Standing Rib Roast is without a doubt, the BEST roast beef in the world!!! Also known as Prime Rib, this cut of beef is outrageously succulent with superior taste. This recipe uses a safe, simple and highly effective roasting method so the beef is blushing pink all the way through.
Standing Rib Roast
There’s no question – the Standing Rib Roast is the creme de la creme of roasts. Also known as Prime Rib, this is THE roast beef with superior flavour, texture and juiciness above all other cuts of beef.
It’s certainly not an economical cut. It’s an investment worthy of special occasions when gathering with like minded people who will appreciate that moment when you slice through the deep golden, garlic studded crust, those people in your life who will clap their hands with glee at the sight of the rose pink flesh, knowing that it’s going to taste as incredibly juicy as it looks…..
Scroll back up and drool. Then scroll down, and drool some more. ? (or actually, this is more appropriate: ?)
How to choose the best standing rib roast
I know I’m stating the obvious here, but the better the beef, the better the eating experience. 🙂
TIP: If your budget doesn’t stretch to Prime Rib, use my Roast Beef Marinade to jazz up economical roast beef cuts!
America – If you’re in the States, the USDA has made it easy for you by grading prime rib: Prime (the best), followed by Choice then Select. The grading is largely based on the fat marbling and taste.
Here in Australia, we don’t have a consistent grading system. But what I can say for sure is that if you want a good quality standing rib roast, skip the supermarket and head to your local butcher. Grass fed or grain fed comes down to personal choice.
Grain fed typically has better marbling and therefore a richer, fattier flavour. Grass fed is usually less fatty but people (me included!) believe the flavour of the beef to be richer, more full of flavour and the meat to be more tender.
If you want top shelf, opt for dry aged beef. You’ll pay serious dollars for it – but it’s worth it!
The standing rib roast pictured above and below and used in the recipe video has been prepared the standard way we do it here in Australia: the fat cap trimmed and the bones scraped clean for presentation.
The foil: Some butchers will sell the standing rib roast with foil wrapped around the bones. It’s to stop the bones from browning, for presentation purposes only. It looks striking to have a dark brown crust, the pink meat and a white bone. If the beef comes with it, I leave it on. But I don’t do it myself.
Bone in / off / tied back on
This recipe will work fine whether bone in or out, or tied back on. But I’m a firm believer that anything cooked with the bone is juicier, so the thought of roasting a prime rib without the bone never crossed my mind.
Plus – I just think it looks grand with the bone in! And isn’t chewing the meat off the bone the best bit?? ?
In the States, you’ll find some butchers remove the bone then tie it back on. Here in Australia, you’d have to ask for a special order to have the bone cut out.
The meat itself is so incredibly juicy (with the added bonus of the garlic herb butter!), I really doubt you’d notice a difference. So use what you can get, or whatever your personal preference is!
When you invest in a good piece of beef, you don’t need to do much to it.
But then again, a good slathering of Herb and Garlic Butter certainly doesn’t do any harm! ?
Using softened rather than melted butter works much better because the garlic and herb bits stick to the skin, creating a terrific golden herb and garlic crust!
Feel free to switch the herbs to what you have / prefer. Also, dried herbs work too!
How to make standing rib roast
After slathering the beef with butter, blast it for 20 minutes in a hot oven to get the crust going, then roast in a relatively low oven of 120°C/250°F for a further 1.5 hours before resting for 20 to 30 minutes.
The high temperature creates a crust quickly, sealing the juices in. Then we turn the temperature down to roast it slowly and evenly so it’s blushing pink all the way through, rather than ending up with a thick overcooked band around the outside of the beef.
There are recipes “out there” that opt to use an even lower temperature and roast for up to 10 hours. This method cooks the prime rib so slowly that it’s evenly pink from edge to edge, then seared at the end to form a thin dark crust.
We actually prefer to have the textural contrast of a thin layer of cooked beef on the outer edge of the beef. It’s still 90% pink and cooked to medium rare throughout!
I like to roast my standing rib on a bed of onion, garlic and herbs which serves three purposes:
- Elevates the beef off the base to encourage more even cooking;
- Stops the drippings from burning (smokes out oven + can’t make a sauce from drippings); and
- Adds more flavour to the drippings that is then used to make a sauce for the prime rib.
