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Prime rib menu help

  • j

I will be having a dinner for 12 people this Saturday. I'm trying to put together a menu with things I can prep ahead of time. Hubby wants me to prepare a prime rib. I've only done it once before and it turned out ok. I will be using the roast for 6 minutes a pound and turn off method so my oven won't be available before dinner. Can I make it earlier and take it out so I can prepare the sides? Also, any suggestions to the menu?

I'm thinking cream of cauliflower soup, potatoes au gratin, roasted mushrooms, pan roasted baby carrots (tiny one with the top on) and braised kale. The potatoes, prime rib and the mushrooms take the most time and all in the oven too. Can I bake the potatoes and mushrooms ahead of time and just heat up? Do I need a salad? Another veg? BTW: we're Chinese so in addition to the potatoes, we'll have rice. Flan for dessert. Haven't decide on apps yet.

Is a Yorkshire pudding easy to make? I've had wonderful ones but I'm not a baker.

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  1. The more ambitious you make your menu, the more difficult it will be to have time in the oven for other items. You can certainly prep all the items you have mentioned beforehand. I will recommend you consider another method to roast your beef, i.e., low temperature roasting, rather than high heat and shut off....the reason being with low temperature you may find you will have an outstanding roast. I also recommend once your roast hits the temperature your are aiming for....then you begin the rest period for two hours....plenty of time to prepare all the sides you mention above.

    6 Replies
    1. re: fourunder

      I will consider this but the reason I was opting for this method is I won't be home for the main cooking time. How long would you cook a 9 lb roast for? How low a temp? I did try to search for you and found lots of threads but nothing for prime rib roast.

        1. re: jzc

          thanks c 0 for the kind words and locating a post.


          As others have queried....will your roast have ribs or will it be boneless? Such variables are important to determining an expected cooking time. Also, what temperature are you shooting for...or are you looking for varying degrees of doneness throughout the roast? Low temperature roasting is best for making the entire roast one degree of temperature and the best way to achieve consistent tenderness throughout.

          With regard to *the main cooking time*, again it will depend on the temperature you choose to eat at....but also at the low temperature you will roast at....which can result in roasting times anywhere from 3.5-7.5 hours......the latter number attained by roasting at a temperature of 170-190* While I have settled on 200-225 for my tastes and conveniences....there are others who like the lower temperatures...or even sous-vide cooking. I have experimented with the lower temps, but I did not find there was any practical benefit for the longer time.

          Based on the limited details you have provided thus far, I would say you are looking at the following minimum for time management.

          * Remove from refrigerator.....2 hours prior
          * Place in oven @ 450* for 20-30 minutes
          * Drop temperature down to 200-225* for 3-4 hours
          * 1-2 hour rest period.
          * 20-30 minutes rewarm and high heat blast

          Also, in the thread (c oliver) has provided to you, at the end is another thread that details my past experiences and those of others in more detail with pictures. You may want to give it a look to see what will work best for you.


          1. re: fourunder

            I have followed this advice for a smaller roast and it is fantastic. The resting time gives you an opportunity to use the oven.

            I would do popovers or Yorkshire pudding. It is an unusual twist, but I kind of like French fries with Prime Rib -- no oven time, just fryer to plate. You could do twice-baked potatoes in advance and just reheat if you wanted to be more traditional.

            I prefer Caesar salad with prime rib. I do the dressing the morning or day before and keep it in the fridge.

            1. re: travelerjjm

              My mother always serves twice baked potatoes with her annual prime rib, and they can be done a day or two ahead and just baked while the meat rests. Always a hit.

              1. re: Terrie H.

                I think that's a really good. It's not fancy but we all love 'em.

      1. Search fourunder's posts for preps for a rib roast. He's one of the meat heroes of this board. If I were you --- which of course I'm not :) --- I'd whittle that menu WAY down. And everything is hot/warm and heavy'ish. If you want soup, I'd go for something clear and light, a consomme' perhaps. Instead of braised kale, how about a big kale salad? If you want Yorkshire pudding instead of potatoes, there are numerous recipes online for individual ones but if it's going to stress you out, I'd stick with the potatoes. With these, you'd have a soup, a main and two sides. I personally think that's plenty. But you could also roast the carrots and the mushrooms together while the potatoes are cooking. Have you made flan before? If so, sure. I've never made one so not sure how foolproof they are. A dinner party for 12 is a pretty big undertaking. I'd sure simplify. And at least TRY to enjoy yourself :) Oh, one more thing. Not long ago I was reminded here on CH that an appetizer is supposed to whet one's appetite not kill it. So I've cut WAY back on that. Just olive bar type things, no cheese or meat. Everyone seems really happy with that. Again, TRY to have fun!

        2 Replies
        1. re: c oliver

          Hmm. It might be cultural perspective but we're used to 9 courses or more for a celebratory meal. Normally, I would make a 9 course Chinese meal, but since this meal is to celebrate the arrival of my brother in law from HK I thought making a Chinese meal would be like taking coals to Newcastle. Everyone that comes over wants to try American beef. If I only have the prime rib and 2 sides, it would seem stingy to me.

          Also, my 3 boys, husband and I are very hearty eaters. I was thinking Yorkshire pudding in addition to potatoes. Maybe instead of since it would save me time in slicing the potatoes. Flan is pretty easy to make and I can make that the night or 2 before hand.

          1. re: jzc

            Well, it sounds like you're super comfortable with that big a menu :) As far as you're not being home for most of the time the meat is cooking, I'm hoping that fourunder will weigh in. I'd be a wreck cooking that hugely expensive piece of meat for a very special party and having it overcooked.

