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Standing Rib Roast of Beef

Serves 8 to 10

There are many ways to prepare a beef rib roast, also known as prime rib although it is rarely prime meat. Which method you use largely depends on the desired outcome. If you want a roast that is a uniform doneness all the way through, use the slow roasting method. I have grilled a rib roast and it is delicious. You can also make a boneless rib roast, which uses a moderate heat and makes for easy carving. All of those are in the similar and related recipes. This version uses a fast roasting method for a bone-in roast and is very easy. It incorporates a high oven temperature to start. It is great for those times when you are serving people who want their beef at various levels of doneness. The inside cuts will be rare or medium-rare and, as you get closer to the end cuts, the doneness will be closer to medium or medium-well. It is just about foolproof and the resulting meat is tender and juicy. The only issue is that, because of the very high heat, your oven should be quite clean to start, and the fat on the roast will splatter and really make a mess. To help prevent that, the roast can be tented with foil. Just be certain to tent lightly, do not cover.

Buy the first two or three ribs of a standing roast, allowing 1/2 to 3/4 pound per serving. A two rib roast will weigh five to six pounds and a three rib roast seven to nine pounds. To make carving easier, ask the butcher to remove the chine or back bone and cut the rib bones short. Sometimes, prepackaged roasts come that way, but it is a good idea to ask before buying.


Remove the roast from refrigerator about 2 hours before roasting, no longer than that, to allow it to come to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 500° F. Place roast fat side up in shallow roasting pan. Sprinkle all over with flour and rub it in. (This gives the roast a crusty outside.) Season with salt and pepper. If desired, place a tent of aluminum foil very loosely over the top of roast to protect the oven from splattered fat. Roast the meat at 500° for one of the following times, keeping in mind that the roast will be slightly more done on the outer cuts than the center cuts:

When roasting time is over, turn off the oven but DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR. Keep the roast in the oven for 1 hour, no matter what the size. When the hour is over, remove roast from oven and let stand 15 to 20 minutes before carving.

Notes: You can trim some of the fat from the meat before roasting. However, you need a layer that covers the entire top. If the roast you purchase has the fat removed, ask the butcher for a thin layer of beef fat large enough to cover the roast. It is a good idea to order the roast ahead and request the fat at that time. The roasting instructions allow for a rib roast of any size, so purchase what you need.