Standing Prime Rib Roast

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There are very few dishes that have the level of ‘wow’ factor that this roast does.

It is, without doubt, one of those “special occasion” meals, perfect as a centerpiece for a holiday feast.  We’re not going to lie, it’s not a cheap cut of meat, but the results are truly spectacular, and you will be surprised at how simple it is to prepare.  We even show you a couple of amazing sauces to serve with it.  Get ready folks…we’re going to show you how to impress loved ones at the dinner table like never before!  

A fully cooked standing prime rib roast sitting upright on a white platter surrounded by fresh herbs.

How To Make a Standing Prime Rib Roast

You may be wondering, is standing rib roast the same as prime rib?

We’re going to walk you through all these questions and arm you with the easy-to-follow steps to make the best prime rib you ever had or served.

 

How To Order a Prime Rib Roast

Let’s first review the grades of beef as defined by the USDA in the United States: Prime, Choice, and Select.

Prime – The highest grade in the US, produced in limited quantities
Choice – Contains less marbling than Prime but more than Select
Select – Leaner and less tender than the first two, still high-grade meat

This terminology can be a little confusing when looking to purchase a prime rib roast. The word ‘prime’ for this roast actually refers to the primal rib section of the cow which is where the roast comes from.

You can order a “Prime” prime rib roast or a “Choice” prime rib roast. Standing means “with bones.” You can buy a boneless roast, but it won’t be a standing rib roast.

A standing prime rib roast can be found in gourmet food markets or ordered with your local butcher (our favorite option), or online with merchants like D’Artagnan or Kansas City Steaks.

EXPERT TIP: This roast is truly so flavorful, it does not require a lot of additional seasoning. A liberal application of coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper is enough. We like to rub on a softened butter mixed with fresh herbs and garlic just before roasting. This helps create a deeply flavorful and crispy exterior. We recommend seasoning the meat the night before and then letting the roast sit on the counter for two hours before adding the butter compound and roasting.

A person adding salt and pepper to a standing prime rib roast in a roasting pan, and then brushing it with an herbed butter compound.

How To Cook Prime Rib

To deliver a perfectly and evenly cooked roast, we highly recommend using what is referred to as a “reverse sear” method of cooking the roast.

Instead of starting off with a hot oven at first, we’re going to go low and slow and then finish the roast off in a super hot oven for just about 6 to 8 minutes to get the perfect sear.

This low and slow method cooks the roast evenly throughout and then the high-temperature sear at the end creates that desirable crust on the outside.

EXPERT TIP: Classic prime rib is served medium rare (125°F to 130°F) or medium (135°F to 140°F). An instant-read thermometer is critical to ensure you’ve reached the desired internal temperature. For a 6 to 7 lb, 3 bone roast, you’ll need about 3 to 4 hours of baking at 250°F. At this point, the roast can (and should) rest for a minimum of 30 minutes, and up to 90 minutes, before adding back into the super-hot oven. 

A standing prime rib roast fully cooked in a roasting pan on a cutting board.

How To Remove the Bones

Although you can purchase a roast without bones, we recommend purchasing one with the bones.

The bones don’t necessarily impart a lot of flavor to the roast, but more importantly, they act as an insulator for the roast, allowing for an extra juicy cut of meat.

EXPERT TIP: If ordering the roast from your butcher, you can ask him/her to cut the bones away from the roast for you, and then tie them back into place with string. If not, after the roast has had it’s final high-temperature sear, simply use a large sharp knife to cut the bones away from the roast. It’s really easier to do than you might think.

A person pulling the bones away from a prime rib roast that have been held in place by kitchen twine.

What to Serve With

As mentioned, the roast is absolutely perfectly delectable to eat once seared and bones removed.

However, if you want to up the ante a bit, we recommend making a heavenly creamy horseradish sauce.

It’s made with heavy cream, crème fraîche, Dijon mustard, white wine vinegar, fresh dill and parsley, and of course, prepared horseradish.

EXPERT TIP: This creamy horseradish sauce is better after it’s had time to meld the flavors in an enclosed jar in the fridge for a day or two before serving. Simply mix everything in a small bowl and then transfer it to a jar with a lid.

A medium-sized glass bowl filled with a creamy horseradish sauce with a whisk in it.

An au jus sauce is also a perfect accompaniment for the roast and it comes together quickly once the meat is out of the oven.

