roast. Photo by Perrin Kliot, Berkerley, CA.
A whole standing rib roast (prime rib roast)
consists of ribs 6 through 12. Most GOOD butchers recommend that you request
a rib roast from the small end toward the back of the rib section,
which is leaner and gives you more meat for your dollar. This cut is
referred to as the first cut, the loin end, or sometimes the
small end, because the meat and ribs get larger as they move up toward the shoulder.
I do NOT recommend purchasing a boneless rib roast, as roasting with the
bones adds flavor. But, if you do purchase a boneless prime rib roast, cook
using the same guidelines as a roast with ribs. Usually the weight is
figured without the bones. If in doubt, weight your roast before cooking it.
Package Date: Be sure and
check the date the prime rib was packaged. This is an indicator as to how
long it has been sitting around in the store. Look at the color of the prime
rib; it should have a bright red color and no dry or brown edges. Check for
any damage to the packaging and wrapping.
Have the butcher cut off the chine bones from the bottom of the
roast and the rib bones from the meat just along the bone line but
do not discard them. They can be cut off in separate pieces
or the chine bones can be cut off as one piece with the rib bones.
Have the meat placed back on the rib bones and wrap them along with
the chine bones to take home to cook along with the roast.
Your butcher will also tie the bones back on the roast, if you ask.
Having the bones cut away from the meat
before cooking will make carving the finished prime rib a lot easier.
See How To Prepare Prime Rib Roast below.
Optional - Dry Aging the Roast:
Aging is optional, but if you have the time and the space in your refrigerator, you can dry age the rib roast for several days to bring out additional flavor and produce
a more buttery texture in prime rib roast (aging allows the natural enzymes to break down some of protein in the meat).
Dry-aged beef can be expensive to purchase and hard to come by. Some top-quality butchers will offer already dry-aged
roasts for sell. If you can find one and can afford one (as they are pricey), purchase the roast. This will cost your more, so the decision is yours
A food safety note:
Home refrigerators aren’t as consistent or as cold as commercial meat lockers. Before aging meat at home, get
Refrigerator Thermometer and be sure your refrigerator is set below 40°F.
How to dry-age beef at home - The good news is that you can dry-age beef at home:
Only the top grades of
beef can be dry aged successfully. Use USDA Prime or
USDA Choice from the best meat source in your area. Buy
a whole prime rib roast, rib-eye roast, or loin strip.
You cannot age individual steaks. Unwrap the beef (do
not trim), rinse it well with cold water, allow the meat
to drain, and pat then pat the meat dry with paper towels.
Wrap the roast loosely in a triple layer of immaculately clean cheesecloth or plain white cotton dish towels
(this will help to draw moisture away from the meat) and set it on a rack over a rimmed baking sheet or other tray. Place the wrapped
roast on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator (which is the coldest spot in your refrigerator). Refrigerate for 7 to 10 days
(the longer the beef ages, the tastier it gets). After the first day, carefully unwrap and then rewrap with the same cheesecloth to keep
the cloth fibers from sticking to the meat.
When ready to roast, unwrap the meat and, with a sharp knife, shave off and
discard the hard, dried outer layer of the meat. Shave away any dried areas of fat, too, but leave behind as
much of the good fat as possible. NOTE: There can be much waste as the dried and sometimes moldy meat needs to be
trimmed away before cooking and eating it.
Beef Recipes using various cuts of beef.
Prime Rib Roast with Balsamic Glaze
Standing Rib Roast with Rosemary-Thyme Crust
Prime Rib Dinner Menu Ideas:
Prime Rib Dinner (seven-course dinner)
Prime Rib Dinner (Thanksgiving Dinner and/or Christmas Dinner)
Prime Rib (Standing Rib Roast) Christmas Dinner (five-course dinner)
Definition of Prime Rib:
A tender cut of beef taken from the rib primal. A Prime Rib Roast is also often referred to as "Standing Rib Roast."
