Jan Norris: Food and Florida

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How to Cook a Prime Rib Roast or Standing Rib Roast

December 21st, 2010 · 3 Comments

My sister, the non-cook (OK, she does great with the grill but didn’t get other cooking genes) bought the prime rib for our Christmas dinner this year. She told the meat counter clerk 11 or so people would be coming, and she recommended 1 rib per person. Naive Nancy said OK.

The butcher proceeded to haul out a 22 pound rib roast. I can picture the look on her face – it looked to her like half a cow.

“What am I supposed to do with THAT?” she asked. “I only need 12 pounds or so.”

He reluctantly went back and cut the roast down to size.

She’ll need a how-to – my son and I usually do this when we arrive, but Jason may not be coming, and he’s the roast master. So for Nancy and all the others cooking prime rib (also known as a standing rib roast), here’s the method again. (I previously posted this before Christmas last year.)

How to buy one: Figure on 8 to 10 ounces of meat per person, boneless, or 12 to 15 ounces per person bone-in. That’s for appetites for adults and teen boys; kids just don’t eat enough to matter. You will still have leftovers with this amount.

How to cook a prime rib roast

  • Bone-in rib roast
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled, cloves smashed
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • Herb mix: Thyme, parsley, rosemary – crushed
  • salt
  • cooking rack to hold rib

Buy the roast at least two days (or three) before roasting. Rub it with smashed garlic, ground black pepper and herbs (thyme and rosemary are fine). Let it sit in the back of the refrigerator to age until you roast it.

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 with an oven thermometer 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; don’t guess. Plan on cooking for 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. (For a 12-pound bone-in roast, this will mean a total time of 2 hours and 56 minutes, or nearly 3 hours.)

Remove the roast when time is up; (or test with meat thermometer if you’re just not sure), and let it sit 15 t0 25 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 honey-roasted Brussels sprouts I mentioned in an earlier post.

Tags: Holiday cooking · Recipes: What's Cooking!

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Cookie // Dec 26, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    Ok! I’m hooked. This is the best looking prime rib roast I have ever seen. I wish that we could just snap our fingers and make things appear, because I would be snapin for this beautiful roast.

  • 2 The food Blogger // Dec 28, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    This is like my fifth time stopping over your homepage. I always like the content and the way you write. Very smooth and instructive at the same time.

  • 3 Sharyl // Nov 23, 2017 at 10:48 am

    Thank You! Happy Holidays to You and Yours.

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