Sauce for Prime Rib – Red Wine Sauce
The drippings from the beef left in the pan are loaded with flavour and begging to be used for a sauce!
Red wine and beef is a classic flavour combination so that’s what I’ve gone with here. Essentially, we’re making a red wine jus by rapidly simmering beef broth and red wine in the same skillet the beef was roasted in until it reduces down into an intense flavoured, highly savoury sauce.
I like my sauces to have a syrupy consistency so I add a bit of cornflour (cornstarch) to thicken it. But this is optional – most red wine jus are not thickened, they are quite runny sauces.
What to serve with Prime Rib
For a high-end restaurant experience, you can’t go past Paris Mash(pictured below) – ultra rich and creamy mashed potato! Potatoes au gratin is an elegant French potato side option that’s ideal for making ahead. For greens, Garlic Sautéed Spinach pairs exceptionally well with Prime Rib and is a Classic Steakhouse side!
Here are a few more options:
Just imagine that moment, when you carve up thick slices of this Standing Rib Roast that’s almost impossibly juicy, blushing pink on the inside with that salty, buttery, herb and garlic crust….
It’s so unbelievably tender, and it’s so perfect you know you could eat the whole thing plain…. But THEN, you add a drizzle of that incredible Red Wine Sauce…..
There. Are. No. Words. It’s almost as perfect as a meal gets. – Nagi x
STANDING RIB ROAST (PRIME RIB)
Watch how to make it
Beef Standing Rib Roast (Prime Rib)
- 2.5 kg / 5 lb standing rib roast / prime rib , bone in (Note 1)
- 1 onion , unpeeled, quartered (brown, yellow, white)
- 1 head of garlic , unpeeled, halved horizontally
- 5 sprigs thyme
- 3 sprigs rosemary
Garlic Herb Butter:
- 150 g/ 10 tbsp unsalted butter , softened
- 5 garlic cloves , minced
- 2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary (or 1 tsp dried)
- 2 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried)
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
Red Wine Sauce:
- 1.5 cups (375 ml) beef broth/stock, low salt
- 2.5 cups (675 ml) dry red wine (Note 2)
- 1 tbsp cornflour/cornstarch (optional, Note 3)
- Bring Beef to room temp: Take beef out of the fridge 2 - 3 hours before cooking to bring to room temp (key tip for even cooking). Pat dry with paper towel.
- Preheat oven to 240C/460F (standard) or 220C/430F (fan/convection). Adjust shelf so beef will be sitting in the middle of the oven.
- Garlic Herb Butter: Mix together.
- Place onion, garlic and herbs in a heavy based oven proof skillet (or use a roasting pan).
- Slather: Spread a thin layer of butter on the underside of the beef (ie the bone side). Place beef on onion etc, butter side down. Spread most of the rest of the butter on the top and sides (reserve a bit for 1 baste).
- Hot oven: Roast 20 minutes.
- Slather 2: Remove, spread over remaining butter. Turn oven down to 120C/250F (standard) or 100C/212F (fan/convection).
- Slow roast: Roast for a further 1.5 hours, basting every 30 minutes with the juices in the pan, until the internal temperature is 48°C/118°F in the centre (for medium rare, Note 4). Start checking the internal temp early.
- Rest: Transfer beef to plate. Cover loosely with foil and rest for 20 - 30 minutes. Internal temperature will rise to 52°C/125°F (medium rare).
Red Wine Sauce:
- Place skillet with onion and garlic left in it on the stove over high heat. Add wine and beef stock, rapidly simmer for 10 minutes until it reduces by 2/3 or so, down to 1.5 cups or liquid.
- Lower heat to medium. Mix cornflour with 2 tbsp water. Drizzle in half and stir. Sauce will thicken in 1 minute or so. Add more cornflour water mixture if you want it thicker.
- Strain into bowl, pour into sauce jug.
- Rare is 49°C/120°F. Remove from oven when it is 46°C/115°F.
- Medium rare is 51.7°C / 125°F. Remove from oven when it is 48°C / 118°F.
- Medium is 55°F / 130°F. Remove from oven at 51°F/123°F.
- Medium well done is 57°C/135°F. Remove from oven at 53°C/127°F.
Originally published 30 November 2018. Post updated with some extra tips and tidied up writing 14 December 2019. No change to recipe – I wouldn’t dare!
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