Herb-Encrusted Prime Rib Roast is the perfect main course for Christmas Dinner (or any dinner, in our opinion). Succulent and full of flavor, prime rib always makes a statement. Several years ago, we made a bone-in prime rib roast for Christmas, but have since followed the advice from our local butcher at Meats by John and Wayne to skip the bone and direct all of our money straight to what matters: the beef.
Wayne explained that prime rib is priced the same whether it’s on the bone or not, and most people want their money to go toward the meat, not the bone. Those customers who want prime rib on the bone are looking for enhanced flavor, not dramatic flair. However, Wayne passionately asserted that prime rib without the bone is just as flavorful.
“I’ve been a butcher since the 1970s,” he said, “and I will argue till I go to my grave that there is absolutely no difference in flavor, whatsoever, between prime rib with or without the bone.”
To prepare the roast, we make a paste of fresh herbs, garlic, kosher salt, fresh black pepper and extra virgin olive oil, which we rub over the entire surface of the roast.
To cook, place the roast in a large roasting pan, bones facing down, and bake it in a 450-degree oven, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Then, reduce the heat to 325 degrees and continue cooking for about 2 hours, until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 130 degrees for a perfect medium-rare.
There are two golden rules to follow when cooking beef to ensure a great result. First, always use a meat thermometer to achieve an accurate temperature reading. Second, let the meat rest a good ten minutes before carving. The meat will continue to cook even after it leaves the oven (our roast ended up at 140 degrees), and this step seals in all those delicious juices.
Tender, juicy and succulent, this herb-encrusted prime rib roast is sure to be a hit at your Christmas table.