HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Prime Rib seasoning and sauce suggestions

Going to make prime rib for Christmas dinner. Still debating the time and temp cooking options, but should be able to find good info on that thru the CH search feature.

What I'd like to know is your favorite seasoning recommendations and also any suggestions for an accompaning sauce of some sort that isn't au jus or horseradish? Love the latter, but would like to have an additional option that's a little more novel....at least for me! Thank you.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. For the Prime Rib, I try to keep the seasoning simple so that the flavor of the wonderful cut can be enjoyed so I use a couple of dozen garlic cloves and freshly chopped rosemary.
    For a sauce, you might enjoy a Madeira wine sauce. Just combine the au jus with Madeira and a little Cabernet Sauvignon. Add some chopped rosemary and thyme to the mix. Reduce over medium low heat to your liking and strain before serving.

    2 Replies
    1. re: todao

      Nice, todao. My favorite preparation as of late has been a variation on Cat Cora's, with as many varieties of peppercorn as you can find coarsely crushed and combined with good mustard and some chopped tarragon and rosemary and used to coat the roast before a low/slow treatment. It comes out crusty, with a great flavor. Cumberland sauce is good with this, or just a simple port/rosemary reduction combined with the pan juices and finished with butter.

      1. re: mamachef

        Any of those approaches would, iMO, be fantastic. I especially like the simplicity of the Port/Rosemary reduction you described. Mouth watering just to read it.

    2. Not novel, but how about Au Poivre....Cognac Cream and Crushed Peppercorns.

      1. The one I have been using is roasting a lot of garlic, rubbing on the prime rib and lot's of fresh ground garlic. Everyone loves it and it has great flavor.

        1. Well, I was going to suggest my grandmother's horseradish sauce, but maybe not until the next day, I guess. How about adding wine, reducing, and adding mustard and cream?

          3 Replies
          1. re: somervilleoldtimer

            Yum! Love peppercorn, rosemary and wine so these sauce suggestions are tickling my tastebuds. Fourunder Au Poivre is novel enough to me since I've never made it; same goes for Cumberland Mamachef.
            Somervilleoldtimer there has to be horseradish and I'm hoping for leftovers for some great sandwiches the next day so I'd love your grandmother's recipe if you're willing to share.
            Thanks everyone!

            1. re: Island

              One of those things that is so easy it seems stupid. Just make a roux and add horseradish.

            2. Me, I like Montreal steak spice as a rub. As a gravy, I prefer Hunter's Gravy (sauce chasseur). As for cooking, I like to sear the roast (500F, 1 hour), let stand (or even overnight), then slice and finish on a charcoal grill. Not the typical, slow-roast, prime rib technique, but I love the charcoal!

              1. I'm going with salt and pepper, period. And a Madeira sauce on the side. Donlt want to sully my 45-day dry aged, grass-fed beef.

                1. My favourite is just salt and pepper and sprinkled with a finishing salt after roasting such as fleur de sel or Maldon smoked. However, I do love Cumberland sauce.

                  Have you tried grinding dried mushrooms (i.e. porcini or chanterelle) in your spice grinder and rubbing into the meat? it is lovely and earthy. Occasionally I like to do a beef rub with ground cacao nibs.

                  You are making me hungry!!

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: chefathome

                    I am intrigued by the mushroom idea, chefathome. Do you add anything else to the rub, or do it just as you described? ......and then a side of perfectly sauteed wild mushrooms with s&p, thyme and creme freeeeeeeeesh......maybe even the water from some soaked porcinis in the pan juices, with a tiny splash of subtle wine.
                    Dammit. Now I can't for the life of me stop thinking this one out.

                    1. re: mamachef

                      It is truly good. I grind mushrooms (I find porcini to be my favourite with beef), add freshly ground pepper and sea salt. Then I add either fresh thyme or rosemary. I've used it as a dry rub OR a wet rub just by adding olive oil (not extra virgin in this case) and refrigerate overnight. Very simple and would be yummy with duxelles or a port reduction. Or mushrooms and creme fraiche as you mention. So many great suggestions!

