Whether It’s Christmas Day or Tuesday, Prime Rib Is Always a Cause for Celebration
The heavens opened up the afternoon that we finalized this prime rib recipe, because we’ve just never, ever tasted anything so good. A perfectly-cooked slab of juicy prime rib, slathered with creamy, cool, lightly-spicy horseradish sauce and speared with sweet-savory cloves of roasted garlic?! Forgive the hyperbole, but make this prime rib for yourself and get back to us—we think you’ll be waxing pretty poetic yourselves. We’ll walk you through a few simple tricks and tips for making sure you pull a show-stopping prime rib out of the oven, every time. The first thing to know about making prime rib is that—especially if you have a meat thermometer handy—it is, conveniently, quite easy to master.
Prime Rib 101: What Cut of Meat is a Prime Rib?
This is a really common question, and a great one, too! There’s no way around it, prime rib is a splurge. Go to a local butcher that you trust, and let them help you kick things off on the right foot with a great cut of meat. Here’s what to ask for:
- A three bone rib roast is what we call for in our prime rib recipe. But if you’re serving more than six people, a good rule of thumb is that one rib serves two people.
- Ask your butcher to debone the prime rib, if you’d like to do a little less work when it’s time to carve your prime rib roast. Just be sure to ask for the bones, so you can use them in the recipe (they rest under the prime rib roast as it cooks).
- Have your butcher truss the prime rib roast for you. You’re spending a decent amount of money, it’s the least they can do!
This is the Best Prime Rib Recipe in the World Because:
- We dry-brine the meat! In exchange for a little bit of planning ahead, you get a super-moist, flavorful prime rib roast—trust us, it’s worth it.
- It’s easy, and takes almost no time to make. Seriously. Rub a few spices on it, and leave it alone in a hot oven while you go do something else. What more could you wish for?
- Slabs of prime rib make very good horseradish cream sauce delivery vehicles. It’s just not a party until we’re slathering something in rich, savory, lightly spicy cream sauce—and a rib roast is prime (ha!) for slathering.
- Did we mention roasted garlic? We could have just stopped with the prime rib and horseradish sauce, but we think that if you’re going over the top—and if you’re serving prime rib, you’re going over the top—why not go just a bit further and roast some garlic. It roasts alongside the prime rib, turning sweet and spreadable with almost no effort.
- It makes everyone around your table feel really, really special. Prime rib is a little expensive, and it’s not an everyday thing—people know that. It’s a great, simple way to go the extra mile for those you love the most.
How to Cook a Prime Rib
- Dry brine your rib roast. One day before you plan to cook and serve your prime rib, coat the outside of the prime rib roast with a sprinkle of coarse sea salt.
- Apply the dry rub. No need to rinse off the salt that remains from the dry brine—just go ahead and rub your spices right on top of that lovely salty layer.
- Bring your meat to room temperature. After you’ve applied the dry rub, allow your meat to come to room temperature (this should take an hour or two).
- Cook your prime rib roast! Finally! Into the oven it goes, bone side down.
- Use a meat thermometer to test for doneness. We can’t stress this enough! How many holidays have you spent bent over a prime rib roast, poking it and saying “do you think it’s done?”, “I don’t know, it looks done, but I’m not sure.” We all know, once you cut into that baby there is no turning back. Get yourself a meat thermometer (we’re big fans of this one) and take guesswork out of the equation.
- Serve. Bask in the glow of adoration, and the knowledge that you have made a lot of people (well, at least six) very, very happy.
A Note on Our Secret (Actually Not-So-Secret) Ingredient.
Yes, we are calling for a retro-but-so-good packet of Johnny’s Au Jus. We know what you're thinking. You’re using a prepackaged mixture to season your roast?! You better believe it. And here's why:
- It’s how our moms made it, and Mom knows best.
- It makes the best drippings (which makes the best gravy).
- It's just really dang good.
What To Serve With A Perfect Prime Rib
Man cannot live on prime rib alone—as much as some of us wish we could. When dinner is as showstopping as this one, though, we like to keep sides simple. Our Hasselback Potatoes with Garlic and Herb Butter elevate your festive meal into a true blue classic, or lighten things up with a generous platter of Roasted Cauliflower. A nice butter lettuce salad would also be a wonderfully refreshing contrast to the richness of prime rib.
Show Us Your Celebration!
If you make our prime rib recipe, we’d love to hear about it! Be sure to snap a photo, add it to your Instagram feed or stories and tag us @themodernproper and #themodernproper if you do. Also, feel free to leave a comment on the post and tell your friends where you discovered the recipe.