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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

How Do You Cook a Standing Rib Roast (Slow-Roast Method)

It's Christmas Eve so it's time to revisit one of my favorite recipes, the Standing Rib Roast...a.k.a. Prime Rib!  We will be cooking this for dinner tonight and it is always a delicious meal to look forward to. 

There are many ways to cook this delicious cut of beef, and we've tried several, but we agree that this method delivers the most mouth-watering, evenly cooked, perfectly rare to medium-rare roast.

This recipe is adapted from an Alton Brown recipe that actually called for using a terra cotta pot (?!) in the oven. What? Well, since I didn't have a terra cotta pot to use, I improvised and used your basic foil and it worked out great!  One useful tool when cooking a large roast like this is a digital thermometer. This is a great way to keep a close eye on the temperature without opening the oven door and letting the temp drop each time.

For this roast we used a 9 pound 4-rib standing rib roast.  This size of roast will serve about 6 people for dinner, plus you will have a little leftover beef for French Dip Sandwiches the next day.  Also, don't throw away the bones which are full of flavor.  Add them to a pot of French Onion Soup and serve with the French Dip.

This method is so simple and the end result is a perfectly cooked rare to medium-rare roast with a crisp and tasty crust.  Place your oven rack in the lower 1/3 of the oven, but not on the bottom notch.  You want the heat to circulate well.  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Allow the roast to stand at room temp for 1 hour before roasting.  Place the roast on a foil covered pan, with a rack if possible, to allow for drainage.  Rub the beef with olive oil, then coat with kosher salt and a thick layer of coarse ground black pepper.  Simple salt and pepper make this roast delicious! 

Insert a probe thermometer into the center of the roast, without letting the tip touch the bone.  Cover with a sheet of heavy duty foil and place the roast into the oven and cook to an internal temp of 120 degrees. (Note: The 9-pound roast took a bit over 3 hours to reach 120.)

When the roast reaches 120 degrees, remove from oven, keeping the roast covered, and allow the temp to rise to 130 degrees.  (This will take about 10 minutes.)  While waiting for the temp to rise, increase the oven temp to 475 degrees.  When the roast reaches 130 degrees, remove the foil and place the roast back into the oven and bake about 10 minutes until the desired crust has been achieved.  Remove roast from the oven and allow to rest 5 - 10 minutes before slicing.

A great trick for slicing prime rib is to use an electric knife.  Place the roast on a large cutting board.  Using the rib bones as a guide, cut along the top of the bones to separate the roast from the bones.  Set the bones aside and slice the roast into individual servings.  Save the rib bones (freeze if needed) to use in French Onion Soup.  Serve with Horseradish Sauce, a salt-crusted baked potato and steamed asparagus.  Merry Christmas everyone and enjoy!


  1. I have never cooked a standing rib roast because the ones I have had at friends weren't so great. Nice to have a good recipe to go by. The cooking technique sounds right on. Merry Christmas.

  2. It's such an easy recipe, too. Lots of black pepper and kosher salt, then cook low and slow. Perfect every time and really very little work. Thanks for the comment!

  3. Would you believe that I still haven't cooked a standing rib roast yet...but your recipe is bookmarked.

  4. Lol. We just finished our Christmas Eve roast and it was wonderful! Looking forward to French Dip sandwiches and Onion Soup on Christmas Day. Merry Christmas Karen!


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