Perfectly Cooked Prime Rib

Wednesday 23 December 2020


One thing I used to cook regularly for the family I worked for when I worked at Brenchley Manor was roasted Prime Rib.  They really enjoyed having it when they were celebrating and it was often on the menu when they had family coming down from London for the weekend. 
I developed a technique for cooking Prime Rib that turned out perfectly every time. There is something for everyone in a properly cooked Prime Rib Roast.
You get beautiful ends that are somewhat well done for the person who can't stand pink in their meat. You also get beautifully cooked, medium to medium rare slices for the person who prefers their meat done that way.

With it being the holidays/Christmas many people choose to have a Prime rib for their celebratory dinner rather than a turkey. Prime Rib is my favourite cut when it comes to roast beef, but it can be really pricey.  The cost of it means that you want to be able to cook it to perfection without ruining it. 

A full rack can be quite large.  I usually plan on one rib per two people, which is perfectly ample and if you have smaller eaters, you can even plan on three people per rib.  I usually buy a two rib roast. However if you want to err on the side of generosity, plan on two people per rib and buy accordingly

One thing which is really nice about Prime Rib is that it is well marbelised with fat, which usually gives you a nice and tender roast. 

As with any roast that you are dry roasting you will want to bring it to room temperature before you begin. Never roast a piece of meat directly from the refrigerator. 

Cooking from room temperature means that your roast will cook more evenly through. It also results in a shorter cooking time, which means that your roast maintains more of its moisture during cooking, which results in a juicier finish. 

Chilled meat needs to spend more time exposed to the heat.  This can cause the outer parts of the roast to overcook, which is a huge no/no! 

Perfectly Cooked Prime Rib

My technique involves rubbing a delicious mixture of maple and mustard into a very well seasoned piece of meat.  Don't be afraid to use a generous amount of salt when you are roasting your meat.  As it cooks the fat from the meat will largely wash a lot of the salt away. 

Salt means flavour.  So do be generous.  Be generous with the pepper as well. Trust me on this. If you like you can stab down into the roast at intervals and add slivers of garlic, but it really isn't necessary. 

You will find your roast to be perfect with just the liquid massage and the seasoning. The fact is this salt and pepper are not going to penetrate your roast.  They will merely give you a tasty coating for your finished meat. 

Don't be repeatedly stabbing your roast after you start to cook it. this will cause those delicious juices to escape and your plan here is to keep them in the meat. You can stick a meat thermometer into it near the end of the cook time to check the internal temperature, but no more than that.


If I have a boneless roast I will often roast it on a trivet of raw vegetables.  Carrots, celery, onions.  This helps to keep the meat above the fat in the pan and also helps to flavour the juices for the gravy.

I never cook a Prime Rib beyond medium rare.  Because they are usually large cuts of beef, cooking it beyond medium rare will result in a less than tender finish.  I suggest if you don't like medium rare meat, you choose a Bottom round or Sirloin Roast. It will be a lot cheaper as well.

This method of cooking works well with any roast you want to dry roast. I have used it on rump and sirloin roasts many times to perfection.

Perfectly Cooked Prime Rib

It is really important to let your meat rest for a period of time after it is finished roasting.  Take it out of the oven and loosely tent it with some aluminium foil.  Leave it to rest while you finish up making a gravy.

Carving your roast before it has properly rested means that your roast will lose a lot of its flavourful juices. You want it to sit and as it rests, re-absorb some of that juicy flavour. About 30  minutes does the job wonderfully.

When you roast a piece of meat in a hot oven, that causes many of the juices to move to the outer edges of the meat, basting it. The meat also contracts in the heat of the oven causing it to force the juices out to the outer edges.

Slicing into the meat right away causes all of those flavour filled juices to escape and spill out onto your cutting board. You really don't want to lose them.

Perfectly Cooked Roast Beef

Perfectly Cooked Roast Beef

Yield: Variable
Author: Marie Rayner
This is more of a technique than it is a recipe. There is a lot more to cooking a roast than just banging into an oven. Whilst it is also very simple to cook, there is a proper way to do it and helps and tips that can produce the perfect roast every time. (if you follow them!) First of all, allow approximately 350g or 12 ounces of meat per portion.


