Rolled rib of beef, also known as prime rib roast, is one of the finest and most highly desired cuts of beef. Rolled rib roast is basically the same as a standing rib roast, but the meat is removed from the bone. Removal from the bone can make the roast uneven in shape, so it is often rolled into a uniform cylindrical shape and tied with butcher's twine to hold its shape while cooking. In addition to making an attractive presentation, rolling the roast ensures even cooking.
Place the rib roast on a cutting board and roll it into a uniform shape. Tie the roast with butcher's twine spaced every 1 1/2 inches along the roast to hold. Wrap the twine around the roast about 1 1/2 inches from the end and tie the ends of the twine in a knot. Create a large loop with the twine and slip it over the opposite end of the roast. Slide the loop up the roast, pulling it tight 1 1/2 inches from the first loop. Repeat this process up to 1 1/2 inches from the opposite end. Alternatively, purchase a rolled rib roast that's already been tied by your butcher.
Season all sides of the rib roast with your choice of herbs and spices. Rib roasts are often only seasoned with a bit of salt and pepper because the meat is already flavorful, but also use other dry spices such as garlic powder and dry mustard, if desired. Alternatively, try rubbing down the roast with an herb paste made with fresh herbs such as oregano, basil and parsley, blended with olive oil and fresh garlic in a food processor. Lift the strings as you apply the spices or seasonings.
Preheat the oven to about 200 degrees Fahrenheit, using a low temperature to cook the roast slowly to the desired internal temperature without overcooking the exterior. Adjust the oven rack to the center position.
Place the meat on a rack in a roasting pan with the fat-side up so the fat drips down and bastes the meat as it renders. The roasting rack in the roasting pan is optional, but the rack allows the oven heat to circulate around the meat for even browning and cooking. Alternatively, place the roast on a bed of vegetables such as carrots, onion, celery and potatoes, to elevate and add extra flavor to the meat.
Insert an oven probe meat thermometer into the thickest part of the roast. Push the pointed end of the probe into the meat until it reaches the center of the roast. Place the roasting pan in the oven. Oven probe thermometers have a cord that attaches the probe to a digital screen. Shut the cord in the door and place the thermometer on the counter.
Roast the rib roast until it reaches the desired internal temperature, depending on your preference for meat doneness, which can take about 2 to 4 hours at 200 F, depending on the size of the roast. If you don't use an oven probe thermometer, insert a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the meat periodically to check the temperature. As a general rule, rolled beef rib is cooked rare at about 110 F, and medium doneness is achieved at 125 F to 130 F. Rib roast tastes best cooked at medium or below, but you can cook it to 145 F if you prefer well-done meat.
Remove the rib roast from the oven, cover it with aluminum foil to keep it warm, and set it aside. Increase the oven temperature to about 500 F or its highest setting. This resting period allows the juices to distribute throughout the meat.
Return the roast to the hot oven and roast for about 5 to 10 minutes more or until the outside develops a dark brown, crispy crust. At a high temperature, this is just enough time to develop a crust but won't affect the interior temperature or doneness.
Transfer the rib roast from the roasting pan to a serving platter. Cut away the butcher's twine and serve immediately. The meat has already rested and redistributed the juices, so you can serve the rib roast immediately.
- A combination of low heat and slow roasting, as well as fast cooking over high heat, is needed to achieve the signature finish for a rib roast: a center that is juicy, pink and tender with a crispy, brown crust. If you cook at high heat the whole time, the exterior will burn before the center reaches the desired temperature. If you cook at a low temperature the entire time, the exterior will never develop a crispy crust.
- Oven probe thermometers aren't required, but you can set the desired internal temperature, and it will alarm when it reaches that temperature.
A former cake decorator and competitive horticulturist, Amelia Allonsy is most at home in the kitchen or with her hands in the dirt. She received her Bachelor's degree from West Virginia University. Her work has been published in the San Francisco Chronicle and on other websites.