Nothing says Christmas to me more than a standing prime rib roast with mashed potatoes and gravy. Over the past few years, my Mom and I have been tweaking the recipe slightly to make the quintessential cooked hunk of meat. For two year's now, we've achieved perfection, so I'm going to share it with you.
We started this year with about 7.5 lbs of bone-in prime rib roast. We watch the sales for this prime piece of meat and wrap it well in plastic wrap and butcher's paper before freezing it for our Christmas Eve meal. We slowly defrosted it in the fridge and then brought it to room temperature before cooking.
As we want the taste of the meat to come through, we do not marinate the meat or coat it in herbs. We simply give it a light coating of olive oil and then a sprinkle of salt while the oven was preheated to 500° F. As soon as the roast was in the oven, the temperature was dropped to 325° F.
My Mom likes her meat to be very rare (almost blue), while Dad prefers medium rare and I'm a little in between. Therefore, we cooked it 15 minutes per pound for 2 hours and 15 minutes or until the thermometer rose to 115° F degrees. We did this because we knew we would have about 10 degrees of carry over cooking to bring it around 125° F (medium rare) - in fact, our carryover went to 123° F. By doing it this way, both ends were just right for Dad, the next layer in was wonderful for me and the bloody interior was Shangri-lah for Mom.
As you can see from the above picture, there isn't a ring of gray, overcooked meat along the outside that you get if you pan sear prior to cooking and both the crust and interior are cooked to perfection.
The pan drippings and meat juices from while it was resting were used to make a wonderful gravy. The camellia centerpiece came from the shrubs along my Dad's driveway.
Happy holidays from my family to yours! May you never leave the table hungry for anything but conversation!
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