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Prime Rib Christmas Dinner Recipe

Updated on January 25, 2017

Mmm, Mmm, Good!

Tis the season to not be thrifty, fa-la-la la-laaa-la-la-la-la.

Here are my secrets to a great prime rib. If you are so inclined to share my view of wanting a special Christmas dinner and this meat is within your holiday budget, you will absolutely love this meal.

Cook Time

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 2 hours
Ready in: 2 hours 10 min
Yields: Varies

A Note on Buying the Meat

  • Look at the color of the prime rib; it should have a bright red color and no dry or brown edges. This is secret number one.
  • Secret number two: do not season with salt. This will dry out the roast by rendering out the juices. Trust me on this. It comes out succulent and tasty without salting.
  • Size: For a generous serving of roast, figure on two people per rib. (Adjust the size of the roast by how many people you want to serve. Just remember to figure two people per rib.) Also, it will cost more, but please buy a four rib "first cut" roast. It is a rib roast from the small end toward the back of the rib section, which is leaner and gives you more meat for your dollar. It is definitely less fatty.
  • It is important to tie the prime rib before roasting. If left untied, the outer layer of meat will pull away from the rib-eye muscle and overcook. To prevent this problem, tie the roast at both ends, running the twine parallel to the bone. Most butchers will tie it for you.

Now onto the prep and cooking. This is as easy as it gets!

Preparation and Cooking

Ingredients

  • Prime Rib, (for a generous serving of roast, figure on two people per rib)
  • Butter
  • Meat Thermometer
  • Foil and Roasting Pan

Instructions

  1. Take the roast out of your fridge and let it come to room temperature. Pat the roast dry with paper towels.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  3. Spread one tablespoon of softened butter on each of the two cut ends, one tablespoon per cut side.
  4. Using a metal roasting pan (the inexpensive aluminum ones work fine), place the roast rib side down (fat side up) into the roasting pan.
  5. Sear the roast at 450 degrees for 15 minutes only.
  6. Then, turn the temperature down to 325 degrees and let it cook for approximately 1 ¾ to 2 hours. This will produce a medium rare roast. The target internal temperature is 125-130 degrees. Please ask Santa for a good meat thermometer. This is the only way that you will know when to stop the cooking process.
  7. About 1/2 hour before the estimated end of the roasting time, begin checking the internal temperature. Cook until rib roast reaches an internal temperature of 120 degrees F.
  8. Remove from oven, cover with aluminum foil, and let sit approximately 15 to 20 minutes. The resting time will raise the temperature to the desired 125-130 degrees.
  9. When you are ready to slice, carefully cut the roast away from the rack of bones. The butcher will have removed the chine bone already, so take your time and use a good sharp knife. Then I measure the length of the roast and divide those inches by the number of people eating (in our case eight) and then slice the roast into evenly thick slices.
Make sure the roast is tied.
Make sure the roast is tied.
Spread one tablespoon of softened butter on each cut side of the roast.
Spread one tablespoon of softened butter on each cut side of the roast.
Using a metal roasting pan (the inexpensive aluminum ones work fine), place the roast rib side down (fat side up) into the roasting pan.
Using a metal roasting pan (the inexpensive aluminum ones work fine), place the roast rib side down (fat side up) into the roasting pan.
About 1/2 hour before the estimated end of the roasting time, begin checking the internal temperature. Cook until rib roast reaches an internal temperature of 120 degrees F.
About 1/2 hour before the estimated end of the roasting time, begin checking the internal temperature. Cook until rib roast reaches an internal temperature of 120 degrees F.
The finished roast! (after resting for 15-20 minutes under tented foil).
The finished roast! (after resting for 15-20 minutes under tented foil).
When you are ready to slice, carefully cut the roast away from the rack of bones. Then, measure the length of the roast and divide those inches by the number of people eating and slice the roast into evenly thick slices.
When you are ready to slice, carefully cut the roast away from the rack of bones. Then, measure the length of the roast and divide those inches by the number of people eating and slice the roast into evenly thick slices.
Eat and enjoy!
Eat and enjoy!
4.5 stars from 4 ratings of my Prime Rib Recipe

Notes

I have deliberately been very precise with these instructions, so it may seem like a difficult process. Uh-uh, nope! It’s actually easy and delicious.

That is the perfect prime rib. Christmas only comes once a year and it is our day to enjoy our children and grandchildren. I want them to enjoy a meal that will help capture the spirit of the day. But, this one will cost a few bucks, so I found this method to really produce the best I have ever had.

Remember:

  • Try and get a first cut roast, usually ribs #9-#12
  • Bring it to room temperature before cooking
  • Use a meat thermometer to test the doneness and start at the 450 degrees cooking temperature for the first 15 minutes and then at 325 degrees for the remaining time.

Why I Love Making Prime Rib for Christmas

Before you know it, Christmas will be here. I like to use my prime rib recipe on Christmas day. However you can eat this delicious dish any time of the year if you are still able, despite these hard economic times. I know that my household is on the downside of some economic strife, so our gift list is very limited.

We still plan on preparing a special Christmas dinner using my recipe, though. It is a new tradition we started two years ago and one that we want to try to continue and consider it a gift to our family.

I enjoy preparing prime rib, and it keeps me out of the kitchen when our kids and grandkids come over. This recipe beats the time and fuss of the former traditional turkey and all the fixins’ that we used to do.

So what is this special meal we have? It consists of:

  • Prime rib
  • Potatoes asiago alfredo
  • Roasted asparagus
  • Ceasar salad
  • Feta cheese-stuffed olives

This is the day my wife and I look forward to all year long. Our three adult children are over. My son-in-law and daughter-in-law have expanded our family unit. Our two grandchildren are there and we all just relax and enjoy the day.

