Prime rib roast hasn’t been a traditional dish at my family (or childhood) holiday table. But, after re-creating this recipe in my kitchen and discovering how simple it was to get wow-factor results, I’ll be pushing to start a new tradition. The garlic and rosemary rub was peppery and added exactly the right flavors to enhance this already delicious cut of beef. After following the cooking method that our chef recommends (and a little vigilance with an instant-read thermometer at the end), I got just the results I expected, as promised—a beautiful medium-rare. The accompanying whipped cream–horseradish sauce was airy and creamy and melted on the tongue with just a hint of heat—a tasty foil to the roast.
My rib roast came bone-in, but this cut can also come with the bones separated from the roast and the whole thing tied or netted together, as called for in this recipe. It’s not difficult to do the deboning yourself, as I did, but your butcher can also make quick work of this task on request if it’s not already done for you.
“Prime rib is considered by many to be the best cut of beef for roasting. If you follow the directions here, it always comes out juicy and moist, no matter what degree of doneness you choose. Since the center cooks less than the end cuts, it seems that everyone can be easily pleased. Although this recipe calls for a 4-bone roast that serves about 8 guests, you can easily increase it by adding an extra bone for every 2 portions that are needed. The prime rib goes particularly well with horseradish sauce.” —Chef Jonathan Rohland
Prime Rib Roast
4-rib prime rib roast (about 6 pounds), trimmed of excess fat and tied
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons minced shallots
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
3 tablespoons kosher salt
4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
Remove the meat from the refrigerator at least 1 hour, but not more than 2 hours, prior to roasting to bring to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 450°F. In a small dish, stir together the olive oil, garlic, shallots, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper until well combined.
Untie the roast and evenly spread the garlic-herb mixture on all sides, including between the bones and on the bottom of the roast. Place the roast back onto the bones and tie it up again with kitchen twine.
Place the roast, bone side down, in a heavy-duty roasting pan. Roast undisturbed for 20 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F and continue roasting for about 1 1/4 hours for medium-rare. The meat is done when an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest portion of the roast, away from the bone, registers 130°F for medium-rare, 140°F for medium, or 145°F for medium-well. Remove from the oven and let rest, tented with aluminum foil, for 15 minutes before carving.
Whipped Cream–Horseradish Sauce
2 cups heavy (whipping) cream
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup prepared horseradish
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
While the roast is resting, make the Whipped Cream–Horseradish Sauce: Using an electric mixer set on high speed, beat the cream until soft peaks begin to form. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the sour cream, horseradish, Worcestershire and Tabasco sauces, salt, and white pepper until evenly distributed. Continue beating until the mixture is light and fluffy, like dense whipped cream, about 1 minute.
Untie the roast and cut into even slices. Arrange the slices on warmed dinner plates and serve immediately.
Editor’s Note: In case you find yourself with leftovers, as I did (even after everyone at my table had a hearty portion), I’m including a last note for inspiration. I was attending a potluck-style holiday party the night after I made this recipe, and I decided to turn my leftovers into hors d’oeuvres. Wanting to use the extra drippings, I found a recipe for mini Yorkshire puddings, which I thought would serve as the perfect finger-size carrier for the prime rib roast and horseradish sauce. I garnished each cup with scallion and a pomegranate seed. Like little savory bites of everything at a holiday table, these mini miracles were gone in no time at all.