November-December 2015 | Food & Drink

Cooking Class: Making a Roast

A grand carved entrée on the table

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Prime Rib


ON THE CLOCK: 4 hours


SIMPLE SIDE SUGGESTIONS: Roasted fingerling potatoes, peas and carrots


– 3-rib piece of prime rib (about 10-11 lbs.)  

– 5 tablespoons coarse salt

– 4 tablespoons coarse freshly ground black pepper

– 9-12 small sprigs of rosemary

– 9-12 thick slivers of garlic


– butcher’s twine

– meat thermometer that registers below 140 degrees Fahrenheit

– roasting pan with a rack

Beef Tips

– When purchasing a piece of prime rib from the butcher or grocery store, it’s wise to order in advance and reserve the best piece.  
– Ask for the “first cut,” which is the part of the prime rib closest to the loin rather than the shoulder.
– For a roast that makes a nice presentation, request the bones be “frenched” (cleaned and trimmed).
– A “three-rib” roast is approximately 10-11 lbs. and serves eight big eaters or 10 modest eaters. Expect to pay about $10 a pound for this luxurious cut of meat.


1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

2. Make several incisions into the surface of the meat with a paring knife. Insert a small piece of rosemary and a sliver of garlic into each incision.  

3. Tie the twine once around tightly between each bone of the prime rib.

4. Use your hands to rub the salt and pepper all over the meat, and place it in the pan.

5. When the oven is preheated, put the roast in. Cook at 450 degrees for 20 minutes. It may get smoky. Avoid opening the oven door too often to prevent the roast from drying and to maintain an even cooking temperature.

6. Turn the oven down to 325 degrees and cook for 90 minutes.

7. Check the temperature at the center of the roast with a meat thermometer.
                Savage rare is about 110 degrees
                Civilized rare is about 115 degrees
                Medium rare is about 120 degrees
                Medium is about 125 degrees
                Medium well is about 130 degrees
                Well done is about 135 degrees

8. When the roast has reached the desired internal temperature (which could take another hour), remove it from the oven.

9. Allow the roast to rest for a half hour before transferring to a cutting board.

10. Remove all twine. Use a long, thin straight-edged knife placed parallel to the cylindrical shape of the roast to carve the meat off the three bones, shaving as close to the bones as possible to remove all meat.