There are gifts under the tree, but we are very unstructured. Everyone comes when they can, but no early morning deadlines! With two little ones drooling over the gifts, my prime rib saves the day. It allows me the chance to prep and then let the oven do all the work, while I join my family on this special day.

Happy Holidays!

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    • Putz Ballard profile image

      Putz Ballard 7 years ago

      Prime Rib sound good to me.

    • profile image

      Marla 20 months ago

      Can a boneless prime rib roast be used? If so, are there any changes needed? Thanks

    • Joe Andover profile image
      Author

      Ken Ratajczak 19 months ago from North Ridgeville, Ohio

      Boneless rib roasts are fine in place of the bone-in roast, especially if you don't like gnawing on the bone like I do or want to give your pooch the bones. The answer may surprise you, but the boneless roast needs appx. 20-30 minutes longer in the oven because the roast weight is all meat. Just make sure that the roast is still fat side up and put it on some type rack, even if just a cake rack. Thanks for reading !

    • wpcooper profile image

      Finn Liam Cooper 19 months ago from Los Angeles

      Just curious...what would you recommend for a single or two eaters? Can you do a smaller prime rib?

      I don't like to heat up old prime rib after I've cooked it. It usually isn't as good.

    • profile image

      Barb 19 months ago

      Are there no seasonings at all?

    • profile image

      Ali 18 months ago

      The prime rib in this picture is perfect! I have found this method to produce a great end result as well!

      To wpcooper: I often make this for just myself amd my husband. You can do a 2 pound roast, adjust cooking time, and it will turn out just as good. I do agree that i dont like it reheated, so any leftovers we eat the next day with horseradish cream sauce. We remove it from the fridge and let it come to room temp before eating, and then we practically fight over it! Its the only meat that gets us feeling stingy!

    • wpcooper profile image

      Finn Liam Cooper 18 months ago from Los Angeles

      sounds good....thank you Ali

    • Joe Andover profile image
      Author

      Ken Ratajczak 14 months ago from North Ridgeville, Ohio

      Absolutely you can buy a smaller roast. The rule of thumb is one rib for two people. If it's hard to find a small one rib roast, you can buy a relevant size roast and freeze the portion you don't want to work. A well sealed roast should last about 3 months in the freezer. Just make sure you defrost the roast thorough and dry it off plus bring to room temperature before cooking.

    • Joe Andover profile image
      Author

      Ken Ratajczak 14 months ago from North Ridgeville, Ohio

      Truthfully, since the original article, the norm has switched to season before cooking. I do use a decent amount of sea salt and some black pepper. Current thought is the salt will permeate the meat and instead of drying the roast, the result is the juices will actually change the roast through osmosis and react with the fat cap to form a nice crispy crust to the roast . Thanks for reminding me to update.

    • Joe Andover profile image
      Author

      Ken Ratajczak 14 months ago from North Ridgeville, Ohio

      Sorry it took so long for me to reply to you. I finally sent an answer today, I've been gone for a while .

    • profile image

      Garver Brown 873 25 3/8 st Chetek WI 54728 8 months ago

      I actually a get Prime ready a day or 2 ahead of time, Kosher salt heavy, cracked black pepper and Garlic powder all the way around then add several Bay leaves top and bottom and then wrap in saran wrap and refrig at least 24 hours. I then heat oven to 450 and place prime in oven fat side up for about 30 minutes, depends on size smaller maybe 15 to 20 then I turn oven down to 200 to 225 and bake till I get internal temp of 150. I don't like the cow still bellering and blood running out. I get so many people that rave over my prime rib. Garver

    • profile image

      JB 6 months ago

      Excellent....watch the thermometer!! Does not take much to overcook....took ours out at 125 and quickly up to 130-135..and a smidge overcooked !!

    • profile image

      Judy 6 months ago

      OMG...just give me a knife, fork a BIG cloth napkin and a basket of fresh from the oven buttered bread!! Another good piece of cow is a flank steak, it's thin and should be warmed not cooked and is pure meat. Great for sandwiches with horseradish cream if there are leftovers.

    • profile image

      Ramiro T. 6 months ago

      In your prep section you mention not to add salt oterwise it'll dry out the roast. And it sounds very good im getting hungry just reading about it. Ken, have you ever tried it in salt before? Let me tell you something "It's just fabulous" here's my secret.

      I usually cook an entire rack. Since we are big family.

      In a large deep rectangular pan i cover the entire base of the pan with rock salt. I then sit the rack (bones down) in the pan. Then cover the rest with of the roast again with rock salt. But before you cover the roast copletly all the way around with at least 3/4 of an inch all around you must rinse off the salt in a coleander or a china cap strainer and add moist after all excess water has drained away.

      Dont leave any part of the roast uncovered. The cooking process is kinda easy no termters needed. Just preheat your over to 500 degess and place for One hour and forty minutes. Then remove from the oven and allow to sit cooking in its own juices. Another 45 minutes before serving. I can guarantee you'll love just as much as cooking it without salt. And you dont even have a need for over or under spicing up your roast.. This method of cooling has been done since the 1950's in a famous restuarant in San Francisco called

      "House of prime rib" also cooked in the same manner lawry's of Las Angeles.

    • profile image

      Cindy 6 months ago

      Hi, I thought a whole rib roast was only 7 ribs,but you suggest 9-12?

      Thanks

    • profile image

      Jane Marstell 3 months ago

      I like my meat medium to well done. How long should I cook the meat and will it be dry. First time making Prime Rib. Any suggestions greatly appreciated.

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