Most of us cook prime rib only once a year, if that, and don’t want to risk experimenting with the cooking method—especially when the results are no better than mediocre. We thought that a special-occasion roast deserved better and wanted to find the best way to get the juicy, tender, rosy meat that prime rib should have. The principal question for roasting prime rib was oven temperature, and our research turned up a wide range of recommendations. Most delivered meat that was well-done on the outside but increasingly rare toward the center—not too bad, but not exactly great. Surprisingly, the roast we cooked at a temperature of only 250 degrees was rosy from the center all the way out. Additionally, it retained more juice than a roast cooked at a higher temperature, and the internal temperature rose less during resting, so we had more control over the final degree of doneness. Searing before roasting gave us a crusty brown exterior. For seasoning, prime rib needs nothing more than salt and pepper. Now that we’d found a dependable cooking method, we could serve this once-a-year roast with confidence.
Serves 6 to 8
Even if you don't purchase the roast a week ahead of time as the instructions suggest, even a day or two of aging in the refrigerator will help.
1 first-cut beef rib roast, 3 ribs (about 7 pounds), set at room temperature for 3 hours, tied twice between the rib bones (see illustration below)
Salt and ground black pepper