This was the only prime rib I’ve ever made, and it was by far the best prime rib I’ve ever eaten. I’ve grown to be able to sing my own praises when they’re valid… and in this case, they’re valid.
It’s so simple. You have got to make this.
Get yourself a ribeye roast. Bone-in, or boneless, that’s your call. I prefer bone-in. The roast I made was about 3.5 pounds pre-cook weight.
Generously and liberally coat the roast with kosher salt. This process is what kosher salt was born for. Don’t skimp here AND DO NOT USE TABLE SALT OR PICKLING SALT – it will all melt into the meat and not help the process. For kosher salt, I like Morton’s simply because the grains are all consistent in size.
After you’ve koshered the roast, apply the spices you like. I used garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, fresh cracked black pepper, and ancho chile powder.
After you rub your meat (get it? rub your meat? ah… never mind… sheesh), you need to find a platter or tray or cookie sheet to put the roast on. Something that doesn’t cover the roast. Find a spot in the fridge to put the roast on its tray where nothing will touch it. Do not cover or tent the roast at all, with anything. Leave it in the open air of the fridge. It won’t go bad. Nothing bad will happen to it, I promise. Make sure there is plenty of room for air circulation around it. I put mine toward the back of the fridge, on the very bottom shelf.
Leave it alone… no, really… leave it alone and don’t touch it. Do nothing for 3-4 days (longer if you want).
This is what it looks like after 4 days of dry aging in the fridge…
You can see on the left side, that the surface had started to crack a little. That’s a good thing. Some moisture had started to leave the meat, and it had begun to concentrate the flavor of the meat. The fat had begun to become just a little waxier, instead of “fatty”. It was dense and tight. I let it sit out for about a half hour, so it had a chance to warm up a little. I always like to let my meats come up closer to room temp before cooking them.
I set the oven as high as it would go. In this case, 500F. Then, I found a nice roasting pan, and used a small rack sitting on four mason jar lid rings to keep the roast up off the bottom of the pan (and to keep it out of its own juices as it cooked). After situating the rack on the rings, I covered the roasting pan bottom with about 1/4 inch of water.
So, at that point, I rubbed the meat down with a compound butter. I covered the entire roast on every side. The butter had some Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and some salt/pepper, and the butter was room temperature. After rubbing it down with the magic goodness, I set the roast on the rack, as the buzzer went off letting me know that the oven was ready.
I set the roasting pan in the center of the oven, and set the timer for 24 minutes. The “rule” at 550F is to cook the roast for 5 minutes for each pound of pre-cooked weight. Since I could only get the oven to 500F, I set it for 7 minutes per pound. This is when magic happens in the oven, and it’s also why you put water in the pan… the meat begins to sear simply from the air temp, and the fat begins to render out. The water keeps the fat and drippings from burning on the bottom of the pan, but you may actually have to add more water periodically due to evaporation from the high heat.
Ok, so the timer went off, and then I set the temp down to 170F. This is to give it the low and slow cooking method. I let it go for 1 hour and 50 minutes. At that point, I jacked the heat back up. It went to 450F this time, just to dry out the surface of the meat. That lasted for 10 minutes.
At this point, I pulled the entire rig out of the oven and let the meat rest, tented under foil, for 20 minutes.
And then… I started shaving meat off of it… below is the glorious result… Prime Rib in all its wonder. This picture depicts about a half inch of meat shaved from the prime rib…
The flavor was absolutely ridiculously good. It wasn’t overly salty. It was perfect, and the meat was tender, juicy, and flavorful.
That’s it… simple, right? Ok, now get to it!