Over the past few years, I have become a convert to the English tradition of serving beef for Christmas dinner. Growing up we always did turkey, but just having finished off the Thanksgiving bird, the idea of something different and really special was appealing. I have done a goose before too, but I like a standing rib roast the best. Also known as a prime rib, the ‘prime’ actually refers to the grade of meat, not the cut. Yes, this is an expensive cut of meat, so cooking it takes some special care. I promise, the results are worth it. You could also do some Yorkshire puddings with it, which are more like popovers than what we Americans think of as pudding. I am told by my local grocer that this cut will go on sale for Christmas this week, so I’ll look to your local grocer for one. Just one rib will serve two with leftovers.
This is just a single rib section, as you can see it is a big roast even with just one rib. Let it sit out on the counter (covered with plastic) for about an hour before cooking.
I season only with sea salt and fresh ground pepper.
Cook the roast on a raised rack, so it doesn’t sit in its juices as it cooks and the air can circulate around the roast. For a single rib, this is the only way I have to keep it upright. If you have two or more ribs, it will likely sit on the ribs without any additional help.
Roast slowly, on a low oven at 300 degrees for 20 minutes per pound. You really will need a digital read thermometer for this. Take the roast out when the proper temperature is reached for your desired degree of doneness on the scale below.
Roast to a temperature of 120-125 for rare, 130-135 for medium, and 140-145 for well done. Know that the temperature will rise at least 5 degrees as it rests, so take it out at the proper time for the doneness you want. Err on the cautious side, you can always put it back in the oven if it isn’t quite done enough, but you can’t turn the clock backwards if you overshoot the mark. Let it rest at least 15-20 minutes covered with foil for the meat to reabsorb the juices. Don’t worry, it will stay warm.
I roast to 125 in the center before the resting period, when it will rise to 130 degrees. This will yield a medium rare center that I like, and a medium edge that DH likes.
Slow roasting at 300 degrees gives an evenly cooked slice, without the overdone edges. This may be too pink for you, but just follow the temps I gave you above for a bit more done.
Heaven on a plate, a wonderful main course for Christmas dinner. The top has that nice crust too.
Nothing like a prime rib sandwich with horseradish sauce on sourdough bread for lunch on Boxing Day. With the leftovers and the bones, I’ll make a Beef and Barley soup that I’ll show you after Christmas if I remember to take pictures, LOL!!
Merry Christmas dinner! I have so many recipes to share with you this year, I’ll give you the recipe for the Cheddar Onion Potatoes to go with it next time. The Spinach Bake with Roasted Garlic will be on the menu again this year too.
What do you do for your holiday dinner?