It doesn’t get any better (or easier) than this Salt and Pepper Crusted Prime Rib Roast recipe. Save this one for the holidays or anytime you want a celebration worthy dinner!
If you read my son Gus’s birth story, you might remember this standing prime rib roast. It was purchased while I was in labor (though I didn’t realize it yet), with grand plans of making and photographing it the following day. Instead, I had a baby.
Luckily, I made a phone call from the hospital, and my parents were able to save this precious cut of beef by popping it into our deep freezer. Weeks passed, and in the bleary eyed days of newborn care, I mostly forgot about the roast. It wasn’t until I was rummaging around for a quick freezer meal that I rediscovered the roast, carefully wrapped in butcher paper, tucked safely away next to the frozen peas.
Last week we finally got around to baking this prime rib roast, and let me tell you, it was worth the wait. Juicy, tender, and oh-so-savory, this is a gorgeous, delicious roast that has special occasion written all over it. Best of all, the recipe is so easy, even a new momma of a 6 week old and 3 year old can make it!
Today, I’m sharing all my best tips for buying, making, and eating the very best prime rib roast. This roast is so stunning, you won’t even need a centerpiece at your holiday table.
This post is sponsored by Ohio Beef. As always, all opinions are my own.
How to buy a standing prime rib roast:
First things first. You’ve got to buy your prime rib! I recommend calling around to a few local grocery stores and local butchers. Many of them keep prime rib roasts on hand, but some might require a few days notice to get you the roast. Most grocery stores will refer to this particular cut as a “Beef Bone-in Rib Roast.”
Once you’ve decided where you’ll source your roast, consider how many people you’d like it to serve. Generally, you can figure 2 people per bone. My 3-bone roast weighed 5.5 lbs. and fed six people with enough leftover for sandwiches the next day.
Finally, when ordering your roast, ask your butcher to remove the meat from the bones then use a string to tie them back on. This will give you all the great flavor of the bones, but make carving the roast much easier.
What is the best way to cook a standing prime rib roast?
My favorite way to cook prime rib roast is a tad untraditional, but I find it’s the absolute best and easiest way to make a gorgeous medium rare prime rib roast every time.
This method goes by several names, including the closed oven method, the no peek method, or simply the foolproof prime rib roast method. This method is mostly hands-off, and works best for small to medium (4-8 lb) roasts. Whatever you call it, the process couldn’t be easier. With just a little bit of planning, I promise anyone can have success with this method!
Here’s how to make Foolproof Prime Rib Roast with the Closed Oven Method:
- The night before you plan to cook the roast, remove it from the packaging. Make a note of how many pounds the roast is before throwing away the package. You’ll need that later! Set the roast on a plate and allow it to rest uncovered in the fridge over night. This helps dry out the exterior so you can get a gorgeous, crispy brown crust.
- Remove the roast from the fridge and allow it to rest at room temperature for two hours. This will ensure the roast cooks evenly so you don’t end up with well done ends and rare centers. I also season the roast when I remove it from the fridge, so the seasonings have time to penetrate through the meat.
- About 30 minutes before you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Grab the note that lists the weight of your roast. Take the number of pounds and multiply it by 5. This is how long you’ll cook your roast. For example, if you have a 5 lb. roast, you’ll multiply 5 x 5, and bake your roast for 25 minutes. Starting the roast at a super high temperature helps seal in moisture and create the killer crust prime rib is known for.
- Place your seasoned roast in a roasting pan, fat side up. You can use a roasting rack, but it’s not absolutely necessary as the ribs act as their own roasting rack. Place the roast in the preheated oven uncovered. Bake for whatever amount of time the weight determines.
- Then comes the most important part: Turn the oven off, set the timer for two hours, and WALK AWAY. Seriously, that’s it. The hardest part is simply not opening the oven door for the entire two hours. Tape it shut if you have to–just don’t open that door!
- Allow your roast to continue cooking for the next two hours. After two hours, you can open the oven door to check the temperature of the meat. 120-125 in the center will be rare. 130-135 is medium rare, which is my preferred temp for prime rib roast. If it’s reached 130 degrees, go ahead and take it out of the oven! If it’s not quite to temp yet, you can turn the oven back on to 375 and continue to cook until it reaches the desired temp.
