I’ll admit it, I’ve never cooked Prime Rib before. It’s my favorite thing to order in steakhouses and I practically hover the carving stations at buffets that offer it, I know, I’m practically a fiend. Why haven’t I attempted this beautiful piece of meat myself? It’s incredibly daunting, I searched about a billion different sites on the proper way to buy a standing rib roast to the best way to cook it. I came up with my own “marinade” after going through tons of recipes and catered it all to my taste buds.

I got some great information from http://whatscookingamerica.net/Beef/ClassicPrimeRib.htm on the best cut and how to best prepare it without compromising the natural taste of the meat. I purchased (or my sister did, thanks sissy!) a 9.72lbs standing rib roast from Wayland’s Meat Market in Oakland, which had awesome customer service I must say and a great variety of meats at competitive prices, most drastically lower than major grocery stores. I asked for 4 ribs (count 1 rib for every 2 people in your dinner party), which was enough for my crowd of 9, from the small end (more tender with less fat than the larger end) of the loin. I asked to have the chine (back bone) and the ribs be cut off then tied back on and while also having the tips frenched. If the meat had an excessive fat cap (more than 1 inch) you must trim it off, luckily my cut didn’t have much. After paying close to $100 (once again, thanks sissy!) for our hunk of meat, my anxiety grew. This is it, I can’t turn back with nearly 10 lbs of meat in my arms and a crowd of mostly hungry boys invading my dinner table tomorrow.

I unwrapped the meat on my kitchen counter and just stared at it for a good 10 minutes, taking deep breaths with my eyes shut and praying to different Gods of various religions in hope of not screwing up this glorious piece of carnivorous indulgence.

INGREDIENTS:

Prime Rib:
1 10lbs of standing rib roast
(with excess fat trimmed and bones taken off and tied back on)
1 1/2 cup Dijon Mustard
1/4 cup of garlic, chopped finely (about 10-12 large cloves)
3 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped finely
3 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped finely
1 tbsp fresh cracked black pepper (you can lessen the amount to your taste)
1/2 cup of olive oil + 2 tbsp extra
1 large onion (or 2 medium) peeled and quartered
2 large carrots cut into fours (no need to peel this)
1 cup beef stock
3 stalks of fresh rosemary

Rosemary Au Jus:
Beef juices from roast, all but 2 tbsp of fat removed.
1 1/4 cup of Red Wine (I used Zinfandel)
3 cups of beef broth
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
2 tbsp butter
salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Prime Rib:
1. Whisk together ingredients 2-6. Set your roast fat side up (bone side down) and with a small knife, make a few 1/2-1 inch long slightly less than 1 inch deep cuts into the meat. Slather the meat (including bones) with the marinade, pushing the mixture into the slits you’ve just made. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate over night.

2. Remove meat and let stand at room temperature 3 to 4 hours (but no more than 4 hours) before cooking.

3. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. If you have a roasting rack you can omit this next step and skip down, if you don’t (I didn’t), drizzle reserved olive oil on prepared vegetables. Toss to coat, place fresh rosemary on top and lay roast (bone side down, fat side up) on top of the vegetables. Add beef broth to the pan and place in oven for 20mins

4. Lower oven to 325 degrees and roast for another 2 hours and 10 minutes, basting the cut ends every 30 mins with the juices. Start checking the temperature with a meat thermometer the last 45-30mins of cooking, 115-120 degrees for rare and 125-130 degrees for medium.

5. When meat is at your desired temperature, remove from pan and set on counter, loosely covering with foil and let rest 20-25 mins. Temperature will rise another 7-10 degrees during this rest period.

6. When ready to serve, cut the strings off (discard) and remove the ribs (save them!!). This allows for easy carving and serving. Carve the amount desired and serve with au jus. Voila!

Rosemary Au Jus:
1. Remove carrots and onions from pan, transfer all beef juices to a bowl. Remove all the fat floating on top, leaving a little less than 2tbsp.

2. Place roasting pan on stove top over 2 burners, add red wine and with a whisk or wooden spoon, begin picking up all that fond (flavor!!) or cooked bits on the bottom of the pan. Add reserved beef drippings, cooked vegetables, beef broth, rosemary, beef juices from the rested roast and a bit of salt and pepper, whisk to mix.  Bring to a boil then lower temperature, simmering to reduce for 10-15 mins.

3. Remove and discard solid vegetables after reduction, whisk in butter and add more salt and pepper to taste. Serve piping hot over prime rib.

Cooking Notes:
1. Removing roast from ribs (then tying back on) helps with carving and portioning later when you’re ready to serve. Plus meat taste so much better when cooked on the bone.

2. You must let the roast come up to room temperature before roasting, this allows an evenly cooked product.  Do not leave roast out for more than 4 hours, this can promote growth of harmful bacterias.

3. Cooking first at high temperature sears the meat and helps keep it juicy, lowering the temperature then slowly cooks the meat.

4. Allow 13-15 mins per pound for rare and 15-17 mins for medium. Rare is 125 degrees, so you would remove the roast between 115-120 degrees, while the resting time allows the roast to raise another 7-10 degrees. I cooked mine for 2 1/2 hours for a medium.

5. For the best accurate reading of temperature, use a meat thermometer that you can leave in the roast the entire time. I didn’t have one of those, so I free-balled it (so to speak) with a regular meat thermometer checking every 15 mins.

6. Don’t discard the rib bones! There’s lovely meats on it, plus you can use it the next days for beef soup.

I had a great first experience doing this Prime Rib, plus everyone loved it! My sister and I prefer it at a medium rare, but all the boys like medium. So I appeased the crowd, I did take it out a teensy bit too late, the very ends of the roast turned out more of a medium well. The au just was amazing, and I really loved it, not bad for a first timer! I carved 10-12 ounce portions, my little brother had 2 1/2 slices (damn!) alone, with the brother-in-law finishing 1 1/2 slices. That felt amazing! My mom ended up using the rib bones for a beef soup with potatoes and carrots for the next nights dinner. Any extra left over meat and au jus can be made into french dipped sandwiches for the next days lunch, too bad we didn’t have any left over!

I know what you’re thinking, my photos have gotten so much better right!?? Ugh no, it hasn’t, I still suck at photography, but all these pictures were taken by my amazing brother/cousin (joke) Vibol Vann, (too bad I didn’t give him a chance to take a pic of the roast right out of the oven) he’s a photographer and graphic artist in the Bay Area, so if you’re looking for a new business logo or to update your family portraits, give him a call. He’s amazing!

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