This simply seasoned rib roast recipe makes a tender beef dish that stands out. Pair it with homemade horseradish sauce and you’ll be in tastebud heaven!

Rib Roast in a serving tray with sauce

What Is Rib Roast?

Rib roast (when referred to the cut of beef) is a cut that comes from the side of the cow, between the chuck and short loin (the space that holds the ribs). It is savory, finely textured, and is generously marbled. The rib roast section is fairly large, so it can be cut into “sub-sections”, which are often called the prime rib, standing rib roast, ribeye roast, and/or holiday roast. The rib roast is actually where ribeye steaks come from!

When talking about this rib roast recipe (the entrée), it is a generously seasoned cut of beef that is cooked slowly in the oven. The result is a tender, juicy, and flavorful protein dish that is easy enough for an everyday meal, yet fancy enough for holidays and celebrations.

Hot tip: Have you ever been confused by beef “grades”? The grade tells you about the meat’s potential tenderness and juiciness. If you’re looking to splurge in cost and flavor, buy “USDA prime grade.” For a slightly cheaper option, go with the “select” grade, and for the best of both worlds, choose the “choice” grade.

Rib Roast Video

How To Make Rib Roast & Horseradish Sauce

In case you’re not already drooling, you certainly will be after checking out how easy and quick it is to get this meat on your table. And — the horseradish sauce for the prime rib is a must! The steps may be crazy easy, but this will be one fancy meal.

Making the Rib Roast

  • Prepare the rub: Combine the oil, garlic, and mixed ground peppercorns (white, green, pink, and black pepper) in a small bowl. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Rub the beef generously: First, generously salt the roast all over. Then, press the rub into all sides of the roast.
  • Roast the beef: Place the roast fat side up into a baking dish or on the rack of a roasting pan. Roast for about 2.5 hours, or until it reaches your preferred doneness when checked with a meat thermometer.
  • Allow the roast to rest: Once done cooking, cover the roast with foil and allow it to rest on the counter for at least 15 minutes. Serve with your favorite sides and horseradish sauce.

Hot tip: To carve a bone-in roast, turn it on its side and remove the ribs. Hold the roast steady by grasping a piece of rib bone that is sticking out. Using a sharp knife, follow the curvature of the rib bones as closely as possible. Now that it is boneless, start carving the meat from one of the ends into ½ inch thick slices, going across the grain for maximum tenderness.

Making the Horseradish Sauce

  • Prepare the ingredients: Before making the sauce, peel and grate the horseradish, finely dice the fennel bulb, and chop the fresh fennel fronds.
  • Whisk the sauce together: Whisk the whipping cream until soft peaks form. Then, add in the horseradish, fennel bulb, and fennel fronds. Season to taste with salt.
  • Refrigerate: Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Approximate Prime Rib Roast Cooking Times

In case you’re wondering how long to cook your rib roast, take a look at this quick cheat sheet to plan your evening! Whether you have a bone-in or boneless cut, always cook at 350°F. For medium rare doneness, the internal temperature should reach 135°F, while for medium doneness it should be 145°F.

Bone-in Cooking Times

  • 4-6 Pounds (two ribs): 1 ¾ – 2 ¼ hours for medium rare or 2 ¼ – 2 ¾ hours for medium.
  • 6-8 Pounds (two to four ribs): 2 ¼ – 2 ½ hours for medium rare or 2 ½ – 3 hours for medium.
  • 8-10 Pounds (four to five ribs): 2 ½ – 3 hours for medium rare or 3 – 3 ½ hours for medium.

Boneless Cooking Times

  • 3-4 Pounds: 1 ½ – 2 hours for medium rare or 2 – 2 ¼ hours for medium.
  • 4-6 Pounds: 2 – 2 ¼ hours for medium rare or 2 ¼ – 2 1/2 hours for medium.
  • 6-8 Pounds: 2 ¼ – 2 ½ hours for medium rare or 2 ½ – 2 ¾ hours for medium.

