- a good cut of meat
- a good butcher
- a good thermometer
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)
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:
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!