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.

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.

Ingredient notes:

  • Prime rib: Also known as a standing rib roast. A full roast usually comprises a total of 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) three-bone rib roast or for the roast to be cut from the loin end.  Plan on one pound per person. a 10-pound prime rib can feed 10 to 12 people when part of a complete holiday feast.
    • A one-bone roast will feed two hungry people (or three as part of a large meal).
    • One 3-bone roast serves 6 to 8 people generously.
    • A 4-bone prime rib will feed 8 to 10 people.
    • Cooking for a crowd? Get the whole 7-rib roast.

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Cut the meat off the bone. You can have your butcher do this for you, of you can do it yourself with a sharp boning knife. Using a knife, run the blade down the length of the first bone, following the curve of the bone as closely as possible.
    Raw prime rib being sliced on a wooden cutting board.
  2. Flip the roast and repeat the steps with the remaining bones, taking them off in one large piece. Hold on to the bones, though–they’ll need to go back on the roast.
    Raw prime rib being sliced on a wooden cutting board.
  3. Score the fat layer. Take a sharp knife and cut a crosshatch pattern in the surface of the fat layer, with the slits about 1-inch apart. Keep it shallow here; try not to cut into the meat.
    Prime rib on a cutting board.
  4. Season the prime rib. You can use a trusted prime rib rub, Montreal Steak Seasoning, or just take 2 tablespoons of Kosher salt and rub it all over the roast.
    Raw prime rib on a white platter.
  5. Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Heat a large skillet with some oil and sear top and sides of the roast (without the bones) until browned. Don’t sear the side where you took off the bones.
    Prime rib in a skillet.
  6. Place the seared roast back on the bones and let cool for a few minutes. Then take kitchen twine and tie the bones back onto the roast. Two lengths of twine wrapped around the roast between each rib should keep them in place.
    Prime rib in a baking pan.
  7. Place the rib roast, fat side up, on a wire rack that’s set over a rimmed baking sheet. Season the roast with freshly cracked pepper, then place in the oven and roast until the meat registers 110 degrees. For a 7-pound roast, this should be 3 to 4 hours. Turn off the oven but leave the roast inside to continue to cook. The prime rib will finish cooking in the oven, even though it’s off. Depending on the size of the roast and what temperature you’re aiming for, this could be 30 minutes to 90 minutes longer. Tent the roast with heavy-duty aluminum foil and let the meat rest again, for 30 to 90 minutes.
    Prime rib in a baking pan.
  8. Adjust the oven rack to about 8 inches from the oven’s broiler element, and turn on the broiler. Then remove the foil from the roast and wad it up into a 3-inch ball. Then place the foil ball under the ribs to raise up the fat cap. Broil until the top of the roast is brown and crisp. Depending on your broiler, this could be anywhere between 2 and 8 minutes. Keep an eye on it!
    Prime rib in a baking pan.
  9. Move the prime rib roast to a carving board and slice the meat as you see fit, or into 3/4-inch slices. Sprinkle the slices with a little Kosher salt if desired.
    Prime rib slices and a side of mustard cream sauce in a white serving bowl.
  10. To make the mustard cream sauce, in a small saucepan, whisk together the sour cream, heavy cream, egg yolks, mustard, vinegar, salt, and sugar. Cook the sauce over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the sauce thickens and turns silky. How do you know you’re headed in the right direction? It should coat the back of a spoon when ready.
    Mustard cream sauce in a silver pot.
  11. Pour into a gravy boat or other bowl, garnish with chives, and season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.
    I can’t think of anything more traditional (or delicious) than roasted Prime Rib with Mustard Cream Sauce for a special Christmas dinner. If you’re ready to celebrate the holidays in high style with a classic Prime Rib dinner, then this recipe is the one you want.

Recipe tips and variations:

  • Make ahead: You can score the fat and season the meat up to 4 days in advance. Just store loosely covered in the refrigerator.
  • Great quality meat: The cost of Prime Rib can be on the high side, but splurging on this beautiful cut of meat is absolutely worth it.
  • Brown the meat first: The roast cooks at such a low temperature, so it’s important to brown the exterior before you begin. All sides (except for where the bones were) get seared on the stove before the bones are reattached and the roast goes into the oven.
  • Elevate the meat: Use a baker’s rack inside the roasting pan to cook the Prime Rib evenly, for good air circulation.
  • 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 for the most decadent sandwich ever
  • Prime rib doneness temperatures:
    • 120 degrees for Rare prime rib
    • 125 degrees for Medium-Rare prime rib
    • 130 degrees for Medium prime rib
    • 135 degrees for Medium-Well prime rib
    • 140 degrees for Well Done prime rib

A full Christmas dinner table.

Round out your menu:

Prime rib slices on a white platter.

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
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours
Resting Time: 1 day 10 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 876kcal
Author: Meggan Hill

Ingredients

For the prime rib:

  • 1 (7 pound) first-cut beef standing rib roast (about 3 bones) (see note 1)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper coarse

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:

  • 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. 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 1/4 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 1/4 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 with Kosher salt to taste, and serve.

To make the mustard cream sauce:

  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together sour cream, heavy cream, yolks, mustard, vinegar, sugar, and 1/2 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 comprises a total of 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) three-bone rib roast or for the roast to be cut from the loin end.  Plan on one pound per person. a 10-pound prime rib can feed 10 to 12 people when part of a complete holiday feast.
    • A one-bone roast will feed two hungry people (or three as part of a large meal).
    • One 3-bone roast serves 6 to 8 people generously.
    • A 4-bone prime rib will feed 8 to 10 people.
    • Cooking for a crowd? Get the whole 7-rib roast.
  2. Make ahead: You can score the fat and season the meat up to 4 days in advance. Just store loosely covered in the refrigerator.
  3. Great quality meat: The cost of Prime Rib can be on the high side, but splurging on this beautiful cut of meat is absolutely worth it.
  4. Brown the meat first: The roast cooks at such a low temperature, so it’s important to brown the exterior before you begin. All sides (except for where the bones were) get seared on the stove before the bones are reattached and the roast goes into the oven.
  5. Elevate the meat: Use a baker’s rack inside the roasting pan to cook the Prime Rib evenly, for good air circulation.
  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 for the most decadent sandwich ever
  7. Prime rib doneness temperatures:
    • 120 degrees for Rare prime rib
    • 125 degrees for Medium-Rare prime rib
    • 130 degrees for Medium prime rib
    • 135 degrees for Medium-Well prime rib
    • 140 degrees for Well Done prime rib

Nutrition

Calories: 876kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 81g | Saturated Fat: 36g | Cholesterol: 285mg | Sodium: 214mg | Potassium: 582mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 772IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 83mg | Iron: 4mg
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  1. Christelle Ramseyer

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

    1. meggan

      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

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