Learn how to cook the perfect Prime Rib with step-by-step instructions and photos. This prime rib recipe will be the star of your holiday table, and it’s even better with a drizzle of mustard cream sauce.

Prime rib slices in a white serving bowl.

Steakhouses would certainly have you think that choice prime rib can only be found in a restaurant. But the best prime rib roast recipe ever is actually easier than you might think, as long as you have the right guide

Above all, don’t be intimidated by a giant roast; the slow roasted prime rib cut just needs a little extra babying to become unbelievably tender. Most of the active cooking is spent in the oven or resting, so you have lots of time to see to all the other details of your delicious dinner menu.

Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Prime Rib with Mustard Cream Sauce Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Labeled prime rib ingredients.

Ingredient notes

  • Prime rib: Also known as a standing rib roast, a full roast usually has about seven ribs. This portion of the rib has a thick “cap” of heavily marbled meat that gives all the flavor and richness. Ask your local butcher for a small-end (or first-cut) rib roast or for the roast to be cut from the loin end. You can also ask the butcher to cut the bones off the ribs and tie them for you (Steps 1 and 2). Plan on one pound per person.
ServingsRoast size
2-3 adults2 pounds (1 bone)
3-4 adults4 pounds (2 bones)
4-5 adults5 pounds (2-3 bones)
5-6 adults6 pounds (3 bones)
6-7 adults7 pounds (3-4 bones)
8-10 adults10 pounds (5 bones)
10-12 adults12 pounds (6 bones)
12-14 adults14 pounds (7 bones)

Step-by-step instructions

To cut the prime rib off the bone

In this recipe, you “bone and tie” the roast which means: cut the meat off the bone first so you can salt it (for at least 24 hours) and brown it. Then you tie it back together and roast it. These extra steps ensure your prime rib is flavorful throughout.

  1. Hold the meaty lobe in one hand and a sharp boning or chef’s knife in the other hand, run knife down length of first bone, following contours as closely as possible to separate it from meat.
Raw prime rib being sliced on a wooden cutting board.
  1. Flip roast so uncut portion faces you. Holding bones back with your hand, cut meat from remaining ribs. Once meat is removed, proceed with seasoning and tying as directed in recipe.
Raw prime rib being sliced on a wooden cutting board.

To make the prime rib

  1. Using sharp knife, cut slits in surface layer of fat, spaced 1 inch apart, in crosshatch pattern, being careful not to cut into meat. Rub 2 tablespoons Kosher salt over entire roast and into slits. 
Prime rib on a cutting board.
  1. Place meat back on bones (to save space in refrigerator), transfer to large plate, and refrigerate, uncovered, at least 24 hours and up to 96 hours. 
Raw prime rib on a white platter.
  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees. Heat oil in large skillet over high heat until just smoking. Sear sides and top of roast (reserving bone) until browned, 6 to 8 minutes total (do not sear side where roast was cut from bone).
Prime rib in a skillet.
  1. Place meat back on ribs, so bones fit where they were cut, and let cool for 10 minutes. Tie meat to bones with 2 lengths of kitchen twine between ribs. 
Prime rib in a baking pan.
  1. Transfer roast, fat side up, to wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet and season with pepper. Roast until meat registers 110 degrees, 3 to 4 hours. Turn off oven, leave roast in oven, opening door as little as possible, until meat registers about 120 degrees (for rare) or about 125 degrees (for medium-rare) 30 minutes to 1 ¼ hours longer. 
Prime rib in a baking pan.
  1. Remove roast from oven (leave roast on baking sheet), tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 ¼ hours. Adjust oven rack about 8 inches from broiler element and heat broiler. Remove foil from roast, form into 3-inch ball, and place under ribs to elevate fat cap. Broil until top of roast is well browned and crisp, 2 to 8 minutes.
Prime rib in a baking pan.
  1. Transfer roast to carving board. Slice meat into 3/4-inch thick slices. Season to taste with salt.
Prime rib slices in a white serving bowl.

To make the mustard cream sauce

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together sour cream, heavy cream, yolks, mustard, vinegar, sugar, and ½ teaspoon salt. Cook, whisking constantly, until sauce thickens and coats back of spoon, 4 to 5 minutes. 
Mustard cream sauce in a silver pot.
  1. Immediately transfer to serving bowl, stir in chives, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes about 3 cups.
Drizzling mustard cream sauce on sliced prime rib.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: Plan for one pound of prime rib (uncooked) per person. This recipe uses a 6-pound, 3-bone rib roast and will feed 6 adults (or maybe 8 as part of a larger feast).
  • Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Make ahead: You can score the fat and season the meat up to 4 days in advance. Just store loosely covered in the refrigerator.
  • Quality roast: The cost of Prime Rib can be on the high side, but splurging on this beautiful cut of meat is absolutely worth it.
  • Leftovers: If you have any, pile thinly sliced leftover meat on Soft Yeast Buns with caramelized onions and mustard cream sauce or a dollop of horseradish. Or, add to an omelet or tuck into tortillas and serve with salsa.
  • Prime rib doneness temperatures: The “final rested temperature” is the temperature after the roast is out of the oven and has rested for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the roast from the oven when the internal temperature is 5-10 degrees below the final temperature to allow for carryover cooking (the temperature of the roast will continue to rise while it rests). The exact temperatures depend on the size and thickness of your roast.
Desired donenessRemove from ovenFinal rested temperature
Rare (cool red center)115 degrees F125º F / 52º C
Medium rare (warm red center)125 degrees F135º F / 57º C
Medium (warm pink center)135 degrees F145º F / 63º C
Medium well (slight pink center)140 degrees F150º F / 66º C
Well done (little or no pink)150 degrees F160º F / 71º C
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Complete your holiday feast

A platter of sliced prime rib.

