Perfect Supper Club Prime Rib

Every now and then, you need to treat your family to something special.  Some folks go out to dinner.  In our household, we like to recreate the perfect Supper Club meal.  When you think of a Supper Club, what entree comes to mind?  If you’re from Wisconsin, you immediately think of Prime Rib!  Many home cooks are terribly intimidated by Prime Rib, but I assure you that it’s the easiest, most impressive thing that you’ll ever cook!  The key elements are:

  • a good cut of meat
  • a good butcher
  • a good thermometer

If you have all of those things, you’re 99% on your way to the best meal that you’ve ever tasted in your home cooking life!  

So, here’s the hard part.  Spend good money on a piece of meat.  Call your local butcher.  In my case, we went through Ski’s Meat Market.  We called them in the morning and told them we were making Prime Rib.  You have a few choices for your Prime Rib Roast.  Bone in or out. (go with bone in!)  They’ll ask you how many ribs you want. (generally 1 to 2 people per rib. Never get less than 3 ribs) They should also ask you if you want the meat cut away from the bone and tied back.  Choose this option.  It makes carving the meat so much easier, and you aren’t going to lose anything, in my opinion, by having it cut back.  

We got a 4 bone Prime Rib Roast, and the cost was $114.00.  “YIKES” you might say!  Well, we fed 5 people plus we had plenty of leftovers.  If we had gone out to eat and ordered Prime Rib, we would have likely spent well over $114- not including drinks and dessert!

Once you get home, here’s how to prepare your cut of meat.

Unwrap the meat and insert a high quality, wired thermometer into the meat.  This is the one that I used.  (special thanks to the butcher at Ski’s for convincing me it was time to upgrade!)  Do not allow the thermometer to touch the bone.  It will likely read a temperature in the 30s or 40s.

Leave meat out on counter to bring up the temperature.  This is very important!  It’s going to feel like a long time.  Mine took about 3+ hours to get to the upper 50s, but this is the key to an even cook.  I covered mine loosely with the butcher’s paper while the temperature is coming up.  Many folks say to get it all the way to room temperature, but truth be told, I didn’t want to leave my meat out much longer than 3 hours, and I found that the final product was cooked evenly nonetheless.

Once the meat temperature has come up to at least the mid-50s, rub the cut roast ends only with softened butter.  This will allow the ends to moisten and crisp up when cooking.

Season the meat.  There’s two schools of thought on this, and both are okay.  Some say to over season because it doesn’t easily penetrate the rib roast.  Some say that seasoning is optional or should be done lightly.  It’s just your preference.  ***Now- read carefully– here is the magic— Do NOT use salt to season!!!!!  One trick that I use for all meat cooking is to avoid salt.  It draws out moisture from the meat and can make it overly dry.  You can always add it later when you’re eating it.

Place the uncovered rib roast in a metal pan, ribs facing down.  There’s no need for a rack as the ribs act as a natural rack!

Now, put it all into an oven that’s been preheated to 450 degrees. (make sure that your wired thermometer is safe at that temperature- most are, but it’s still a good idea to check)  If you have a convection oven, do not put the convection feature on as this can dry out the roast.

It should look like this: (Note: the digital portion of the thermometer does not go in the oven- that should stay outside the oven)

Prime Rib Roast- 4 bone

Roast the meat for exactly 15 minutes.  No more. No less.  Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees and continue roasting.

Now, simply wait.  I would start checking the temperature after an hour or so.  The meat is not timed.  You should use temperature as your guide.  Remember that the temperature of the meat will increase about 5-10 degrees after you take it out of the oven, so incorporate that into your plans for when you want to remove it from the oven.  Example: If you want Medium Rare, I would remove the meat when it hits about 125 degrees.  Use the following temperature guide for final temperature/doneness:

Rare 120-125 degrees

Medium Rare 130-135 degrees

Medium 140-145 degrees

Medium Well 150-155 degrees

Well Done 160+ degrees

Once the meat hits your desired (pre)temperature, remove it from the oven and loosely cover it in foil.  And for heaven’s sake, let it rest!  Resist the urge to cut into it to check it.  The juices will run out, and you will have a dry roast if you do that.  If you’ve invested in a good wired thermometer, then it will be perfect after the 15 minute resting period.  

When 15 minutes is up, carve, serve, and enjoy!  If it’s as delicious as it was in my household, you will barely be able to get in a picture before your family starts (literally) screaming at you to sit down so they can devour the delicious food!

Our Prime Rib Roast, Medium Rare

Served with a baked potato with sour cream/chives, local green beans, and sauteed mushrooms.

So what do you think?  Is this something that you think you’d want to try?  If so, let me know how it goes!  If not, what’s holding you back?  Leave a comment with your questions or fears, and together we can get you on your way to recreating that Supper Club entree you always wanted to cook.

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