I didn’t grow up eating prime rib like my husband did.
Christmas dinner was ham and turkey, kind of a repeat of Thanksgiving.
When my husband introduced me to this beef feast, I was hooked!
How to make the perfect prime rib:
How to buy a prime rib roast
A full rib roast contains seven ribs and is about 16 pounds. For most families, a three-rib roast is plenty big enough and will feed seven to eight people or provide ample leftovers.
Which three ribs are the best?
We prefer the “small end of the ribs” or “first cut” —the area of relatively lean, flavorful meat next to the expensive short loin. You might also hear the three-rib roast referred to as ribs 10–12, since the full rib roast is actually ribs 6–12 from the upper rib section of the animal. The “large end of the ribs,” or ribs 6–9, is next to the chuck with more fat between smaller lean areas.
What’s the difference between Prime, Choice, Select?
Make sure you’re getting Prime.
Prime is the USDA’s best grade. It’s known for luscious fat marbling that locks in the flavor. Choice is the next best grade. Many grocery chains now sell Select, the next grade down. Select is leaner and lacks flavor. Be sure to check the label before buying.
Does it matter how old the meat is?
Dry-aged beef is preferable for the best flavor. It’s also more expensive. But it’s so worth it! The flavor is concentrated and the texture is more tender. You can dry age meat at home, but be prepared to give it two weeks or a minimum of ten days to make any difference in flavor.
Wet-aging is a fairly recent practice in which meat is stored in a vacuum-sealed bag for a while before being sold. This is just a way for unscrupulous meat sellers to charge higher prices for meat that was going to end up sitting in a plastic bag anyways.
Last year, we had to purchase two small prime ribs to feed our family of six.
Because we like leftovers.
We are actually unable to purchase Prime grade meat through the commissary here in Germany.
And we’re not sure how to even order these at a German grocer.
Notice these have some marbling. Prime would have more marbling and less fat pockets.
We salt the meat about an hour before the paste to tenderize and lock in more flavor.
We prepared the paste, spread it on the roasts, and let it sit on the counter. It roasts best at room temperature.
We roasted them in the oven. The searing is last for our recipe.
Depending on meal timing and oven needs, we can roast and let rest and then sear the meat right before serving.
After allowing the meat to rest under foil for an hour or so, we slice to serve. I don’t like meat very rare, so we aim for somewhere between medium rare and medium.
This roast was the one we ordered and purchased this year. It was less flavorful than last year’s.
It’s always hit or miss with quality at the commissary, but this still ran us about $100 for a four-rib, 11-pound roast!
My husband loves fresh grated horseradish and I prefer the horseradish cream sauce with gravy. Two kids like it plain. Tori and Katie love gravy on everything.
We often serve prime rib alongside mashed potatoes and green beans. This year, we had twice-baked potatoes and sautéed spinach.
The kids call prime rib “Christmas steak” and they look forward to it!
They love leftovers for a week!
Perfect Prime Rib
- 1 5- to 6-lb. Prime rib roast patted dry
- 4 oz butter unsalted, cut into chunks
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup rosemary fresh, loosely packed
- 1/4 cup sage fresh, loosely packed
- 1/4 cup thyme fresh, loosely packed
- 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
- 1 T Worcestershire sauce
- 1 T kosher or sea salt
- 1 T coarse black pepper
This Infographic is designed by Jack Thompson from BroBBQ