First, add red wine (1/4 cup) with 1 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce in a medium saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until reduced in half, about 4 minutes.

Strain the juices from the roasting pan into the saucepan. Add 1½ cups of beef broth and simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes, until slightly reduced. Season with a healthy pinch a Kosher salt. Use a fat separator to remove excess grease, or skim it out with a spoon. Transfer the sauce to a serving bowl and pass at the table. The au jus can be kept warm in the saucepan until ready to serve.

A saucepan filled with homemade au jus sauce with a wooden spoon in it.

How To Slice

The standing roast is truly a spectacular centerpiece on your holiday table.

As soon as the roast comes out of the oven, you can immediately transfer it to a serving platter, standing upwards, with the bones towering about the meat.

EXPERT TIP: If the roast is held together with twine, use a sharp pair of kitchen shears to snip the strings away and then let the bones fall away. Use a carving knife and fork to cut ¼-inch to ½-inch slices. This can be done at the table, or before you serve it. If slicing before you serve, simply cut all the cuts of roast and place on a platter then bring to the table.

A large beef roast on a cutting board with a slice cut away from the roast.

There is just something magical that happens when that homemade au jus sauce drizzles over the slice of roast.

As mentioned, the meat is so incredibly flavorful and tender, it really doesn’t need much more than a sprinkling of coarse sea salt.

But, the au jus honestly puts it over the top.

A hand drizzling au jus sauce over a slice of prime rib roast on a plate.

And then, of course, the combination of the perfectly cooked roast with the tangy and deeply flavorful creamy horseradish sauce is just unbelievable.

We love to give each guest their own little bowl of horseradish sauce, so they can add as little or as much as they wish. 

A hand spooning a small dollop of creamy horseradish sauce over a slice of prime rib.

The Ultimate Holiday Roast

If you’ve ever thought about making a standing prime rib roast but you were too nervous to invest in it because you worried about not preparing correctly…Lay those fears to rest.

This is a fool-proof technique that will produce restaurant-quality results every single time.

We love to serve this show-stopper of a roast with our Best Mashed Potatoes and Maple-Braised Brussels Sprouts or slow-cooked green beans. 

A white dinner plate filled with a slice of roast beef next to helping of mashed potatoes and green beans.

Ready to make the most stunning (and delicious) holiday roast of all time? Go for it! You can do it!

And when you do, be sure to take a photo of it, post it on Instagram, and tag @HowToFeedaLoon and hashtag #HowToFeedaLoon!

A fully cooked standing prime rib roast sitting upright on a white platter surrounded by fresh herbs.

Standing Prime Rib Roast

If there was ever a show-stopper to end all show-stoppers for roasts, this would undoubtedly be the one. A 6 to 7 pound roast (with 3 bones) will easily feed up to 8 guests. The homemade au jus and creamy horseradish sauce put it over the top. Don't be intimidated by this roast...follow these steps and you'll have a perfectly cooked prime rib that will blow your guests away!
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Entree
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Holiday Roast, how to carve prime rib, how to cook a standing prime rib roast
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Chilling and resting time: 10 hours
Total Time: 14 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 268kcal

Equipment

  • Roasting pan with a roasting rack

Ingredients

For the Roast

  • 1 6 -7 lb standing prime rib roast with 3 bones
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 tsp rosemary fresh, chopped
  • 1 tsp thyme fresh, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed, or finely minced
  • 1 cup beef broth

For the Creamy Horseradish Sauce

  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup creme fraiche or sour cream
  • 3 tbsp prepared horseradish sauce
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp dill fresh, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup parsley fresh, chopped
  • ½ tsp Kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper freshly ground

For the Au Jus

  • ¼ cup red wine
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • cups beef broth

Instructions

Prep the Roast

  • Several hours in advance of roasting, or even better, the night beroe, liberally salt and pepper the roast all over. Place on a roasting rack in a roasting pan and place in the refrigerator, uncovered.
  • Two hours before roasting, remove the roast from the refrigerator and place it on the counter.
  • Meanwhile, use a fork to mix together the softened butter, rosemary, thyme, and garlic in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 250°F.
  • Rub the butter/herb mixture all over the roast. Pour the beef broth into the bottom of the roasting pan. Place the roast (in the pan on the rack) in the oven (uncovered) and roast until an instant-read thermometer reaches 125°F for medium-rare or 130°F for medium. (The roast will continue cooking as it rests, it typically will increase another 5 degrees).
  • Remove the roast from the oven and loosely tent with foil for at least 30 minutes, or up to 1½ hours.

