Mouthwatering Prime Rib for the Holidays: A Classic Holiday Prime Rib Family Recipe

Mouthwatering Prime Rib for the Holidays: A Classic Holiday Prime Rib Family Recipe
Mouthwatering Prime Rib for the Holidays: A Classic Holiday Prime Rib Family Recipe

Mouthwatering Prime Rib for the Holidays

Prime Rib Roast is our favorite choice for a crowd-pleasing Christmas dinner. Make this perfect perfect holiday prime rib family recipe, and try it with our farm fresh prime rib, from our Omaha, NE farm.


  • A prime rib roast. (I prefer boneless. This is an expensive and high-quality cut of meat and I prefer to leave out the bone and highlight the meat, preferably a farm-fresh Prime Rib).
  • 3 medium onions (thickly sliced)
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt per pound of roast
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper per pound
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic per pound
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary per pound
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme per pound
  • ½ teaspoon olive oil per pound



  1. Place a flat roasting rack inside a roasting pan large enough to fit your roast, and spread the onions on top of the rack. It’s ok if you don’t have a roasting rack--resting the roast directly on the onions works also. Place the roast in the pan.
  2. Mix the salt, pepper, garlic, herbs and olive oil in a bowl until well-combined. Use your hands to rub the roast all over with the marinade mixture, coating the surface evenly.
  3. Use plastic wrap to cover the roast, and let it marinate overnight (at least 8 hours) in the refrigerator. The flavors won't penetrate the roast completely, but they will work their way into the fatty portion of the roast. Skipping this step makes a big difference in flavor!
  4. Take the roast out of the refrigerator at least 2 hours before cooking time to allow the roast to come to room temperature. It's best to take it out in the morning and leave it out 6 to 8 hours. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F, and place your roast on a lower oven rack. For bone-in roasts, you may want to put the roast at the bottom of the oven for the first hour. Placing the oven rack too high up will cause your roast to brown too quickly and burn.
  5. After 30 minutes in the oven, add ½ cup of water to the bottom of the roasting pan. You want the onions to brown and caramelize while roasting, but not to burn and smoke in the fat.
  6. Cook the roast for another 30 minutes, until it begins to brown. If your oven heats unevenly, turn your roast 180 degrees. 
  7. Once the prime rib roast is browned on the outside (1 hour is best but times may vary depending on your oven and roast size), lower the heat to 350 degrees F. Continue roasting the prime rib for another 90 to 120 minutes. Baste the roast every 30 minutes if desired, and add hot water ½ cup at a time if the roasting pan does dry up.
  8. If the top of the roast starts to char, put a small piece of foil to lightly cover the top, leaving the sides exposed. 
  9. A general rule for approximate roasting time is a total of 15 minutes per pound. For a 6-pound roast, the total roasting time should be 90 minutes. With temperature changes, that means roasting at at 450 degrees F for 30-60 minutes (watch for browning) followed by 30-60 minutes at 350 degrees F. That said, these times are approximate--use a meat thermometer so you don’t overcook it! Our family always cooks for medium rare, so the time will be closer to 60 minutes, or when the prime rib roast reaches an internal temperature of 125 degrees F. This gives two more well-done Prime Rib end cuts and a couple of medium pieces mixed in with the medium rare cuts. If you like it rare, then roast for less time, taking the roast out of the oven when the internal temperature reaches 120 degrees F. If you like it super-rare, then 115 degrees F is your temp. Just remember the roast will continue to cook while it rests on the counter. 
  10. When ready, set your prime rib on a cutting board or serving platter, and lightly cover it with a piece of aluminum foil to rest for 15 to 20 minutes.
  11. While the prime rib is resting, pour the pan juices through a fine mesh strainer into a fat separator. If there is not enough liquid, add a ½ cup of water to the hot pan, and stir lightly. Pour the juices from the fat separator into a small pot or saute pan and set aside. Warm up the au jus, and serve alongside the prime rib. You can further dilute it with some hot water to taste if it’s too salty.
This holiday prime rib family recipe is our Omaha farm holiday favorite! Enjoy!



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