This holiday classic is all about technique—roast at a low temperature to ensure gently cooked meat with a medium-rare center. We kept the seasonings simple to allow the meat to star. Although called "prime" rib, there are few prime-grade beef rib roasts sold to consumers; most go to restaurants. The two grades just below prime, choice and select, are leaner than prime and still quite tasty. Ask your butcher to French the roast (that is, trim the meat to expose the bones).
1 (6 1/2-pound) rib-eye roast, French-cut and trimmed
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 325°.
Rub roast on all sides with salt and pepper. Place roast, bone side down, in a roasting pan. Loop and tie twine between each of the bones (to help the roast hold its shape as it cooks). Bake at 325° for 2 hours or until a thermometer inserted into thickest portion of roast registers 130° or until desired degree of doneness. Remove from oven. Place roast on a cutting board. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Wine note: Cabernet sauvignon is the go-to partner for red meat. However, there's another red grape that offers similar power at a great value: malbec. Zette Malbec 2003 ($12) from France has potent blackberry and black cherry fruit along with enough dry tannins to balance the juiciness and fat of the beef. —Jeffery Lindenmuth
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I ordered the prime rib ahead of time for Christmas dinner because I read to request it be French trimmed. Christmas Day I opened it up and the bones were cut right off, so I didn't know what to do with it. I guess you need to show the butcher an actual picture of the recipe. It took an extra hour to get up to 130 degrees, and then it still looked nothing like the picture - it was bleeding all over the place, I was afraid to feed it to the kids. A very expensive piece of meat.
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