Arizona Beef’s Simple and Easy Prime Rib Roast

This week’s #AZBeef blog post is from Lauren Maehling, the Arizona Beef Council’s Executive Director. She shares with us a delicious and simple Prime Rib recipe that is sure to impress your family this holiday season.


Cooking and serving a perfect Prime Rib for a special occasion was a goal of mine but I was completely intimidated for far too long. Overseeing the quintessential holiday protein highlight is a hefty responsibility. There is a fine line between tragic or magic when it comes to preparing the main course of a special meal, and we want to help you confidently dazzle your guests with a delectable Prime Rib this holiday season. It’s taken me a few years to tinker with a recipe, and I’m honored to share this one with you.

Before we begin, I’d like to suggest a festive video to get you in the roasting spirit: behold, the Drool Log and ‘Twas The Night Before Beefmas.

Now, about this recipe. There are many ways to prepare a Prime Rib Roast that result in an excellent eating experience (BBQ, smoker, roaster, oven, oh my!). This is a simple yet tasty recipe that has become my go-to that I’ve modified and shared with family and friends over the years. Though this recipe calls for oven roasting, it could easily be adapted to another low and slow cooking method. Whether you follow this one or another preferred stand by, I hope you enjoy, and cheers to the beef farmers and ranchers who work year-round to raise delicious and nutritious beef.

Garlic and Herb-Crusted Prime Rib

Notes: Make sure to read the tips at the end. This recipe isn’t an *exact* science (except for the internal temps – don’t wing those!) But the herbs and garlic are approximate and not set in stone. If you have a little more or less rosemary, it’s going to turn out just fine. It’s ok to wing this part. Really like garlic? Keep on peeling and chopping. Tired of meticulously pulling each tiny individual leaf of thyme (or in my case, is your husband tired of plucking each leaf? 😉). If so, call it good (but see the tip about rosemary and thyme to make your life easier). I realize the recipe looks “wordy” but please don’t be intimidated. I wanted to include as much commentary to help the process.

Ingredients

  • Prime Rib Roast (officially called a Ribeye Roast and sometimes called a Standing Rib Roast) – I prefer bone-in but boneless is wonderful also. More about this cut here.
  • Fresh Rosemary: about 8 sprigs or 2 packs if you’re buying it from the market in those little herb packs. Will be about ½ cup chopped. You can use less if you have a small roast.
  • Fresh Thyme: 6-8 sprigs which is one of those herb packs from the market.
  • 2 heads of Garlic: reserve 5-8 cloves. Finely dice the rest.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Your favorite Steak Seasoning (I like one with salt, pepper, garlic powder and parsley)

Prep Work for Herb Crust

  • Thinly slice lengthwise the 5-8 cloves you set aside (these will be to insert into the roast). Keep these separate from the chopped garlic.
  • Finely chop rosemary, thyme and garlic.
  • Mix together herbs with olive oil to a consistency you could rub all over the roast. It should be the consistency of a thin paste.

Cooking

  • Preheat oven to 500˚F with oven rack in the lower third of the oven (so your roast and roasting pan are sitting in the middle of the oven).
    • Not necessary but a bonus to the Prime Rib cooking experience, tune in to the Drool Log for 2 hours of uninterrupted satisfying sizzle. It will look fabulous on your TV.
  • Make sure roast is dry. Pat with paper towels, if needed.
  • Poke holes approximately 1” into the roast with a paring knife to insert the sliced garlic (tutorial video here). I like to add the garlic all over the top fat cap of the roast. The garlic will add extra flavor, unless you don’t want extra garlic flavor, then you can skip this step.
  • Coat roast with your favorite steak seasoning. How lightly or heavily you season is up to your preference and taste.
  • Now coat the entire roast in the garlic and herb paste. Doesn’t it smell divine?
  • Place the roast bone side down on the rack of your roasting pan. If cooking a boneless roast, make sure the fat side is up. If you don’t have a roasting rack, you can make one like this DIY roasting rack.
  • Insert an oven-proof thermometer, if you have one, into the center or thickest part of the roast, taking care to avoid the bone (if cooking a bone-in roast). I like a digital instant-read thermometer that can be read outside the oven.
  • Now is the time to put this grand roast in the oven! Cook at 500˚ for 20 minutes (preheated, of course, in case you ignored that first step).
    • Keep a watchful eye on the outer crust. If it looks like it is getting too dark (aka burning), loosely cover the roast with a sheet of aluminum foil.
  • After 20 minutes, lower oven temp to 350˚F. 
  • Total cooking time will vary depending on the size of the roast. Plan on 15 minutes per pound of beef. So, if your roast weighs 8 pounds, your total cooking time will be approximately 2 hours. This is approximate as every oven is different, and that’s why it is very important to watch the internal temperature reading. Internal temperature is more important than the time on the clock.
  • Remove roast from the oven when meat thermometer registers 115-120°F for medium rare. As the roast rests (next step), the temperature will continue to rise. Some people like more done and some like more rare. It’s up to your personal preference.
  • Transfer Prime Rib to a cutting board and loosely tent with aluminum foil. Let rest 15-20 minutes. Resting is important – see note below. 
  • Time to carve! First turn the roast on its side and remove the ribs. To do this, follow the curve of the ribs as close and you can making sure to hold the roast steady with a serving fork or tongs. Once the ribs are removed, turn the roast with the fat side up and carefully slice pieces to your desired thickness. I like 1” thick slices, but if you like thinner or thicker, you do you.
  • Enjoy! You’ll have salty and crusty end pieces for the end-piece lovers, and a nice medium rare in the middle for everyone else.

Tips:

  • When picking a Prime Rib Roast, I like to choose one with a large Ribeye Cap. That’s the highly-marbled part of the roast that “hugs” the eye of the Ribeye on the outside. It’s my favorite part because it tastes like “beef candy.”
  • Bone-in vs boneless: Bone-in cuts of beef draw more flavor from the bones. Plus, the Prime Rib bones are DELICIOUS and your guests may fight over them. But if you have a boneless roast, that’s ok! It will save you one step when carving.
  • How many pounds of beef do you need? Plan on ½ pound per person (uncooked weight).
  • Following proper food safety defrosting instructions is very important. If your roast is frozen, plan for plenty of time for the roast to defrost in the refrigerator (NOT at room temperature on your counter). Here are some food safety and defrosting tips.
  • “Stripping” rosemary and thyme: Unless you want to pluck each leaf individually, easily and quickly strip the leaves off the stems by pinching the stem end with one hand and swipe down the length of the stem with your fingers on your other hand.
  • Allowing the Prime Rib to rest for 15-20 minutes is very important. Be patient to allow the juices to re-absorb into the meat ensuring a tender, juicy roast. Those few extra minutes provide a great opportunity to make an au jus from the reserved beef drippings and plate side dishes.
  • For more beef recipe inspiration and tips, visit Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner.’s Expert Tips for the Perfect Holiday Roast, All About the Prime Rib and Beef Up the Holidays.

There are many techniques and recipes that result in a delicious Prime Rib. Please share with us in the comments, what is your favorite?

5 thoughts on “Arizona Beef’s Simple and Easy Prime Rib Roast

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