This classic prime rib roast recipe uses the reverse-sear method to create mouth watering, medium-rare meat throughout the entire roast. It doesn’t get better than that.
Prime rib is one of my top 3 favourite meals on the planet. I’ve been making it my entire adult life using the more typical method of high heat for the first 15 minutes then lower heat (325F) for the remaining time. Then I discovered the reverse sear method when I read author and chef J. Kenji Lopez-Alt’s Serious Eats blog.
I’ve tried this method many times now and I have to say I’m impressed. Here’s why:
- the meat is cooked evenly throughout the roast instead of pink/red in the middle and medium to well done on the two inches toward the outside; and
- you can make the roast more than an hour ahead and do the last step of high heat roasting right before serving, thereby increasing your chance of getting warm meat to your guests. This is a huge plus for anyone who agonizes about keep a prime rib warm without overcooking it (like me).
Essentially this cooking method reverses the more typical high-low heat method by:
- initially roasting the beef at a very low temperature of 250F (or even 200F),
- resting it for 30-90 minutes and
- then blasting it in a hot 500F oven for the final 6-15 minutes, depending on the size of the roast.
A 3 pound roast takes about 2 1/4 hours for the low heat part of the roasting. A much larger roast could take 3-4 hours. So the long roasting time can be seen as a downside, but if you’re having a dinner party and have lots of other things to do while the beef is roasting (who doesn’t), it makes a lot of sense.
To add even more flavour and a crustier darker exterior, there’s an optional step you can try. A day or two ahead, pat the roast dry with a paper towel, salt it, then place it in the fridge on a rack, uncovered, to dry out and allow the flavour the meat to develop. Bring the roast to room temperature (1-2 hours) before roasting. I often skip this extra step since I always serve my prime rib with gravy which also adds to the flavour. You can also dry the roast in the fridge without the salt. This won’t add flavour, but it will give you the crustier exterior.
Of course, the only way to get an outstanding end result is to begin with an outstanding piece of meat, meaning Prime rib and well marbled. More expensive, but worth it. The rest is technique. And it’s pretty simple. My favourite side dish with prime rib is our Perfect Basic Mashed Potatoes. Other great accompaniments are Yorkshire Pudding, Tomato Salad with Homemade Catalina Dressing and Roasted Honey-Thyme Carrots.
Tailor To Your Taste
- Many chefs like to let the flavour of prime rib shine through and only use salt and pepper as seasoning. I’ve always added the garlic slivers (which in my opinion add sensational flavour), a bit of mustard and sometimes a sprinkle of thyme – and I think the flavour of the meat is still the star, but it’s up to you.
Check out another method for making fantastic prime rib:
Sous Vide Prime Rib Roast get recipe here