Prime Rib with Mustard Cream Sauce

Learn how to cook the perfect Prime Rib with step-by-step instructions and photos. This prime rib recipe will be the star of your holiday table, and it's even better with a drizzle of mustard cream sauce.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 5 hrs
Resting Time 1 d 10 mins
Total Time 5 hrs 10 mins
Servings 8 servings
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Calories 876

Ingredients 

For the prime rib:

  • 1 (6 pound) first-cut beef standing rib roast (about 3 bones) (see note 1)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

For the mustard cream sauce:

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives minced

Instructions 

To cut the meat off the bone (see note 1):

  • Hold the meaty lobe in one hand and a sharp boning or chef's knife in the other hand, run knife down length of first bone, following contours as closely as possible to separate it from meat.
  • Flip roast so uncut portion faces you. Holding bones back with your hand, cut meat from remaining ribs. Once meat is removed, proceed with seasoning and tying as directed in recipe.

To make the prime rib:

  • Using sharp knife, cut slits in surface layer of fat, spaced 1 inch apart, in crosshatch pattern, being careful not to cut into meat. Rub 2 tablespoons Kosher salt over entire roast and into slits. 
  • Place meat back on bones (to save space in refrigerator), transfer to large plate, and refrigerate, uncovered, at least 24 hours and up to 96 hours. 
  • Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees. Heat oil in large skillet over high heat until just smoking. Sear sides and top of roast (reserving bone) until browned, 6 to 8 minutes total (do not sear side where roast was cut from bone).
  • Place meat back on ribs, so bones fit where they were cut, and let cool for 10 minutes. Tie meat to bones with 2 lengths of kitchen twine between ribs. Transfer roast, fat side up, to wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet and season with pepper (or to a roasting pan with a rack set inside). Roast until meat registers 110 degrees, 3 to 4 hours. 
  • Turn off oven, leave roast in oven, opening door as little as possible, until meat registers about 120 degrees (for rare) or about 125 degrees (for medium-rare) 30 minutes to 1 ¼ hours longer. 
  • Remove roast from oven (leave roast on baking sheet), tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 ¼ hours. 
  • Adjust oven rack about 8 inches from broiler element and heat broiler. Remove foil from roast, form into 3-inch ball, and place under ribs to elevate fat cap. Broil until top of roast is well browned and crisp, 2 to 8 minutes.
  • Transfer roast to carving board. Slice meat into 3/4-inch thick slices. Season to taste with salt.

To make the mustard cream sauce:

  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together sour cream, heavy cream, yolks, mustard, vinegar, sugar, and ½ teaspoon salt. Cook, whisking constantly, until sauce thickens and coats back of spoon, 4 to 5 minutes. 
  • Immediately transfer to serving bowl, stir in chives, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes about 3 cups.

Notes

1. Prime rib: Also known as a standing rib roast, a full roast usually has about seven ribs. This portion of the rib has a thick “cap” of heavily marbled meat that gives all the flavor and richness. Ask your local butcher for a small-end (or first-cut) rib roast or for the roast to be cut from the loin end. You can also ask the butcher to cut the bones off the ribs and tie them for you (Steps 1 and 2). Plan on one pound per person.
Servings Roast size
2-3 adults 2 pounds (1 bone)
3-4 adults 4 pounds (2 bones)
4-5 adults 5 pounds (2-3 bones)
5-6 adults 6 pounds (3 bones)
6-7 adults 7 pounds (3-4 bones)
8-10 adults 10 pounds (5 bones)
10-12 adults 12 pounds (6 bones)
12-14 adults 14 pounds (7 bones)
2. Yield: Plan for one pound of prime rib (uncooked) per person. This recipe uses a 6-pound, 3-bone rib roast and will feed 6 adults (or maybe 8 as part of a larger feast).
3. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
4. Make ahead: You can score the fat and season the meat up to 4 days in advance. Just store loosely covered in the refrigerator.
5. Quality roast: The cost of Prime Rib can be on the high side, but splurging on this beautiful cut of meat is absolutely worth it.
6. Leftovers: If you have any, pile thinly sliced leftover meat on Soft Yeast Buns with caramelized onions and mustard cream sauce or a dollop of horseradish. Or, add to an omelet or tuck into tortillas and serve with salsa.
7. Prime rib doneness temperatures: The “final rested temperature” is the temperature after the roast is out of the oven and has rested for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the roast from the oven when the internal temperature is 5-10 degrees below the final temperature to allow for carryover cooking (the temperature of the roast will continue to rise while it rests). The exact temperatures depend on the size and thickness of your roast.
Desired doneness Remove from oven Final rested temperature
Rare (cool red center) 115 degrees F 125º F / 52º C
Medium rare (warm red center) 125 degrees F 135º F / 57º C
Medium (warm pink center) 135 degrees F 145º F / 63º C
Medium well (slight pink center) 140 degrees F 150º F / 66º C
Well done (little or no pink) 150 degrees F 160º F / 71º C

Nutrition

Calories: 876kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 34gFat: 81gSaturated Fat: 36gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 33gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 285mgSodium: 214mgPotassium: 586mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 776IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 84mgIron: 4mg
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Meggan Hill

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Comments

  1. Looking forward to making this recipe, any ideas for how far in advance I can make the sauces (both horseradish & mustard cream)? TIA

    1. Hi Christelle, I actually haven’t tried to make the sauces in advance. The horseradish sauce seems like it could definitely be made at least one day in advance. The mustard sauce, I don’t know for sure. I know you could make it an hour or two in advance and just keep it warm, but as far as the day before? Maybe… maybe not. I just don’t want to tell you the wrong thing without knowing for sure! I wish I was home and could test it for you. I’m really sorry about that. Good luck! -Meggan