Hot tip: Use a thermometer to take the guesswork out of gauging doneness. Use an oven-safe meat thermometer to avoid opening the oven unnecessarily and losing juices by repetitively poking the meat for doneness. However, if all you have is an instant-read thermometer, it will still work wonderfully.

Tips for Making the Perfect Prime Rib Roast

As festive and impressive rib roast is, it’s surprisingly simple to make. Follow these eight tips to make sure your roast takes front and center of your lunch and/or dinner table.

  • Opt for bone-in prime rib: We prefer bone-in prime rib/ribeye roast because the bone insulates the meat as it cooks and produces more flavorful and tender results. However, boneless is the ideal choice for those who want to take a shortcut from carving the meat.
  • Plan out the portion sizes: As a general rule of thumb, plan for one rib for every two people. For example, an 8-10 pound bone-in prime rib roast has about 4-5 ribs and serves 8-10 people or more. On the flip side, a 4-6 pound bone-in prime rib roast has two 2 ribs and serves 4-6 people.
  • Season the roast generously: Season the roast well to ensure the flavor is up to par. The more, the merrier! Add your favorite herbs like rosemary, dill, or thyme for more herby flavor.
  • Allow the roast to come to room temperature before cooking: A cold roast takes longer to cook, so take the meat out of the refrigerator about an hour before cooking. Feel free to season it while it is still cold to allow the flavor to permeate in.
  • Roast with the fat side up: The best way to roast prime rib is with the fat cap still on and fat side up. This keeps the beef from drying out while cooking.
  • Avoid covering the roast: The only time to cover the roast in the oven is if the outside crust is getting too dark while the inside is still cooking. Otherwise, leave it uncovered for maximum crisp.
  • Cook to your desired doneness: We prefer to cook rib roast to about medium-rare or medium doneness, but if you prefer more well done meat, keep it in the oven longer. Be aware the meat will be a little drier if cooked longer. Also, while the beef rests under an aluminum foil tent, it tends to cook an additional 10-15 degrees. Take this into account when determining your desired doneness.
  • Tent the roast after removing from the oven: Tent the meat with aluminum foil and allow it to rest for at least 15 minutes after cooking. It locks in the delicious juices!

What To Serve With Prime Rib Roast

Your beautifully cooked prime rib roast is guaranteed to shine as the star of dinner. Now — what about the side dishes? Our favorites are buttery and creamy mashed potatoes and vinegar-y marinated mushrooms. For a deluxe side, try these beautiful duchess potatoes. As a veggie option, greens beans or bacon brussels sprouts are a classic pairing. Or make a beet and goat cheese arugula salad for fresh flavor spin! Lastly, don’t forget about the deviled eggs– essential for any holiday spread!

Storage & Reheating

Depending on how large your cooked roast is, you may have a little or a lot of leftovers. Either way — we’ve got you covered with the best ways to keep your roast tasting fresh even after a few days.

  • Refrigerator: To store for up to four days, place the cooled roast into an airtight container and refrigerate. Or, for an even better result, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap so all the juices stay sealed in and don’t slowly build up in the bottom of the container.
  • Freezer: To freeze for up to six months, it is best to vacuum seal the roast in order to prevent freezer burn. We love this vacuum sealer. To thaw, place in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Reheat: To reheat cooked roast, warm the oven to 250°F, then add the sliced rib roast to a small pan. Pour in a few tablespoons of broth or water to add extra moisture to the roast. Cover with foil, then warm until the slices have heated through. For a fast reheat, the microwave is a good choice — however, the slices may turn out a bit more rubbery.

More Roast Recipes

About Author

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Natalya Drozhzhin

Natalya founded Momsdish to demonstrate that placing a homemade meal on the table is not hard at all. Natalya makes cooking easier and approachable, by simplifying the ingredients, while still producing the same great taste.