While it remains a favorite of carnivores, very few cooks attempt to make prime rib, wrongly assuming it is difficult when actually it is one of the easiest cuts of meat to cook correctly.
The correct name for prime rib is actually a standing rib roast, since the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA ) Food Standards and Labeling Guide does not require this particular cut of meat "to be derived from USDA prime rib grade beef".
The traditional method to make prime rib is to rub the outside with salt and seasonings and use dry, low heat for a slow roast. However, using a salt crust allows the meat to roast evenly and retain most of its moisture, creating a perfect, juicy main course.
- 5-6 egg whites
- 3 pounds kosher salt
- 1 8-10 pound prime rib roast (leave fat cap in place)
- Pepper (fresh coarsely cracked is best)
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- Olive Oil
- 2 large bowls
- Heavy duty aluminum foil
- Roasting pan
- Oven safe digital thermometer
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Add 21/3 pounds salt to a large bowl.
- Add 5 egg whites and use your hands to mix the salt and egg whites together. The consistency of the mixture should be thick and cement like, able to be formed into a ball that holds its shape.
- Line the bottom and sides of a roasting pan large enough to hold the roast with heavy duty aluminum foil.
- Place 1/2"-3/4" of the salt mixture in the bottom of the roasting pan.
- Place roast in second bowl and sprinkle with black pepper and leaves from rosemary.
- Very lightly drizzle olive oil over roast and rub in making sure pepper and rosemary remain on roast.
- Place roast in roasting pan on top of layer of salt, fat cap up. (Optional) Insert digital thermometer probe into thickest part of the roast, placing tip into center of roast.
- Encase roast in 1/2 " thick layer of remaining salt.
- Place roasting pan in oven and cook to an inner temperature of 135 degrees if using a thermometer or 25 to 30 minutes per pound. This is for medium rare.
- Remove from oven and let rest for 30 minutes.
- Crack the crust open with a hammer and remove the roast. Discard the salt crust and slice and serve the meat.
Using this method of cooking to make prime rib results in a tender, juicy roast perfect for serving with horseradish sauce and mashed potatoes. In England, Yorkshire Puddings, a bread dish, is a traditional accompaniment as well.