Prime Rib of Beef

For this recipe, you will need:

  • Fleur de sel
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • String
  • Meat thermometer
  • Prime rib

And that’s it! Click to learn more:

An AAA Prime Rib of Beef, best to use “4×4 banquet style cut” with the cap removed by the butcher

The other evening, I took another try at making a prime rib at home. This is a very simple yet delicious and traditional way of roasting the best cut of beef. I prefer to use AAA beef or USDA choice beef. This particular roast was about 5 lbs. When selecting prime rib cuts, I like to choose “4 x 4 banquet style gourmet cut” — ask your butcher for this cut. If they do custom meats, they will know what you are talking about. This means the four centre bones of the rib, which will give you the best quality of meat, and “banquet style” refers to the “cap” of the cut removed. The “cap” of the roast contains quite a bit of fat and it is not as tender as the meat underneath it, so why buy it?

There are TWO methods to calculate the timing, which I will explain below.

If you have a constant read meat thermometer, PREHEAT THE OVEN TO 450F

If you do not have a meat thermometer, PREHEAT THE OVEN TO 375F

FYI – This recipe does not require any marinating time! Estimated time: 3 hours (but will depend on the weight of the meat, explained below as well)

Mix together:

  • 3 tablespoons Fleur de Sel (alternatively, you can use coarse Kosher salt but Fleur de Sel is highly preferred)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper

Using your knife, find the bones in the meat. Carefully cut the roast along the top of the bones (see below) — do not cut the roast into two pieces. Keep a portion of the meat attached, as you are simply opening up the meat for seasoning and will be tying it back together.

use a knife to seperate the bone and meat but not cutting through

Sprinkle seasoning into the new opening you have just created:

Put a teaspoon of fleur de sel and freshly grounded black pepper between the bone and the meat

Tie your roast back up with string, making sure the strings line up with the bones for support:

Tie down the rib roast really tight before roasting

Coat the balance of the seasoning on the outside of the roast, on all sides. Pat the seasoning down very well to ensure it stays:

Almost ready for roasting, coat with black pepper and fleur de sel

If you are using a constant read thermometer, insert it into the middle of the roast now and place your roast into the roasting rack. Some expensive ovens have an internal temperature probe built into them, but you can buy one for under $20.00 CAD. The top number on my thermometer indicates the oven temperature (F), and the number below indicates the meat’s temperature.

Roasting with temperature probe

At this time, you can also place chopped potatoes into the base of the roasting pan. This will allow the juices from your meat to drip down onto the potatoes and will season the potatoes very nicely!

Slow Roasting Method (using constant read meat thermometer)

Put your roast in the oven, which you have preheated to 450F. We will be using a SLOW ROAST technique, but this requires high heat initially for 30 minutes. After this, you will turn it down to 275F for the remainder of the roast. Watch your thermometer! (Depending on how big the roast is, this will take around 3 hours) Turn off the oven when the internal temperature hits 130F. Leave your roast in the oven until it reads 135F (medium rare, the ideal), which is when you can take the whole roast out of the oven. Let your roast rest for a minimum of 45 minutes – 1 hour. This will allow “self-cooking” and the juices will return back to the meat. Cutting your roast too soon will dry it out and it will not be a good prime rib!

Timed Method (when you have no gadgets)

We will be using CONSTANT HEAT at 375F for the entire duration of the roast and you can follow these rules for timing according to how heavy your roast is:

Rare – 20 minutes per pound of meat

Medium rare – 25 minutes per pound of meat

Medium – 30 minutes per pound of meat

Well done – 35-40 minutes per pound of meat

You will still need to allow the roast to rest for a minimum of 45 minutes as noted above.

Slice and serve with au jus or demi glace.


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