One of our holiday traditions is to cook a prime rib (from a healthy source). At first I was a little nervous about cooking such a fancy cut of beef, but I figured I’d give it a shot.
I did a little research and found a simple, hands-off cooking method that sounded perfect. And it was! It was perfect, and juicy, and delicious.
Read on to find out how I did it.
Perfecting Prime Rib
My first step was to figure out the lingo. I learned that prime rib is also called a rib roast and can have bones or be boneless. If it has bones, it’s also called a standing rib roast. You can buy a whole prime rib, which contains seven rib bones and weighs about 13 pounds, or ask for a smaller portion.
Both boneless and standing rib roast are flavorful, tender, and delicious, but I decided to go with the roast with bones. I liked the fanciness of the look, the easier cooking method, and the idea of using the bones to make bone broth later.
Finally, I needed to figure out how much meat I would need. Fortunately, there’s a pretty universal formula for determining that. The general consensus when buying a bone-in roast is to buy one pound of meat per adult. Usually, there’s around two pounds of meat per bone in a rib roast. So a three rib roast will weigh five to six pounds.
You’ll probably have some extra, especially if you’re serving tasty sides as well, but who doesn’t like leftovers?
Hands-Off Cooking Method
After I figured out what kind of roast to buy and how much of it, I needed to decide on my cooking method. After extensive research, I decided that I would try this simple hands-off method.
First, I let the roast rest at room temperature for an hour or so. Then, I rubbed my roast all over with olive oil, and seasoned it liberally with salt, pepper, and herbes de Provence. Then I placed it rib side down in my largest cast iron skillet. Because I was using a roast with ribs, the ribs acted as their own cooking rack! If you choose a boneless roast, you’ll need to place it on a rack.
Then, I put the roast in my 475°F oven for 30 minutes then turned the oven off and left the roast in there for another two hours and ten minutes. And that’s it!
When the time was up my roast was beautifully browned and caramelized on the outside from the original high temperature, cooked to a perfect medium-rare on the inside, and didn’t need a long additional resting time because it had already done that as the oven cooled.
Pro tip: The secret roasting formula is to roast the meat for five minutes per pound with the oven on, then turn it off and leave it in there for another two hours.
Perfect Prime Rib Recipe
- Defrost the rib roast in the refrigerator if frozen.
- Let the roast come to room temperature in a covered container before cooking.
- Preheat the oven to 475°F.
- Coat the roast with butter or olive oil and then sprinkle with pepper, herbs, and salt.
- Place the roast in a pan with the bones down or on a rack in a pan if using a boneless roast.
- Roast for 30 minutes in the oven, then turn the oven off and leave the roast in the oven with the door closed for 2 hours 10 minutes.
- Remove roast, let sit for 5 minutes.
- Slice and serve!
Sides to Serve With Prime Rib
The only tricky part of making a rib roast with this method is that it ties up your oven for the two hours prior to dinner time. That can make preparing the side dishes a little tricky. Here are some oven-less side suggestions:
- Apple kale salad
- Cauliflower mashed “potatoes”
- Garlic rosemary mushrooms
- Healthy cranberry sauce – a make-ahead recipe
- Lemon pepper cushaw squash
- Loaded bacon cauliflower
- Maple tarragon carrots
- Mashed acorn squash – okay, you do have to use the oven for this one, but it can be made ahead of time (like the day before!), and warmed in a slow cooker
- Roasted beet and arugula salad – make it ahead of time and chill it until dinner time
- Sesame garlic broccolini
- Slow cooker sweet potatoes
Have you ever made a prime rib? What’s your tried-and-true method?