When it comes to food, nothing says “special occasion” or “holiday”, like a perfectly seasoned, succulent prime rib, stuffed with garlic. Savory, tender and juicy, it's the perfect pick when there is a desire to share something truly divine with loved ones.
Prime Rib, a Succulent and Special Holiday Splurge
The marvelous thing about a culinary “splurge” is that it's a rarity, and that makes it that much more appealing and unforgettable when deliciously prepared.
From the purchase of it, to the preparation of it, to finally sitting down at the table to deliberately enjoy it, there’s much love that goes into the process; and all of that equals that much more depth of pleasure, that much more richness of flavor and complexity of character, than if it was just “another” meal.
True, prime rib is a choice a bit more on the pricey side; but as it’s something that in our house we eat only once a year, on Christmas Eve, it’s well worth it.
As it sears, sizzles, browns and roasts in the oven, the aroma permeates the entire house—it offers a fragrant preview of what awaits us in just a couple of hours time, and creates a toasty warmth as the set-up of the dinner table begins. There’s a joy and feeling of gratitude that accompanies our whole dinner experience when it's a part of our special holiday menu.
The flavor of a holiday splurge should never be taken for granted; rather, it should be fully luxuriated in, fully enjoyed and fully acknowledged for the gift that it is.
If a prime rib roast was something that was eaten on a regular basis, it most definitely wouldn’t have that magical “specialness” that it indeed has for my family; it would be like any other tasty meal.
But no, our once-a-year little festive dinner, our special, celebratory holiday meal—complete with candles, some good wine, stimulating conversation, reflection and hopes for the upcoming year—becomes a very conscious and meaningful splurge; one that we won’t taste again until next year, God willing, and that’s perfectly fine with us.
How to Cook Prime Rib
Prime rib doesn't have to be one those things you only get at a fancy restaurant. It's actually quite easy to prepare when you know what to do; and it feels utterly amazing to be able to pull it off, especially when you see those smiles across the table; and perhaps even do it better than those "fancy-schmancy" places!
Here's a quick overview of the cooking process:
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with foil.
- Create a rub for the roast by combining olive oil, sea salt and freshly cracked pepper (it should be enough to cover the entire prime rib). For my recipe below, I also use fresh garlic, rosemary, thyme, parsley, Italian seasoning, and dijon mustard.
- Rub the seasoning mixture all over your prime rib, covering it completely.
- Place the roast with the fat-side up and rib-side down onto the baking sheet, and load it into the oven.
- Let it cook for 45 minutes at 425 degrees, then you'll want to reduce the heat to 375 degrees, and continue for another 30 minutes. Then, you'll cover the roast lightly with foil, and allow it to cook for an additional 30 minutes (approx.). I highly recommend using a digital thermometer, and it should be inserted into the center of the roast. When the temperature registers 135 degrees, it's medium rare; 145 degrees, it's medium.
- And when your desired temp is reached, remove the roast from the oven, lightly cover it with foil, and make sure it rests for approximately 20 minutes before carving and serving.
(My full recipe is down below...)
Tips and Tidbits for Prime Rib
- Have your butcher cut the bones, reserving them: I had the butcher cut the bones off of my prime rib, and reserve them for me; I seasoned my roast and placed it back on top of the detached ribs, and roasted them together. This creates a natural and flavorful “rack”, and makes for easier slicing of the meat once it’s roasted.
- Season the prime rib ahead of time: For extra bold flavor, I allowed my prime rib roast to sit, seasoned and stuffed with garlic, in the fridge for 48 hours before I planned to roast it; I simply placed the seasoned roast with its bones onto a platter and into a jumbo-sized ziplock bag, and removed it from the fridge an hour before roasting.
- For best results, use a digital thermometer This is a special (and expensive!) cut of meat and I recommend you definitely use a digital thermometer for perfect results. It's best to insert the probe into the thickest part of the roast, and then keep an eye on it (or set the temp) to ensure proper internal temperature and doneness. I find that 135° gives a perfect medium-rare (nice and pink in the center), as pictured in the photos.
