I’ve been meaning to share my recipe for the most perfect herb crusted prime rib that you’ve ever tasted for awhile now. I mean, like, years. But it’s not really a cheap thing to just make on a whim in the afternoon just for a blog post, so I had to wait until New Year’s Eve before I could even take a photo.
Every year on New Year’s Eve, I make prime rib for dinner. I like to end the year with a bang – and a big expensive, super filling meal that leaves everyone in a food coma is the perfect thing to end the year on! It also doesn’t hurt that rib roasts are usually deeply discounted that time of the year, so I always end up grabbing one anyway.
I’ve had family members call me on the phone and ask me to walk them through the way I prepare my roast, and I have finally decided to just sit down and write it all down, step by step, exactly how I do it. Normally with a food post, I would create a printable recipe, but not this time. I’ve decided to approach my method more like a normal blog post. It will be much easier to follow along that way, I promise.
- Bone-in Rib Roast
- Fresh garlic cloves
- Fresh rosemary
- Fresh thyme
- Fresh sage
- Salt and pepper
- All purpose flour
- 1 can beef consomme
- 2 packets Au Jus mix (or liquid concentrate alternative)
I usually buy a small 2-bone roast. It feeds the 4 of us, with enough leftover to make French Dips for dinner later in the week. A good rule of thumb is 1 bone for every 2 people, but buy according to your needs and budget. You can do a boneless roast, but it’s like a built in roasting rack, the flavor is better, I don’t think they turn out as well and the bones are so easy to remove afterwards that in my opinion it isn’t worth skipping the bone.
Take the roast out of the fridge and set it on a large cutting board or workspace. I like to give myself some room when I prepare this, and because of my small kitchen I like to do it on a large cutting board in case I need to move it for any unforeseen reason. Take about 4-5 large garlic cloves and slice them into 1/8″ slices, lengthwise. I get about 5 slices per clove. Taking a paring knife, I stab the meat and fat to create deep slits and stuff the sliced garlic into them. This won’t actually cook and roast the garlic, but it will help permeate and flavor the meat while it cooks. Make sure you push the garlic in deep and don’t have bits sticking out or they can burn and burned garlic can make the meat taste bitter.
Next I take a good handful of fresh rosemary, thyme and sage. You can usually find fresh herbs at the grocery store, or you can always grow your own and save yourself a ton of money in the long run. Strip the leaves from the stems and discard them. Run a sharp knife through the leaves, mincing them until very fine. Place all the herbs in a bowl and add salt and pepper. This is your herb rub. Press it all over the meat with your hands. You should have enough to generously cover at least 3 sides of the meat. You don’t need to worry about seasoning the underside of the rib rack. Let the meat rest and come to room temperature.
Once the meat is room temperature, you may notice a bit of seeping on your roast. This is normal. Scoop out about 1 cup of flour and place it on your work surface (another reason I prefer to use a cutting board). Using your hands, press the flour onto the roasts surface. Generously coat the roast in the flour and then tap off any excess and let the roast rest another 10 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 500* (or if your oven doesn’t go that high, as high as you can get it).
While your oven is heating up and your roast is resting, prepare your pan.
Using a deep roasting pan (that fits your roasting rack) pour the can of beef consomme and the 2 packets of au jus mix. Whisk together until mixed. To your au jus mixture, add 2 sprigs of rosemary, 2 sprigs of thyme and a large clove of garlic that’s been smashed with the edge of a knife. This will be removed before serving, but will give the au jus some amazing flavor. You can also prepare more for a bigger roast in a pan on the stove and combine the roasted au jus after cooking to incorporate the flavors together.
Coat your roast in at least 1 more coating of the flour. Make sure you can at least sort of still see the pinkness of the meat through the coating. I’ve seen people add WAY TOO MUCH flour and it almost creates a breading on the outside. That is NOT the point of this! As the meat cooks at the very high heat, the fat will begin to melt and seep into the flour coating, making a deliciously flavorful crust that keeps the juices in. So just 2-3 coats, with the excess tapped off between should be fine.
Place your roasting rack into your roasting pan with the juices in the bottom, and then place your roast, bone side down, in the rack. Add a bit of water to the au jus mix so it just comes to the bottom of the roast without touching it. You may need to add more water to this mix as the roast cooks, so check your au jus levels when you check the internal temperature for your desired level of doneness.
Place the roast in the oven (preheated to 500*) for 20 minutes, and then turn your oven down to 300-350 degrees (depending on the size of the roast and what time you’re planning on eating) for the remaining time. Don’t open the oven! Just turn the heat down. Later on, you can open the oven, but not now!
I typically roast our 2 bone for about 2-3 hours at 325. My husband likes his roast medium well, when I am more of a medium type of person. This roasting technique makes everyone happy. With larger roasts this technique can yield a medium rare/rare center, with well ends no problem. We’ve done it with much larger roasts (6-7 bone) and just had to adjust our cooking times, usually by at least an hour or 2. Here is a handy guide for internal temperature. Just remember to take multiple readings for a large roast (center and ends). My mom likes her roast very rare, so once the center of the roast reaches your desired temperature, remove the roast from the oven, place on a cutting board and let it rest 10-15 minutes. It will continue to cook a bit, so don’t worry about it getting cold, and don’t cut into it too early or you’re going to have a big bloody mess and a dry, flavorless hunk of meat.
While the roast rests (I set mine on a cutting board over a sink to prevent leaks on my counters, but a nice carving board with a juice well works too!) prepare your au jus. Remove any stems, large leaves and the smashed garlic and discard. Add more water if needed. One of those cool, fat separators would be very helpful, so you can remove extra fat off the top of the au jus before serving.
When it’s time to carve your roast, first remove the bones from the bottom. It’s an easy slice along the bottom and the meat should be so tender that removing the bone is very simple. Then carve your meat however you would like. My husband likes a thick slice, while the girls prefer it more thin.
You can see how the flour helped keep the meat nice and juicy, and created a nice herbed crust around the edges. It’s my husband’s favorite part! I like the lacy, marbled edges the best, and he likes the big hunk of meat in the center, so we end up trading parts of our prime rib with each other. It’s a nice balance. You can remove the slices of garlic prior to serving if you wish, or leave them in.
Serve with a variety of sinful sides as well, like these oven roasted potatoes, or even twice stuffed loaded potatoes. We usually do artichokes if they are in season and not $5 each, but brussel sprouts or broccoli works too! It’s a meal fit for a king, and the perfect way to end the year.
If you have any questions about my method, or have tips for making it better, please leave me a comment below! Everything I make is always a work in progress!