Prime Rib for the Holidays

A Prime Entrée for Southerly Celebrations.

If at all possible, purchase a first-cut beef rib roast (from the smaller end), 3 to 5 ribs (about 7 to 12 pounds) and allow it to render a crust from the savory spice rub overnight. Then be sure to allow it to reach room temperature (2-3 hours) before slow roasting. Tie it tight on the rack of its bones before roasting. The bones not only add to the flavor but also become the stationary cooking plate.

This method of cooking the rib-eye roast slowly is the reason why it is called Prime Rib, not because of the cut of beef which, by the way, is somewhat a misnomer. However, I do recommend buying prime beef grade over choice for this type of cookery. The taste on the tongue of a prime grade rib roast is like no other, and if cooked properly, prime beef will actually ‘melt-in-your-mouth’.

I think this recipe would work well on the grill too, in fact, the Beef Rub should enhance brilliantly with the flavors of the grill.

To make Prime Rib, you will need:
a beef rib roast with at least 3 ribs
Southern Prime Beef Rub
Horseradish Cream

For My Southern Prime Beef Rub:
1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon crushed thyme
2 teaspoons crushed oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon dried minced garlic

Your butcher should cut the meat away from the rack of ribs but if that didn’t happen, use a sharp knife and cut the bones away from the rib roast starting with the rib ends and cut to within a half-inch to the opposite side leaving the ribs hinged to the roast as shown.

Season the meat area with some of the Beef Rub.

Position the roast back onto the rib bones aligning them perfectly. Use butcher’s twine to secure the roast back onto the rack of ribs tying between the ribs tightly. Cover roast all over with the remaining rub mixture.

Refrigerate overnight or at least 12 hours.

Remove from refrigerator and allow to rest at room temperature for 2 hrs (3 hrs for 9+ lbs).

Adjust oven rack to low position and heat oven to 200 degrees. Place roast bone side down on a roasting rack and into a rimmed pan or a roaster. When oven is ready, center roast on lower rack and cook until meat registers 130 degrees (for medium-rare), about 4 hours (may take 5 for larger cuts).

When ready, remove roast to a cutting board and tent with foil. Allow to rest 20-30 minutes. Remove and discard the twine. Slice the roast in nice, 1/2and serve inch slices and immediately serve with the horseradish cream.

For the Horseradish Cream:
1 cup chilled heavy cream
2/3 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
1 1/4 cups prepared horseradish
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
Fresh herbs like chives and/or parsley -minced

Pour cream into a medium bowl and using a whisk or a hand-held mixer, whisk to just under soft peaks (a line should form on the surface but peaks will fall). Fold in remaining ingredients.

Note: In some grocers, the meat department may call this cut of beef a standing rib roast but I doubt it will be of the prime grade, however, choice ain’t too bad when that’s all ya got. Just be sure to ask if it is from the first cut of the rib section. The size of the bones and the roast itself will probably tell if it is from the smaller end which is the most desirable and is the most tender.


  1. Good looking piece of beef Drick and informative how-to. I cook mine the same way in the smoker except I don't fool with the bones. I cooked one yesterday for a friend and cut the rest of the whole rib eye into steaks for our Christmas meal - Bev prefers steak to the roast.

  2. Now, you're cooked this just the way I like it, Drick!

    Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and best wishes for a fantastic 2014.


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