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Chef John's Perfect Prime Rib Recipe

Prime rib cooked and sliced medium rare
My mouth starts to water just thinking about perfectly prepared prime rib dripped in au jus sauce. As a kid, my favorite place to go with my parents was Lawry's Prime Rib in downtown Chicago. Don't forget all those scrumptious Lawry's a la carte sides. For my dad's 72nd birthday last October, I recreated Lawry's family style menu with a dry aged Prime Ribeye Roast from Wegmans, twice baked potatoes stuffed with bacon, creamed spinach, and of course, Yorkshire pudding. I plan to make prime rib for New Year's Eve and wanted to share a fool-proof perfect prime rib recipe. Scroll down for the directions.

The Sides

Yorkshire pudding in tin - Golden Nugget Gourmet

I had intended to make Yorkshire pudding from scratch, but my dad had a box of Original Yorkshire Pudding Mix on hand and I decided to risk it and take the easy way out. Wow, mind blown. They came out fantastic and are totally legit since they were made in our authentic Jordan Pond House (Bar Harbor, Maine) popover pan. Forget from scratch, I'm sticking with this boxed mix.

Creamed spinach - Golden Nugget Gourmet

Above is creamed spinach from a copycat Morton's Steakhouse recipe from the blog Dinner Then Dessert. I have since found an original Lawry's recipe and will be using it for this New Year's Eve. I let you know how it goes!

How much prime rib should you buy? The guideline for a standing rib (bones in) is one rib per 2 people. A standard two rib roast (4 people) is approximately 4 lbs. Below are Chef John's directions for a 4 lb prime rib roast, followed by how to calculate cooking time for other weights.

The Prime Rib


  • 4 lbs prime rib roast
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon herbs de Provence


  • Take the roast out of the fridge and bring to room temp, approximately 4 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 500.
  • Mix butter, pepper, and herbes de Provence until well blended.
  • Spread butter mixture evenly over the entire roast. Season roast generously with kosher or rock salt (Do not use table salt! It will come out too salty).
  • Roast for twenty minutes.
  • Turn the oven off and wait 2 hours before opening the oven door. 
  • Remove from the oven and let rest for 30 min. 
To calculate your cooking time for a different size roast, multiply the exact weight of your roast by 5. Round the resulting number to the nearest whole number. The rib is cooked at 500 degrees for exactly that many minutes before you turn the oven off, wait 2 hours, and take it out to rest for 20 minutes.

Note: It is crucial that your oven retains heat after turning off.  To ensure your oven is retaining proper heat, 30 minutes after you shut the oven off turn the oven back on and set the temp to 325. If the temp is over 325 then you are all set, shut the oven off and wait two hours. If the oven begins to heat up it is losing heat too quickly, so use this quick fix... set the temp to 275 and leave it for the next hour, then turn it off for the last half hour.


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