                      1. re: chefathome

                        Yes must have mushrooms one way or another and these are great suggestions. I was never really into sauces, but i think I just didn't experience enough of them or enough good ones that didn't drown and overpower the entree. I think I need a sauce class or cookbook!

                  2. I don't use that many seasoning mixes, but a friend (we always cook together for New Years) asked me to use her bottle of Penzy's English prime rib rub one year. It was great and I've been using it ever since!

                    I always serve it with the au jus and a horseradish cream sauce. The horseradish cream is wonderful on a sandwich with leftovers. For something different I'd go with the above mentioned cognac cream sauce or add sauteed wild mushrooms to the au jus and go from there.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: meatn3

                      Never heard of Penzy's English prime rib rub. Will have to look for that, probably great on other cuts too? Thanks.

                    2. Kosher salt, White pepper and garlic powder underneath the fat cap. That way that fat goes thru the spices. Serve with au jus and/or horseradish sauce. Leftovers - blackened with bearnaise sauce. That is how we do it at Casa Vanilla.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Sal Vanilla

                        Mmmm vanilla I wish su casa was mi casa. :>)
                        More I read this thread the more I think I need to buy a larger prime rib for leftovers.

                      2. I've been using an incredible product that I'm now addicted to; but it's a purchased product, not homemade.

                        It's Club House "Montreal" Steak Spice. It's a very coarse blend of pepper, fennel seed, garlic, and all kinds of other bits and bobs.....perfect for steak. I've used it on a prime rib roast just once, and it was wonderful, but next time I'll do a thin coating of mustard or something to help it to stick a bit better. It's a seriously good product, trust me.

                        I always do a pan sauce with Madeira, often with mushrooms as well.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: SherBel

                          I used the blanket term of "Montreal" steak spice about 10 posts up...
                          Club House has their version, others do it as well, try a few different kinds until you find a favorite.
                          In place of mustard, you can rub the roast the day before and plastic wrap tight. The saltiness will permeate the meat (slightly curing as well) and "stick" better.

                        2. I'm in the camp of salt & pepper only for roasting the meat, but for a sauce, I go with either fresh-ground horseradish or a Bearnaise when I want something more unctuous. Bearnaise is easy to make and always a big hit - there's a reason it's a classic (even if it's a classic you rarely see in restaurants these days).

                          1. Some mentioned leftovers and sandwiches the next day... I was wondering do you reheat and what's the best way to do that without overcooking? Oven, pan on stove top or?

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: Island

                              The past suggestions have ranged from short burst in the microwave to running under hot water or soaking in a hot water bath enclosed in a Zip-Lock bag.

                              I always roast either to rare or medium-rare temperature, depending on who the guests are. To re-heat, My preferred method is to slice and bring to room temperature.....then place in a warm oven of 200-225*. At such a low temperature, it heats the beef without altering its original temperature doneness.

                              1. re: Island

                                For sandwiches I usually eat leftover roast cold. But sometimes I make a beef gravy (with or without mushrooms) and after it's finished I gently warm either slices or small cut-up chunks of roast beef in that (low heat, do not boil, just until warned through) and then serve it over toast.

                                1. re: Island

                                  Island, You have lots of options for leftovers. If you have enough rib to serve as a roast, just pop it in the oven after letting it sit on the counter for a bit to take the chill off. No need to cover it. Other options are to cut it into steaks and reheat it on your grill. It changes it up a bit from what you ate the previous evening (it will be like having a tricked up rib eye). You can also partially freeze it to get it firm and then cut it very very thinly and either pan fry it or heat it in a pan of au jus- both methods are good for sandwiches. I think they are best served on smallish crusty rolls. You can also add fried onions and cheese to the mix of the meat being pan fried. Or you can blacken it. Good alone or on bread. My husband likes french bread until I tell him that I intend to put mine on pan fried texas toast.

