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Christmas Day Prime Rib Recipe


Here I am, on Christmas Day night sending out a recipe for my Prime Rib (perhaps I’m just wanting to relive the yummy experience!). It has become a tradition for my family to enjoy prime rib on Christmas Day - a little variance from our traditional turkey dinner on Thanksgiving. I know this recipe doesn’t seem "easy," but I’ve got to say it’s easier than a turkey dinner, and easier than many every day meals. Enjoy!


  • One 5.5 to 6-lb standing rib roast (also known as prime rib). Ask your butcher to cut the meat away from the ribs, but use twine to tie the ribs back to the meat. Our butcher does this routinely and it certainly makes it easier to carve when you are done. The ribs play an important part in the cooking process, keeping the meat off the floor of your pan.
  • One bunch of carrots (tops removed) or 3 larger carrots. Cut them into even chunks, not too small
  • One medium sized onion, cut into 6-8 chunks
  • 10 fresh cloves of garlic
  • 1 handful of fresh flat leaf parsley tops (minimal stems)
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme, stems removed, or 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons dry thyme leaves
  • kosher salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)


Bring roast up to room temperature. This can take upwards of an hour to hour and a half, depending on the size of your rib roast. This helps your roast cook evenly (and it won’t be too rare in the middle because the meat was cold). While this is happening, cut the carrots and the onions, placing the chunks in the bottom of a roasting pan with sides at least 1.5 to 2 inches tall. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Place the roast, rib side down, on top of the veggies.

The next order of business is to create a salt crust for the prime rib. This is an amazing trick I learned from a Tyler Florence show on the Food Network (Food 911). My version is slightly different, but it all does the same thing - it seasons the meat all the way through and allows for a moist roast.

Take the 10 cloves of garlic and pop them out of their skins. On your cutting board, crush the garlic a bit with your knife. Generously sprinkle some kosher salt over the garlic and continue to crush, using the edge of your knife. The salt will bring out the natural oils/juices of the garlic. Place the garlic into a food processor (I have a nice small electric grinder that works well, too), and give it a couple of pulses. Chop the Italian parsley finely, and place it into the processor, pulsing two more times. Then strip the thyme leaves from the stems and place the thyme into the processor (or simply measure your dry thyme leaves into the processor, if that is what you are using). Grind a bit of pepper into the processor and pulse until finely chopped and mixed. Start to stream in the EVOO and process until you have formed a nice paste (it almost looks like pesto sauce, but slightly thicker).

Spread the paste with a spatula or spoon over the top of the roast, taking care to spread evenly. Once spread, start sprinkling a generous amount of kosher salt over the mixture. It will seem as though you are putting an over-abundance of salt on the roast. I know when I’ve had enough when it no longer gets absorbed into the garlic/parsley mixture.

Once this is done, place roast into the oven. With a 5.5-6 pound roast, medium rare, you will need to cook approximately 32-38 minutes per pound. I use a meat thermometer, and take the roast out of the oven when the internal temperature reaches approximately 150 degrees. Once you take the meat out of the oven, it should rest at least 10-15 minutes so the juices can redistribute. Once it has rested, scrape off the salt crust prior to slicing.

Au Jus: A lot of prime rib is served with Au Jus, which is a dipping broth or juice that is a result of roasting the meat. I make mine by removing the veggies out of the roasting pan, placing the roasting pan on a burner on medium heat, and adding a can of vegetable or beef broth, taking care to scrape up the little bits of "stuff" from the bottom of the pan. I let this cook down for a while, stirring frequently. Toward the end, I add flavoring. I do this many different ways, but the quickest shortcut (and mighty tasty!), is to use a bottled "au jus" flavoring (the one I use is called "Johnny’s Au Jus Sauce." I pour about a 1/4 cup into the broth/drippings and let it cook down a bit. The last thing I do is run it through a mesh strainer (you can also use a regular strainer lined with some paper towels) in order to strain out any remaining veggie pieces, etc.

What I serve this with: For Christmas dinner, I served this with some potatoes gratin and some green beans with bacon and onion (one of my favorite side dishes, I would add!). You can really serve prime rib with a lot of sides, including a baked potato and a salad. No matter what you serve with it, the prime rib will be the star of your show!

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    October 2018
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