Le Food Snob

Mom’s Christmas Day Turn-off-the-Oven Prime Rib Roast

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Every year for Christmas my mom makes Prime Rib Roast. This is the recipe she uses and she swears it turns out perfect every time. I haven’t had it in a few years because it’s been awhile since I’ve flown ‘home’ for Christmas. This year Dad and I decided to make our own.


  • Standing rib roast (you’ll need about l lb. per person)
  • olive oil
  • garlic cloves, whole
  • salt and pepper


  1. Shove garlic cloves into the meat on either side. I tried to put the cloves beneath the fat, next to the meat but realized it worked better to shove the cloves into the meat wherever I could fit it. You should shove it in as deep as possible or it will pop out while roasting. Most of mine did!
  2. Rub the roast with olive oil and then sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Pat the salt and pepper against the surface of the meat with your hands.
  3. Preheat oven to 375°.
  4. Place beef (fat-side up on rack) in a roasting pan uncovered. Roast for one hour and then turn off the oven. Do not open the oven door until you are ready to eat the roast. Let the roast sit in the oven for 1 to 3 hours. (I let mine sit for less time – an hour – because I was hungry and our roast was small.)
  5. When you’re almost ready to eat, turn the oven back on to 375 degrees.
  6. Cook an additional 40 minutes for rare meat. Take out of oven and let rest for 10-15 minutes before cutting.

Because our roast was small (two pounds). I decided to roast it for half an hour at 375 degrees instead of an hour. I turned the oven off for an hour and then cooked the roast for an additional 40 minutes at 300 degrees. When I stuck the meat thermometer in the roast after pulling it out, the roast read 140 degrees. 140 degrees is supposed to be rare, according to the list of temperatures on the meat thermometer. After 10 minutes of settling the temperature of the roast raised to 146.

The roasted ended up being pretty close to medium, despite what the meat thermometer said. I would have preferred rare meat, but medium is a lot better than well done and the meat still tasted delicious.

If you’ve never made a prime rib roast, I would suggest having a thermometer that can go in your oven. The one I borrowed from my neighbor is the kind that would melt if you left it in the oven. A better thermometer would have been extremely helpful for such a small roast!

If you like your roast rare, you’ll want your final temperature to be 140 degrees. When you pull the roast out of the oven and let it sit, the temperature will raise about 10 degrees or so. If you’re using thermometer that goes in the oven, you’ll want the temperature to read about 125 when you pull the roast out to let sit.

Recipe rating: 


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