                                  My god we are sick gluttons! We are making a rib for Christmas too. There will be oinking!

                                  1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                    I've seen a few references in this thread to "blackening" the prime rib, either before cooking or when reheating. Can I ask what this means? All I can think of is Cajun-style blackened meats, but I'm not sure this is what's being referenced. Thanks in advance!

                                    1. re: sgogo

                                      Blackening is essentially coating on one or both sides of an item with cajun seasoning (I use Paul Prudhomme's) to form a crust. You then put that food (uncrowded) into a pan (prefferably cast iron) that has been coated liberally with clarified butter (all the fat solids are removed) and pan fry it in a searingly hot pan (with the fan on). When it is donw, there will be a black crust of seasoning. Spicy seasoning.

                                      You can blacken things before or after they have been cooked. Fish fillets usually one side, steaked can usually be done both sides. Most always raw. Here I was talking prime rib that has been cut from the rib into steaks. So it is essentially a ribeye that has not been grilled (like you may normally do), but a prebaked steak. So it is cooked, you are merely coating it with seasoning and flash pan frying it to heat it and get the crust. So you'd want to do it not with an endcut (that is more done), but an inside piece that has some blood. Meat of other sorts can also be blackened (cooked or raw). If it is raw and it is chicken and it is thick, it is preferred that you fillet it out. Why? because you are only flash frying and want the interior to be cooked well. No can do if it is thick.

                                      Happy cajun adventures sgogo.

                                      1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                        Sal thanks for the cooking tips. My husband loves spicy and bearnaise so I think I'll give this a try 12/26!

                                2. Several suggestions above that involve garlic or horseradish. My go to recipe is one that invoves both. I originally tried for Passover--but now use whenever I make a standing rib. Easy and delicious! http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                  1. HOPEFULLY your prime rib roast is "bone in." It's the only kind I will buy, in which case I roast it with the ribs down in the roasting pan where they act as a "rack" for the roast, and the fat cap up. Because this meat has such exceptional flavor, I keep it faily simple: rub the fat cap with a little olive oil to promote fat melting and crusting, then only use salt, pepper and garlic powder before putting it in a hot (450F) oven for 20 to 25 minutes, then reduce oven to 325F. Be careful to ONLY salt the fat cap and not the meat istelf. In other words, no salt on the cut sides of the roast. Salt draws fluid, so you don't want to dry the meat, but salt on the cap will help the fat melt and draw the garlic flavor down into the to roast. It takes 20 to 25 minutes per pount to reach medium rare (140F to 145F), so if that's your goal, calculate your roasting time for the weight of your roast. Use a digital instant read thermometer to test for the doneness you desire by inserting the thermometer through the top of the fat cap into the core of the meat. This reduces loss of juices. When done, remove roast to platter, tent lightly with foil and allow the rest 20 to 25 minutes before carving so the poor roast doesn't bleed to death! '-)

                                    I serve prime rib with a traditional hoisrseradish sauce made by combining store-bought Prepared Horseradish (I use Kraft, but be careful it's "Prepared" and NOT "Creamed" horseradish!) or even freshly grated horseradish if you can find it. Stir the horseradish into the sour cream using enough to get the degree of spiciness you like. Make it at least a couple of hours ahead of time and refrigerate to let it mellow out the flavor. Pass the sauce at the table for people to use if they like.