Feast your eyes on these, or just jump to the recipe:
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves 10
Nutrition Info: 907 calories
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Total time: 2 hours, 10 minutes
• 1 (3-bone) Beef Prime Rib*, about 5-6 lbs.
• 4 cloves of garlic, peeled, divided use
• 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
• 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
• 2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
• 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
• 1 tablespoon sea salt
• 1 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper
• 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
• ½ cup olive oil
• Creamy Dijon-Horseradish Sauce (recipe below)
• Au jus (recipe below)
*I had the butcher cut the bones off of my prime rib, and reserve them for me; I seasoned my roast and placed it back on top of the detached ribs, and roasted them together. This makes for easier slicing of the meat once it's roasted, and the ribs act as a natural and flavorful “rack” for the roast itself to sit on.
(For extra bold flavor, I allowed my rib roast to sit, seasoned and stuffed with garlic, in the fridge for 48 hours before I planned to roast it; I simply placed the seasoned roast with its bones onto a platter and into a jumbo-sized ziplock bag, and removed it from the fridge an hour before roasting.)
-Preheat the oven to 425 degrees, and line a baking sheet with foil.
-Make 8 small slits into the prime rib (4 on top and 4 on the bottom) about ½” - 1” deep; take two of the cloves of garlic, and quarter them creating 8 smaller pieces; stuff the pieces of garlic into the slits.
-Next, take the remaining 2 cloves of garlic, press them through a garlic press and add them into a small bowl; add to this the chopped, fresh rosemary leaves and the remainder of the ingredients through the olive oil; with a fork, mix the ingredients until well combined, and rub this entire fragrant mixture all over the prime rib, covering it completely (at this point, if you had the butcher remove and reserve the ribs for you, you can now place the seasoned roast on top of the ribs).
-Place the roast with its fat-side up and ribs down onto the baking sheet, and place the roast into the oven; cook for 45 minutes at 425 degrees, then reduce the heat to 375 degrees, and continue to cook for another 30 minutes at which point you will cover the roast lightly with foil, and allow it to continue to cook for an additional 30 minutes or so, or until a thermometer inserted into the center of the roast registers 135 degrees for medium rare, or 145 degrees medium.
-Remove the roast from the oven, lightly tent with foil, and allow it to rest for about 20 minutes before carving the roast into roughly ½” thick pieces. Serve with the Creamy Dijon-Horseradish Sauce and Au jus on the side, if desired.
(**If you are looking for the results featured in the photos, here are my exact specifications for your frame of reference: my roast was a 5.28 lb roast, and cooked for exactly 1 hour 45 minutes, total, using the method described above; I placed an oven-safe thermometer into the thickest part of the meat, into the center, before placing it into the oven; this way, I could observe the temperature as the meat roasted, and pulled it out at exactly 135 degrees.)
Creamy Horseradish Sauce Ingredients:
• 4 ounces prepared horseradish
• ¼ cup sour cream
• 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
• Pinch sea salt and black pepper
-In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients, and whisk together until smooth and well-combined; cover with plastic wrap and store in fridge if making ahead of time, or serve immediately.
Au Jus Ingredients:
• Pan drippings from roast, most of the fat skimmed off (you may or may not have that much)
• 2 cups beef stock or broth
• ½ cup red wine
• Pinch salt/black pepper, if necessary
(Makes about 1 cup of Au Jus)
-Add the pan drippings into a small heavy-bottom sauce pan, and add the beef stock/broth into the drippings along with the red wine, and turn the heat to medium; bring this to a simmer, and allow it to reduce by roughly half, for about 20 minutes; finish with a pinch of salt and pepper, if necessary. Serve the Au Jus, hot, on the side with the meat. (This will be a thin, natural-style sauce for the meat.)