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Ask Jan: Cooking A Standing Rib Roast

December 22nd, 2008 · 7 Comments

From an anonymous cook who is making a rib roast for the first time for the holidays:

What’s the best way to roast a prime rib? Should I get the one with the ribs, or without?

Last part first: I think it’s more flavorful to roast any meat with the bones in. If you’re feeding the masses, you may not be able to find a roast large enough, however, and boneless is the answer in that case. Otherwise, get the “standing” rib roast, with the lovely bones attached.

As for the roasting, it’s positively simple. Buy the roast two days (or three) before roasting. Rub it with smashed garlic, ground black pepper and herbs (thyme and rosemary are fine). Do NOT salt this roast until just before cooking. (You could bake it in a salt crust, but that’s another article and not for first-timers, plus it makes lousy gravy — a bad thing for the jus crowd.)

Check your oven before you begin and make sure it’s calibrated correctly. If not, you must adjust this recipe for time.

Weigh the roast, or write down its weight before cooking so you know how long it will take. Plan on 20 minutes, PLUS 13 minutes per pound. This is for a pink center throughout, except for the very slim end piece which will be done. Add 2 minutes per pound for a medium (very little pink) center.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Unwrap the roast, salt it, and set it on a rack, ribs down, in a pan slightly larger than the rack. (Line the pan with foil if you choose.) Cover the tips of the bones with foil. Put the roast in and time it for 20 minutes, then, without opening the oven (resist that urge to peek!) turn down the heat to 325 degrees and roast it for 13 minutes per pound.

Remove the roast when time is up; let it sit 15 minutes before slicing; this allows the juices to settle and the meat to relax. Collect the juices and strain; serve separately as is, or thicken with cornstarch to make a gravy.

Serve with mashed potatoes made with a little butter and a little sour cream (I mash them with buttermilk – it’s non-fat!) or twice-baked potatoes, and crisp-tender asparagus or sauteed spinach with bacon and mushrooms. Or better yet, those lovely Brussels sprouts I mentioned in an earlier post.

Bon ap!

Tags: Ask Jan · Recipes: What's Cooking!

7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Charles Keefer // Dec 22, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    If you are having me over, stick with the asparagus or spinach.

    Here is the perfect recipe for Brussel sprouts.

    Get an old fashioned cardboard egg carton. Place one sprout in each egg hole. Place the carton in the freezer for 24 hours.

    You now have a dozen fine practice balls for the driving range. Try not to finish the recipe with a slice.


  • 2 Lurch // Dec 22, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    I like a version I got from the Food Network in which you age the roast for three or 4 days, uncovered, on the bottom back shelf of the fridge.

    The meat LOOKS dried-out after a day or so, but isn’t. And the resulting roast is VERY tasty.

    I LOVE Chuck’s Brussel sprouts recipe. That’s the first time I’ve ever read of a practial use for the horrible little monsters.

  • 3 Ben // Jan 21, 2009 at 10:17 pm

    Oh my word, this sounds incredible… when can I come for dinner?

    FYI… HoneyBaked Ham offers a 5lb prime rib during the summer months for around $29.95. I bought this for a family friend last year and she loved it. Meat was tender and flavorful. Price was reduced from $75, so a great deal.

  • 4 JerryK // Apr 6, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    What is the size rib (lbs.) roast for 8 servings?
    thank you

  • 5 Jan Norris // Dec 21, 2010 at 10:48 am

    Jerry: The store will tell you 1 rib per person; figure 8 or 10 ounces of boneless meat per person for adult diners – and 12 to 15 ounces per person of bone-in roast. You will have leftovers with these figures. A well trimmed roast will require less per person.

  • 6 Diane Tremblay // Dec 21, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    One bone per person, what store was that!!. I was at costco the other day to pick out a rib roast I am having 9 people over, so I got about a 6-7 pounder with bones. I always remove the bone myself and put it back on the roast and it is much easier to carve, just remove the ribs and chop on those the next day. But was upset me is when I was a Costco on Northlake, a women ask the butcher if she could have the bones removed and put back on the roast, and the butcher said that they didn’t do that.
    I’ve cooked my roast on the grill and in the oven and both a slow slow slow cooking. and it alwasy comes out perfect. I read it should be 20 minutes per lb for rare , but I like my med rare and just throw those potatoes and carrots in at the last 45 minutes to let them sit in the juice. Well my rib roase has been sitting in the frig since last thursday so it should be ready for Saturday nite. Getting hungry already

  • 7 Diane Tremblay // Dec 21, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    where is the “Chucks” Brussell sprouts receipe?

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