Prime rib roasting in the oven may be the best smell on earth. I realize I’m a baker, and the smells of sugar and butter and all of that goodness should be my favorite, but there’s something about the smell of the meat and the fat melting and cooking that is unexplainably out of this world.
Yes, most of my savory food is healthy and prime rib is decidedly not, but for a couple days every once in awhile, mostly holidays, I indulge. And when it’s a small portion, which it is, and it gives me the iron and protein I need, I do it without guilt and barely consider it an indulgence.
When purchasing a piece of meat like this for a special occasion, it is important to consider the grade of meat you want. My typical stand by is a USDA Choice Angus roast. I have had a USDA Prime Angus roast and did not find a significant increase in quality comparable with the increase in price. The last time I made prime rib, my parents and I took a trip to Fairway Packing in Detroit. A family owned meat wholesaler, they are incredibly nice and knowledgeable and have some of the best meat in the area at the best prices. I went for a Wagyu prime rib. It was definitely worth the extra money for a richer flavor and finer, less chewy texture. In addition it is healthier with omega-3s. If you don’t live in the Detroit area, I’m sure there are other quality meat wholesalers out there that can sell you great meat at a great price.
I ask for the meat to be cradled. This means that the butcher cuts the roast off of the bones before tying it back on. Cradling is important for a couple of reasons. It makes it much easier to slice. For me a serving is not an entire bone; in fact, I like to get about three servings off of each bone. This means that if the meat were still attached to the bone, it would be very difficult to cut off and torn to pieces by the time it hit the plate. However, the bone is what gives flavor to the roast. None of that flavor is missing when the roast is cradled. Though I love the roast itself, I have to admit, the meat that lingers on the bones is hands down the best.
I get a six to seven pound, three bone roast (for some reason the Wagyu one, though still three bones weighed over nine pounds). This gives me eight to nine nice servings. I usually eat it over a couple of nights and have found it tastes just as good, if not better, reheated the next night. And no, I do not eat the roast by myself; Mom and Dad join me in devouring it. This is a big piece of meat, which can seem kind of intimidating, but rest assured there is nothing intimidating about it.
I cook these roasts for 15 minutes a pound. This assures me ends that are about medium and center pieces that are about medium rare. Cook the roast longer if you prefer your meat more done. Also, keep in mind that each piece of meat is different. Some have more fat than others or a different meat to bone ratio. This is a good guideline that will ensure the meat will be close to perfectly done, remembering it can always go back in the oven for a few moments. It’s also very important to let the meat sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes to 45 minutes prior to entering the preheated oven to ensure more even cooking; a brief resting period at the end is also essential for all the pieces of meat to be juicy.
I like relatively simple, but very delicious, flavorings on my roast. One whole head of garlic is separated into cloves, peeled, and sliced thinly; Mom usually does this part. That garlic is then placed into tiny slits Mom makes on all meat surfaces of the roast. It cooks inside the meat, leaving a bit of flavor and a tender, but never burnt piece of garlic. On the outside, I put a little salt, you could put more, a ton of pepper, and a light coating of dry mustard. The mustard just gives a hint of flavor and helps to promote crust formation. Be sure to season the bones as well, as that will get into the meat on them. Once this simple seasoning is done and the roast has come to room temperature, it is ready for the oven. It’s as easy as that. It should have close to the perfect doneness when it comes out, leaving you looking like a rock star in front of all your family and friends without much effort or stress.
The next time you are entertaining, celebrating, or just in the mood to try something new and delicious, let it be a prime rib roast. It will become your new favorite meat dish and is perfect to impress all your Christmas company! Nothing says the holidays like prime rib.
Don’t forget to enter the King Arthur Flour and cupcake liner giveaway!
- 1 6-7 pound 3 bone bone-in rib roast, cradled
- 2 teaspoons Maldon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoon dry mustard
- 1 head garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Take rib roast out about 30 minutes prior to cooking to come to room temperature. While warming up, cut tiny slits all over the meat and fat. Insert a slice of garlic into each of the slits. They should be just wide enough and deep enough to hold the slice of garlic. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and dry mustard over all surfaces of the roast. Rub seasoning in with hands.
- Place roast in foil lined roasting pan to make clean up easier. Put roast in oven with bones facing the back of the oven. Roast for 15 minutes at 450 degrees F. After those 15 minutes, lower oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Continue cooking roast for 15 minutes a pound, including the initial 15 minutes at 450. For a 6 pound roast, this will be 1 hour 30 minutes total. It is very important to include the 15 minutes at 450. Do not open the oven during the cooking process, as this will let heat out of the oven. You should be able to hear the roast sizzling throughout the cooking process.
- When the roast is finished cooking, remove it from the oven. Leave it in the pan to rest for about 15 minutes. During this time you may tent the roast, however, this will cause some of the crust to become soggy. The meat will stay quite hot even if not tented.
- Once the roast has rested, move it to a serving platter for slicing. Plan on getting three slices from each bone. Take off only the strings you need to in order to cut it, but do make sure to remove them before serving. If the roast is not done enough, place individual pieces back in the oven on a foil lined baking sheet or roasting pan or simply on foil for a few minutes. Be sure to check it often, as it will get done very quickly.
- Roast may be stored in the refrigerator for 3 days. It may be eaten cold, or reheated in a 350 degree F oven for about 15-20 minutes on a foil lined roasting pan. The outside will become brown, but when you cut into a piece, it should still be quite pink. Roast the bones for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees F so the meat and fat render and become crispy.