Prime rib is one of the most popular choices for Christmas Day dinner. The most important thing is that you have a high quality cut of meat to begin with, and the preparation is actually very simple if you follow these directions for my favorite dry herb rub. The combination of the fresh herbs and salt will create one of the most memorable prime ribs you have ever served. For the best results, the rub needs to sit on the rib for up to three days before cooking, so it’s important that you plan ahead.
1. First, spread French Dijon mustard onto the fat cap of the rib.
2. To prepare the dry herb rub, combine the following ingredients in a blender and puree:
• 1/2 cup fresh winter sage
• 1/2 cup fresh parsley
• 1/2 cup fresh rosemary
• 1/2 cup fresh wild thyme
• 2 cups salt
• 1/2 cup pepper
• 1/4 cup olive oil
3. Layer the dry herb rub over the mustard, pressing into the rib.
4. Once covered in the dry herb rub, wrap the entire prime rib in a piece of cheesecloth that has been oiled with vegetable oil. Let the wrapped prime rib sit in the refrigerator for three days before cooking.
5. On the day you plan to cook the prime rib, let it sit at room temperature for a few hours to ensure it cooks evenly.
6. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Cook the prime rib on a roasting pan for 30 minutes, and then turn the oven down to 350 degrees. Continue to cook for another two-and-a-half to three hours for a seven-bone rib. You may have to adjust the cooking time depending on the size of the prime rib you’re cooking. (Remove from the oven when the internal temperature reaches about 125 degrees.)
7. Remove the prime rib from the oven and allow it to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature. (Trust me, your prime rib will not get cold – letting it rest is critical to let the juices circulate through the meat.)
8. Once finished resting, carve your prime rib and serve with au jus beef stock poured over the top.
Howard Karp is the Executive Chef at The Culinary Institute of Montana at Flathead Valley Community College. For more information about the program, visit www.culinaryinstituteofmt.com.