                                    When I do prime rib for the holidays, I ALWAYS do a Yorkshire pudding along with it, and I do it the old fashioned way. Yorkshire pudding batter needs time to rest before baking, so just before putting the roast in the oven, add three eggs, a cup of milk and a cup of flour to the jar of your blender. Also add about a teaspoon of kosher salt and some fresh ground pepper to taste. Set aside but do not refrigerate. Calculate your roasting time, and about 50 minutes before the roast is done, remove it from the oven. Now position one oven rack above a second oven rack with the bottom rack in the lowest position and the second rack just high enough above it to allow the empty roast pan back in the oven. Actually, do this before you begin roasting the prime ribs. With 50 minutes to go, take the roast out of the oven and remove it from the roasting pan to a platter and pour off most of the melted fat leaving a couple of tablespoons in the pan. Immediately pour the Yorkshire pudding batter into the HOT roasting pan and place it on the lower oven rack. Now place the roast (without a pan) on the oven rack above and over the roasting pan so that the meat juices will fall into the Yorkshire pudding as the roast finishes cooking. Close the oven door as quickly as possible and and allow roast to continue cooking. When roast and pudding are done, remove the roast to a large platter, tent lightly with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 20 minutes before carving, either in the kitchen or at the table. The roast makes a gorgeous Christmas center piece!. Remove Yorkshire pudding from the oven. It will have huge fat air pockets around the sides and in places in the middle of it that will deflate somewhat as it cools. This is normal, so don't worry. At serving time, cut the Yorkshire pudding in 2 or 3 inch squares and spread them around the base of the roast, OR you can also serve them on a separate platter if you're not carving at table. I add some sprigs of parsley or other fresh edible leaves to the platter before stacking the Yorkshire pudding around the roast for a more festive presentation.

                                    This is true traditional Yorkshire pudding. Some people also make Yorkshire pudding in poppover or muffin tins, but you cannot get the meat drippings when you use this method which means reduced flavor. It's also difficult to get muffin or popover tins (unless they're cast iron) as hot as the roasting pan will be, and pouring the batter into melted beef fat in a very hot pan and popping it immediately into the oven is the key to getting puffy Yorkshire pudding. If you're doing a very large prime rib roast (I've done them as large as seven ribs), then you can increase the recipe (double or triple) according to the number of people you'll be serving. The above recipe is good for four or five people, or only one when my mother was still alive! '-)

                                    In addition to the horseradish sauce, I either make a regular pan gravy (spiked with cognac) OR serve the jus in a gravy boat. However you roast your beef, Happy Holidays!

                                    Oh, and it's easy to clean the oven rack the roast sat on with SOS pads, or even easier if your oven is self cleaning!

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: Caroline1

                                      I love this post, thank you so much.
                                      My Mother is coming for Xmas and is the authority on our Yorkshire pudding, but I'm going to have to ask her about this method and see if hers is close to it. I'm pretty sure she uses the original roasting pan for the pudding, but I don't recall placing the roast on the rack over the pan for the last 50 minutes! You are one ballsy lady, C1, and I love you for it!
                                      What veg do you like with Prime rib and Yp? I want something clean,not rich, as I'm doing creamed onions already, but trying to think of something other than green beans. Maybe roasted brussels, maybe a mixture of cauliflower and romenesco?

                                      1. re: rabaja

                                        I too like to have a clean and simple veggie when the other components are heavy or rich. My go to is usually green beans or carrots, but I'd like to know what others would suggest.
                                        And hey prime ribbers what's for dessert at your house?

                                        1. re: Island

                                          I'm making sticky toffee pudding this year.

                                          1. re: rabaja

                                            Vegetable with prime rib? My favorite holiday vegetable is Brussels sprouts cooked and kept as green as possible, then dressed with butter and a sprinkling of lavender and kosher or sea salt. But my son doesn't like most vegetables, so I often do baby peas with pearl onions, or sometimes I skip a vegetable and serve a salad after the main course.

                                            Haven't quite made up my mind whether to do prime ribs & Yp, duck with olives or goose with chestnuts and Grand Marnier for Christmas dinner this year (I have them all in the freezer), but at this particular point in time I'm thinking plum pudding for dessert. No crowd this year and I rarely finalize my menu until a day or so before the meal. That way I don't plan on making something, only to be thwarted by not being able to find it in the stores. Tomorrow I'm making pans and pans of baklava for gifting, so if there's any still around the house by Christmas, maybe walnut baklava with egg nog ice cream for dessert. Who knows? '-)