Part of the reason I created this blog was to offer simple solutions to my grocery store customers, so many of whom were a little intimidated by cooking meat. Some of this I understood – I still cringe at the idea of trying to cook a brisket – but most of it is just unnecessary worry. Especially with a prime rib.
With this cut, most of the work has already been done by the rancher and the
butcher. This is already the most flavorful piece of beef there is, and one of the most tender; that’s why it’s called prime, and why it costs so much. You don’t need to marinate it, you don’t need to slow cook it, and you don’t need to flavor it with a bunch of extra stuff – all you really have to do is buy it.
*Prime Rib isn’t necessarily USDA Prime grade beef – even in most restaurants, you’re getting Choice grade. Don’t let this worry you – Prime Rib was called Prime Rib long before the USDA grading system borrowed the term, because the Rib Roast was the “Prime” piece on the entire beef. It still is.
In addition to your Rib Roast, you’ll only need two ingredients: Coarse Ground Sea Salt and a Peppercorn Grinder. I love the Peppercorn Medley grinders – the more different colored peppercorns, the more flavors you’ll have.
Buying the Prime Rib is going to be pretty easy as well. I always buy at least a four pound roast, even if I need less. Cooking less than four pounds isn’t worth the time (just grill steaks) and this is one thing that will make you sad when the leftovers run out. With this in mind, I recommend nearly a pound per person. If you really don’t want leftovers, shoot for closer to three-quarters pound per person. Your butcher will likely recommend a half pound per person, but people don’t usually make prime rib unless it’s the kind of occasion where people are looking to eat a lot. If you get asked whether you want bone-in (also called a standing rib roast) or boneless, I’ve done it both ways with the exact same recipe and can’t say it really matters either way. The bone-in will have a little more flavor throughout, the boneless will have more of that flavor-packed outer crust. My weights are based on boneless, though, so maybe add a quarter pound per person (if that) for bone-in.
Preheat your oven to 500° F. You want it all the way there before you put your roast in, and it won’t take long to prepare.
Put the roast fat side down in your roasting pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper to
taste, then turn it over and sprinkle the other side. Rub the spices in a bit, and try to get some to stick to the ends as well. You don’t need a whole lot of salt and pepper, and you can always add more later. (About the picture to the left – I cheated with this one a bit and added some Lawry’s – type seasoning. I didn’t do this with my other prime rib. The extra wasn’t worth it).
That’s it. Put it in the oven uncovered. Let it cook at 500° for 15-20 minutes, then turn your oven down to 325° and let it cook for another 13-15 minutes per half pound. I leave my four pound roasts just under an hour, and the centers are so
beautifully rare I want to cry. Take it out of the oven, cover it with either your roaster lid or some tinfoil, and let it it sit for another 15-20 minutes before you start to carve it up. It will smell delicious, so letting it sit will take some patience.
So simple, you have all kinds of time to make sides. I always like making twice-baked potatoes with this, since the oven is already at 325°. Of course, my standby is sauteéd asparagus or Brussels sprouts and a Greek cucumber salad.
Since you’re cooking a relatively fatty cut of beef, you need a very bold, tannic red
wine to stand up to it. Ask a wine person for sure, but I’m thinking a really nice Chianti or a Bordeaux blend is what you need. I’m still excited every time I get the chance to taste a wine, then taste my food, and see how it opens the wine up.
Prime Rib is easy! Any other meat cuts you’re questionable about cooking?