Photo: James Baigrie; Styling: Karen Shinto
Total Time
3 Hours
Resting Time
1 Hour 30 Mins
Serves 8, with plenty of leftovers

Packing a prime rib roast in a salt crust keeps it moist and makes those richly seasoned end pieces hot items at the table. This herb-crusted prime rib looks gourmet and is full of flavor.

How to Make It

Step 1

Rinse roast and pat dry. With a small, sharp knife, make small slits all over the meat, and insert a piece of garlic in each.

Step 2

In a small bowl, combine olive oil, herbs, and pepper. Rub mixture all over meat, wrap airtight, and chill overnight.

Step 3

Remove beef from refrigerator 1 hour before roasting. Preheat oven to 450°. Set roast, fatty side up, in a roasting pan. In a small bowl, mix salt with 2 tbsp. cold water to moisten. Press mixture over the fatty side and the ends of meat.

Step 4

Roast for 25 minutes, then lower oven temperature to 350°. Continue roasting until a thermometer inserted into the center of thickest part of meat reaches 125° for rare (or 130° for medium-rare; the ends will be more done), 1 1/2 to 2 hours longer. Let rest in a warm place 30 to 40 minutes.

Step 5

Scrape as much salt off roast as you can. Cut string holding meat and bones together. Transfer roast to a cutting board, cut into 1/3- to 1/2-in.-thick slices, and arrange on a platter. Cut between bones and add them to platter. Serve with Fresh Horseradish Sauce.

Step 6

*For easy carving, have the butcher cut the rib-eye muscle from the bones, then tie the meat and bones back together for roasting.

Step 7

THE WINE: Serve Cabs in a range of prices (see Wine Picks, below), and play the high-low game: Have people choose their favorite and guess the price. You'll be surprised at what comes out on top.

Step 8

Wine Picks: Cab Choices for the Main Event:

Step 9

Robert Sinskey Vandal Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 (Los Carneros, Napa Valley; $48). Lively cassis and dark berries play over a foresty bed of juniper, cedar, and mocha flavors.

Step 10

Robert Sinskey "SLD" Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 (Stags Leap District, Napa Valley; $85). The winery's showcase wine-elegantly structured, with complex layers of dark plums and cherries, cedar, and espresso.

Step 11

Spottswoode "Lyndenhurst" Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 (St. Helena, Napa Valley; $60). A plush wine with classic cassis, dark chocolate, a touch of cedar, and fine tannins.

Step 12

The Girls in the Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 (Red Hills, Lake County; $20). A great-value, fruit-driven Cab made by old friends of the Sinskeys. A little mint and a few herbs lurk under juicy black cherries.

Step 13

Note: Nutritional analysis is per 6-oz. serving without sauce.

Ratings & Reviews

sirrah231's Review

November 15, 2012
Here's the link to the Fresh Horseradish Sauce, also appeared in the November 2008 issue of Sunset:

schapstick's Review

December 29, 2011
Ummmm where's the recipe for the Fresh Horseradish Sauce ??

kimbabe's Review

December 29, 2011
I've made this for several years in a row now, at Christmas, and each time it is a huge hit. My husband claims it rivals any $$$ prime rib he's eaten at restaurants. Seriously yummy!

Bianca09's Review

December 26, 2011
Delicious! This was my first prime rib and it was so easy and came out so tender everyone was happy. I needed to scrape off a little more salt as it had some pieces that were too much but other than that this is definitely worthy of a special occasion!

Vixcancook's Review

December 27, 2008
Hands down the best prime rib recipe I have ever made and probably the best prime rib I have ever had! It was tender, juicy and cooked beautifully. Definitely a keeper! You can barbecue this recipe too! ] Here is the link to the Horseradish sauce! I found it.