It is very tender, flavorful, and expensive.
Does the grade of the meat make much of a difference?
You bet it does - The better
the grade of beef, the less you have to do to it! The higher the USDA grade, the more you'll pay.
Grading Cuts of Beef:
Many people have the mistaken idea
that the term "Prime Rib" refers to a roast that is graded "Prime" when actually
the name has nothing to do with the grade or quality. Most of the roasts sold in
supermarkets that are named "Prime Rib" are graded "Choice". Prime rib roasts
that are graded "Prime" are usually available only to restaurants or through a
special order with a butcher.
The USDA's grading system gives a good way to assess quality. The grading designations are
largely determined by the amount of visible fat that's streaked throughout the
muscle tissue, called marbling. Beef that's richly marbled gets a higher grade; it's more tender, juicy, and
flavorful because the intramuscular fat melts and bastes the flesh during
Prime - The highest grade in the U.S. meat grading system. Prime has the most marbling
and is produced in limited quantities. Prime beef is most commonly sold in fine
restaurants, specialty meat markets and is exported to upscale restaurants in
Choice - Choice has less marbling than Prime but more than Select. It is typically
found in the service meat case at your local grocery store.
Select - Select has the least amount of marbling of the top three grades,
making it leaner but possibly less tender, juicy or flavorful than Prime or
Choice. Select is most commonly found in the self-service meat case at your
local grocery store.
Beware of marketing deceptions where some grocery stores or supermarkets may try to fool an unsuspecting consumer by using the words
without being attached with the official
and choice carries the USDA label, what you are buying may not be
the real thing.
How To Make Prime Rib Gravy:
Remember - Gravy is different than Au Jus Juice (see Au Jus Juice below).
After the prime rib roast (standing rib) is done roasting, remove from the oven
and remove from the roasting pan.
Place the cooked prime rib on a large
Meat Cutting Board with a well at one end to hold the juice.
Place roasting pan over two (2) burners on stove over medium heat
(always make the gravy in the same pan you used to roast the prime rib roast).
Skim and discard any excess fat from the juices in the roasting pan. Using a heavy spoon, scrape
all the dark drippings and any crunchy bits from the sides and bottom of
roasting pan. These are what add great flavor and a nice rich color to the gravy.
FOR EACH 2 CUPS OF GRAVY DESIRED:
Use 3 tablespoons liquid fat (fat is in the
drippings left in the bottom of your roasting pan)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups of liquid
(meat juices/drippings, or
broth, vegetable juice, bouillon, wine, and/or water)
In a separate container with a lid, shake together all-purpose flour and about 2 cups cool water.
This is called a slurry. Adding the thickener (flour) in this way helps to prevent lumps
Once the drippings in the pan are lightly bubbling, slowly add the slurry mixture to the gravy pan,
stirring constantly with a wire whisk. If it starts to thicken, immediately stop
adding the remaining slurry. You may not need to use all the slurry, depending
on how much or little drippings were left in the roasting pan.
If lumps do develop, you should be able to use a wire whisk to remove them.
If all else fails and you can't remove the lumps,
just place mixture in your
blender or food processor and process until smooth.
If you gravy is to thick, add additional liquid, stirring constantly. Season to taste
with salt and pepper.
Gravy is greasy
Fat Separator should eliminate this problem. If you discover that
your gravy is oily toward the end of its preparation, skim off as much fat as
possible with a wide-bowled spoon or a
Gravy is doughy
- Make sure the flour in the gravy has been cooked long enough.
When the flour is added to the pan drippings, whisk
constantly while the mixture cooks until it turns a deep golden brown and smells
nutty. If the gravy tastes floury when you’re almost finished, turn up the heat
to maintain a rapid simmer for several minutes; then thin it again with more
stock or water if necessary.
- If gravy has lumps, strain gravy just before serving, using a fine sieve; discard solids.
Another method (my favorite way) is to place the lumpy gravy in your food
processor or blender and process until smooth.