Make the Creamy Horseradish Sauce

  • While the roast is in the oven, or even better, 1 or 2 days in advance: In a medium-sized bowl, mix together all of the ingredients of the creamy horseradish sauce until fully incorporated. Transfer to a jar or container with an air-tight lid and place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Make the Au Jus

  • After the roast has come out of the oven for the initial cooking, add the wine and Worcestershire sauce in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Place a sieve over the saucepan and pour in the drippings from the roasting pan (you'll need to carefully remove the roast from the pan to do this. Add the roast back to the roasting rack after pouring the drippings).
  • Simmer the wine mixture until slightly reduced, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the beef broth and cook on high for another 10 to 15 minutes until reduced by about a third. The sauce will still be thin, but slightly thickened. Season with a pinch of salt.
  • Pour into a fat separator, or skim the grease from the top of the liquid, and then transfer it into a serving vessel.

Finish the Roast and Serve

  • Turn the oven to the highest setting, 500°F or 550°F.
  • Place the roast (in the roasting pan) back into the oven and cook until darkened and crispy on the outside, about 6 to 8 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven. If the roast is held together with string, use kitchen shears to cut them away and remove the bones. If the bones are attached to the roast, run a sharp knife down the side of the roast, between the bones and the meat, until the bones fall away.
  • Use a carving knife to slice the roast into ¼-inch or ½-inch slices. Serve at once with au jus and creamy horseradish sauce passed at the table.

Video

Notes

If you go with a boneless prime rib roast, follow the recipe as is, and remove the roast from the oven when an internal temperature reaches 125°F for medium-rare or 130°F for medium.  
Prime cuts of prime rib can be found at many well-stocked butchers or ordered online.  Chuck grade of prime rib is still extremely delicious, and less expensive. 
No need to cover the roast while cooking in the oven for the low-temp cooking or the high-temp sear. 
When you remove the roast from the low-temperature oven, be sure to allow it to rest for at least 30 minutes or up to 1½ hours. Tent with foil.  The roast will continue to cook and increase approx. 5 more degrees.
You can ask your butcher to cut the bones away for you, and then have them tied back into place with kitchen twine.   Or, you can use a large, sharp knife to cut the bones away from roast after the high-temperature searing. 
If desired, you can leave the bones and cut the roast into large chops.  Each chop will have about 2 lbs of meat and would serve at least 2 people. (We recommend removing the bones and slicing). 
The horseradish sauce can be made up to 2 days in advance.  In fact, the sauce gets better after sitting in an air-tight container in the fridge for at least 24 hours. 
If you prefer, you can make the au just sauce directly in the roasting pan.  Simply place the pan on the stove over medium heat.  Follow the recipe as written, straining the sauce before serving. 

Nutrition

Calories: 268kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 460mg | Potassium: 89mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 554IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg
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18 Comments

  • I have been meaning to write to you to thank you so much for this absolutely delicious recipe! You two really know your stuff. This has to be the best Prime Rib I’ve ever eaten. It’s so close to our favorite restaurant that makes it. My 15 year old wants to know when we are having it again, lol! And he is picky! I really enjoy your recipes and your videos. You guys are the best and my family thanks you! Xoxo! Wish I could post a picture to show you! Let me know of you have an email and I will send pics!

    • Hi Leslie!! That is so amazing to hear!! We are thrilled you and the family enjoyed the standing prime rib! It’s pretty stellar, right??!! And thank you so much for letting us know!! You can always send us pictures or send thoughts to: info@howtofeedaloon.com. All the very best, Kris & Wesley

  • Being at home during covid away from our family we decided to try cooking Prime Rib for the first time. Normally my dad cooks it but we sadly couldn’t be together this Christmas. We were nervous but since I haven’t made a recipe of yours yet I don’t love we decided to give it a go. This was hands down the most delicious and beautiful prime rib we’ve ever eaten. We may have to take over the cooking of the Prime Rib.;) My husband is still raving about how perfectly cooked this was. Thank you so much. Your videos are always so fun and helpful as well. ❤️

    • Hi Patricia! We can’t express enough how much this means to us…especially during these difficult times. We are over-the-moon excited that you had such amazing success with the standing prime rid roast. And thank you SO MUCH for letting us know!! Happy New Year to you and your loved ones!! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • Followed your recipe for Standing Rib Roast…ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS and looked GORGEOUS!!!
    Love u both!!
    Sandra G.
    NY

    • Hi Sandra!! That is AMAZING to hear!! We are over-the-moon excited that you had such incredible success with the standing prime rib!! Congratulations!!! Happy New Year!!! All the very best, Kris & Wesley

  • 5 stars
    Made your standing rib on Christmas and it was absolutely the best thing I have ever made. I couldn’t believe it was gone the next day! I will make this on every special occasion we have.
    Thank you both for sharing your wonderful recipes with us!