  • 8 to 10 pound wing, rib or strip loin roast of beef
  • 2 TBS prepared English Mustard
  • 1 TBS maple syrup
  • 4 TBS water
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 TBS of beef dripping


  1. I think it's best to cook meat always from room temperature so plan ahead and take your meat out of the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before you plan on cooking it. Pre-heat your oven to 250*C/480*F.
  2. Mix together the water, mustard and maple syrup. Massage this mixture into the meat on all sides. This concoction will help to flavour and colour your meat. (Trust me here.) After you have massaged most of it in, or as much as you can, season your meat liberally all over with the salt and pepper. The fat will largely wash off a large portion of it so more is better. Always season just prior to cooking it as well, to prevent the salt from drawing out the blood and juices.
  3. Heat a heavy based roasting tray over high heat with the dripping inside. (If you have no dripping a knob of butter will do.) Once the fat is hot, lower the beef into it to commence the browning process, lightly browning it on all sides.
  4. Lower the oven temperature to 220*C/425*F. Roast the beef in it for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and baste with the pan juices. Lower the temperature to 180*C/350*F. Return the beef to the oven and roast for a further 15 minutes per pound of beef, plys an extra 15 minutes. The end result will be a perfectly cooked joint, pink in the middle without being overdone.
  5. Once the meat is cooked allow a further 30 minutes resting time in a turned off oven or a warm place.
  6. This resting time is very important. This helps the juices and the temperature of your meat to stabilize and relax, which helps to make the meat much more succulent and easier to carve. When you cut into hot meat alot of the delicious juices escape, and we really don't want that.
  7. I often roast my meat on a bed of root vegetables . . . chunky carrots, parsnips, onions. This helps to raise the meat above the fat in the roasting tin and prevents it from frying instead of roasting, not to mention it gives a lovely flaour to the juices and the gravy!
  8. To make a delicious gravy, add some liquid to the pan, once the meat has been removed and set aside to warm. (leave the vegetables in the pan) Your liquid can be some beef stock, or even a bit of red wine. It's your choice. Cook and stir, scraping up from the bottom to get all your brown bits etc. Strain this into a saucepan, removing all the solids. Skim any fat off of the top.
  9. I then shake some flour together with some water in a jar until it's smooth and I strain this back into the pan juices in the saucepan. I then cook it over medium heat, stirring constantly until it thickens. Leave to cook over low heat for at least five minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Place in a gravy boat and pass with the meat.
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Perfectly Cooked Roast Beef

This method of roasting beef can be used for any kind of beef roast. Here is an example of me having used it for a bottom round roast. (As well as in the recipe illustration, where you can see it sliced.) 

Now that you have your roast done to perfection you may want to think about some tasty side dishes. Myself, I love a nice salad, some fluffy mashed potatoes and a bowl of horseradish sauce.  

Perfect Potatoes

I did a post several years ago called Potatoes 101. In it I shared how to cook one of my favourite vegetables several ways, including mashed, roasted, boiled, Dauphinoise, chipped etc.

You can access that post by clicking HERE

Genius Yorkshire Puddings

 We also enjoy Yorkshire Puddings with our roast beef.  Crisp and light with perfect little pockets for holding all of that delicious gravy.

These turn out perfect every time and we love them. You can find that recipe HERE. It is my late Father In Law's recipe. He was an army cook and they are excellent. 

Other than that some delicious vegetables which we enjoy with Roast Beef are Carrots, Brussels Sprouts, Green Beans, Aspagarus, etc.  I also love mashed or boiled turnips.

You don't really need dinner rolls as you have the Yorkshire Puddings, but my Old Fashioned Pull Apart Rolls are awfully nice. Just saying.

Above all have fun and don't stress overly much about it.  Just enjoy and look forward to being able to feed your family a fabulously tasty dinner at the end of it all.  

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  1. Thanks for the lesson in roasting prime rib, Marie. It looks delicious. I don't mind spending extra if I know it is going to be nice and tender. I think I'll plan on making one for New Year's Day following your instructions. Love and hugs, Elaine

    1. You are very welcome Elaine! It is one of my favourite things and a rare treat, Prime Rib. I hope you really enjoy this method of cooking it! Love and hugs, xoxo

  2. I have never made prime rib so extra thanks for this lesson. It looks beautiful, too. What a treat.

    Sending all good Merry Christmas wishes to you. 2020 has done a number on a lot of us but I think you are right at the top of the list for a topsy turvy, upsetting year. My wish for you is that as you resettle in Canada you will find joy and contentment and the love and support of so many who care for you.

    Sending hugs north across the border!

    1. Thank you so much Jeanie! All the best for you and Rick in 2021! xoxo

  3. This looks absolutely divine. If I cook this my cooking quotient will increase 100% at least.

  4. Your recipe is just perfect, Marie. I made one for my Christmas dinner for just my husband and I. I wish I had your recipe for the maple syrup topping. I had very little juices to make a gravy or Yorkshire pudding. Otherwise, I started at 475 and reduced to 325. Loved it.

    Cheers to a new year and good food!


    1. Sounds great Jane! Happy New Year to you and yours. Stay happy and healthy! 2021 has to be a better year! xoxo


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