How to Season Prime Rib Roast:
There are as many ways to season prime rib roast as there are recipes for chocolate chip cookies, but I find with this premium cut of beef, simpler is better. I’ve made a boneless Garlic Rosemary Prime Rib Roast in the past, but for this standing rib roast I keep things even simpler. All that’s required to bring out the flavors of this cut is a generous rub of coarse Kosher salt, black pepper, and a hint of garlic powder. This simple rub allows the flavor of the meat to really shine, and makes the most flavorful crust around. If you’re anything like me, you’ll find your inner carnivore keeps calling you back to the cutting board to pick at the crispy bits around the bones.
What to Serve with Prime Rib Roast:
A savory au jus made from the pan drippings is always a great choice. I like this au jus recipe.
However, my absolute favorite accompaniment for prime rib is a velvety, tangy horseradish cream sauce. I make my sauce with a little sour cream, mayo, horseradish, and a sprinkling of fresh chives. The creamy sauce stands up to the salty, fatty meat, and gives the meal a surprising punch of extra flavor. Leftover sauce makes a great dip for fresh cut veggies or a killer sandwich spread.
Roasting and Toasting with Ohio Beef
This month we’re roasting and toasting the holiday season with Ohio Beef. Nothing says celebration quite like a stunning standing rib roast paired with the perfect glass of wine. You absolutely can’t go wrong pairing beef with a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon, but if you’re looking to mix things up, try a a Merlot, Cabernet Franc, or Zinfandel.
This year thousands of Ohio families with celebrate the holidays with beef, a high quality protein choice that also happens to be a delicious choice for special occasions. The 17,000 beef farming families here in Ohio work year round, seven days a week, in rain, snow, sleet and shine. I’ve had the privilege of meeting a few of these families, and their commitment to taking excellent care of their animals, supporting the environment, and providing safe, quality beef to consumers is inspirational. To meet an Ohio farmer, learn more about beef farming practices, or discover new beef recipes, visit OhioBeef.org.
I hope you all have a lovely, safe, sweet, and savory Christmas!
For the roast:
- 4-8 lb. beef bone in rib roast
- 2 Tablespoons coarse Kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
For the horseradish cream:
- 3/4 cups heavy cream
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 4 Tablespoons prepared horseradish*
- Salt, to taste
- 1/4 cup chopped chives
- The night before you plan to cook the roast, remove it from the packaging. Make a note of how many pounds the roast is before throwing away the package. You'll need that later! Set the roast on a plate and allow it to rest uncovered in the fridge overnight.
- Two hours before you're ready to cook the meat, remove it from the fridge. Mix together the salt, garlic powder, and black pepper, and rub it all over the roast. It's okay if it doesn't stick to the fatty bits very well. Allow the roast to rest at room temperature for two hours.
- About 30 minutes before you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Grab the note that lists the weight of your roast. Take the number of pounds and multiply it by 5. This is how long you'll cook your roast. For example, if you have a 5 lb. roast, you'll multiply 5 x 5, and bake your roast for 25 minutes.
- Place your seasoned roast in a roasting pan, fat side up. You can use a roasting rack, or let the ribs act as their own natural rack. Place the roast in the preheated oven uncovered. Bake for whatever amount of time the weight determines.
- After the allotted time, turn the oven off, set the timer for two hours, and WALK AWAY. Seriously, that's it. The hardest part is simply not opening the oven door for the entire two hours. Tape it shut if you have to--just don't open that door!
- Allow your roast to continue cooking for the next two hours. After two hours, you can open the oven door to check the temperature of the meat. 120-125 in the center is rare. 130-135 is medium rare, which is my preferred temp for prime rib roast. If the roast has reached 130 degrees, go ahead and take it out of the oven. If it's not quite to temp yet, you can turn the oven back on to 375 and continue to cook until it reaches the desired temp.
- Remove the roast from the oven, tent with foil, and allow it to rest for 15 minutes before carving and serving.
- While the roast cooks, you can prepare the horseradish sauce. Combine the heavy cream, mayonnaise, sour cream, horseradish and chives. Season to taste with salt. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
I use a store bought horseradish puree, which usually also has some oil and vinegar added to it. Grated horseradish root should be the first ingredient.