    Judy Palmer

  • 5 stars
    I just made this for Christmas dinner and it is wonderful! Absolutely wonderful! It is so moist and tender and flavorful and with au jus sauce it is just to die for! My whole family thanks you guys for another great recipe! Merry Christmas loons!

    • Hi Chendria! So so sorry for the delayed response! We could not be more thrilled that you had such major success with the standing prime rib!! We hope you and your family had a glorious Christmas and wishing you the most wonderful 2021!! Thank you for you support, and stay in touch in the new year! Lots more fun and food on the way!! xoxoxo Kris & Wesley

  • Hi guys… firstly a Very Merry Christmas to you both and your loved ones. Regardless of a myriad of challenges, I am determined to make this season as celebratory as possible for my family and the cherry on top is going to be your standing prime rib roast on Christmas day. I will let you know how it turns out. However, I have one question. How long does the low and slow portion of the roast take in your estimation. I dont have a digital thermometer like yours. I have the regular one that you have to open the oven to read. But I don’t want to keep opening the oven door as that will keep letting the heat out. Cheers and look forward to your response.

    • Hi there Veruschka! Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones!! And thank you so much for your kind words! That means the world to us. For timing the roast, if you go with a 3 bones, 6 to 7 lb roast, this is going to take between 3 and 4 hours. Just to be safe, start checking after 2 hours, and then in 30-minute intervals. This will make sure everything is cooking okay, but you won’t have to open the oven that much. Have a beautiful and safe Christmas, and please let us know how it turns out!! And let us know if you have any questions! We’ll answer in a much more timely manner next, time, we promise!! LOL!! Best, Kris & Wesley

      • Thank you for this question and answer. I have mine in the oven now (so excited) but was wondering about the cooking time as well. I have never cooked a standing rib roast before and I am nervous with the low temp but I trust your recipes so I am trying this!

      • 5 stars
        Hello Kris and Wesley… Merry Christmas to you both. I just wanted to let you know that the recipe turned out PERFECTLY. IT WAS SO DELICIOUS. The family loved it. Thank you again for an awesome recipe.

  • 5 stars
    Hi ☺️ I found your site awhile ago when I was searching for chicken francese recipes and I’ve made yours ever since, so thank you! I’ve been making prime rib roasts for a few years but have never used the reverse method….is it necessary to let it sit between low to high temp, or can I cook it on low, turn the temp up, then let it rest?

    Thanks in advance and happy holidays!

    • Hi Dianna! So so so sorry for the delayed response!! First of all, we are so thrilled you found us (via the chicken francese) and that you have had such great success with the recipe! One of our favorites, for sure! Regarding the prime rib, we do recommend taking the roast out of the oven, to at least allow the time for the temp to increase from 250 to 550. This will also allow the juices to redistribute somewhat before that final blast of super hot air which really just helps create that crusty exterior. All of this really works well for cooking evenly. You’re probably thinking about oven space and timing of other dishes, and we TOTALLY understand that. As mentioned, you can let the roast sit for up to 90 minutes before putting it back in for the final sear. We hope this helps somewhat and we wish you the happiest of holidays!! xoxo Kris & Wesley

  • 5 stars
    Hi guys and thank you so much for posting this, I wanted to make a standing rib for Christmas and started looking for recipes last night but got frustrated and stopped. I knew you would post one soon and this looks so delicious….I can’t wait to make this for Christmas. I do have a question, do you cover the roast while it is cooking?

    • Hi Judy!! Yay!! That’s so great to hear. This is truly a show-stopper of a Christmas feast centerpiece. No, there’s no need to cover the roast while cooking at any time. Since the temp is nice and low, it just gently browns perfectly. And then gets perfectly dark and crispy in the final high temp sear! Let us know how it turns out and Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones!!! All the best, Kris & Wesley

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