        2. If you start with this link and read down a bit, it's what I was referring to re apps.


          1. I like to have bread with prime rib, to sop up the jus. You could get some rolls or baguettes from a bakery to save yourself the trouble.

            2 Replies
            1. re: juliejulez

              Do you have an outdoor barbecue? You could do a quick blanching of firmer veggies such as carrots and asparagus then finish them on the grill (with or without prosciutto wrapped around a few asparagus spears. Portobello mushrooms, zucchini, yellow summer squash or Chinese eggplant can similarly be grilled, rather than roasted. Together, these make colorful sides that can be grilled ahead of time and reheated, or grilled and served immediately. Vidalia onions or garlic heads can be drizzled in olive oil and seasoned, then wrapped in foil for slow cooking on the BBQ. I'd recommend doing cheesy mashed potatoes, which you can make ahead of time then reheat. As for soup, I'm a fan of cold soups, such as beet borscht, pureed carrot and parsnip with ginger and orange flavors, gazpacho or cucumber, yogurt and dill. If you prefer hot soups, I'd recommend something that can be made a day or two before and reheated on the stove. How about chicken with vegetables and rice (satisfying the rice component?)? A simple green salad could replace the kale. If you're dead set on making flan for dessert, do a test run ahead of time to make sure it will work as intended.

              1. re: 1sweetpea

                Great suggestion for using the grill! I do all manner out there and they taste better than anything done on or in the stove. Although some may poo-poo the idea, I VERY successfully made mashed potatoes for a Thanksgiving dinner a day ahead and reheated in the slowcooker. I had people dipping spoons in ahead of time :) And, YES, Vidalias are here!!! I cut in half, drizzle with oo and balsamic vinegar, s&p, foil pack and on the grill. And if family is moving here, a Vidalia onion is going to be a treat for sure. A test run for the flan is what I'd want to do but the dinner is THIS weekend. Eek. If she wants to go "Americana" how about apple pie a la mode?!?

            2. Depending on how many starters/apps/sides you're serving I'd cook more than 9 lbs of meat for 12 people especially if it is bone-in.

              The high heat for x min, turn off method works better for smaller roasts than big ones. I'd go with two roasts, perhaps one 6 plus pounds and one 4 plus pounds...you'll get a bit more variation in doneness that way as I find there's always some people who like rare and some who like well done. High heat method tends to satisfy more rare/medium rare eaters and not so much well done eaters (put the slices into gravy for those who want their meat less red).

              As someone else mentioned use your grill. Consider making baked potatoes and maybe some grilled veg as it's so easy to do.

              Yorkshire pudding is easy to make. You mix the eggs/milk/flour mixture and refrigerate till ready to cook. If you trimmed some of the fat from the meat, you could render some of it for the yorkies...if you don't want to do that some butter is fine as is some of whatever drippings comes from your roast. Yorkshire pudding is usually done at high heat, so take the meat out of the now pretty cooled off oven, and pre-heat to really high, in the mean time, I'd take the bone off the roast and you'll find it looks pretty rare. Salt+pepper the bones and roast the bones off with the yorkshire pudding. You can also put the roast back in the hot oven for last 10-15 mins.

              Last note. You will not get much drippings for gravy. Whatever you get, you can stretch with beef stock and add chinese style gravy ingredients which is soy/oyster sauce/corn starch.

              5 Replies
              1. re: LUV_TO_EAT

                That gravy sounds FANTASTIC! I SHALL be stealing this :)

                1. re: LUV_TO_EAT

                  Thanks for all the wonderful ideas and suggestions. I hadn't thought of having 2 roasts. That will work out well because while we like it medium rare to medium some of the others like it well done. My guest list has expanded by 1 adult. So it's 9 males (5 adults, 3 teenagers, and child) and 4 females including 2 teens on diets.

                  It will be boneless roasts (I know not as tasty, but with 2 roasts maybe I'll do one bone in and one boneless). I'm not shopping until tomorrow night so I'll let y'all know what I come home with.

                  I will have to review fourunder's thread later tonight on cooking.

                  The apple pie suggestion got me thinking of going back to my southern roots for peach cobbler and vanilla ice cream. Yum! Easier to make as I cannot for the life of me make a good pie crust.

                  1. re: jzc

                    I would vote for the peach cobbler or crisp, my favorite dessert. Since it isn't peach season, use the frozen peach slices. Good luck with your party!

                    1. re: jzc

                      For future reference....purchasing the meat up to a week in advance is preferable to allow the meat to relax and or give it some time uncovered or wrapped in the refrigerator to air dry. It helps a little to concentrate some more beef flavor.

                      If you intend to make Yorkshire Pudding...ask the butcher or meat manager in your market for some extra fat scraps to render so you can have them for the fat drippings needed for a proper Yorkshire Pudding.

                      Last....keep in mind a boneless roast takes less time to finish

                      1. re: fourunder

                        I always aim for that at home 'aging' also. And, yes, to getting scraps. They always have them from trimming other steaks and they just get tossed.

                  2. I would sub a clear soup for the cream of cauliflower and serve in cups, not bowls

                    I would add bakery rolls and butter.

                    No salad or another veg necessary.

                    For apps I would serve a bowl of citrus spiced olives and a dish of Marcona almonds

                    Hope it is WILDLY successful.

                    1. Horseradish sauce. Go for it.

                      1. Here's my basic recipe for Yorkshire Pudding reprinted from another thread:

                        This is the basic recipe I use. I like them made in a muffin tin, rather than a casserole dish and cut into squares for presentation.

                        Total Time: 45 min.
                        Prep: 10 min.
                        Bake: 35 min.
                        Yield: 12 Yorkshire puddings .

                        Requires a Large Muffin Pan, the mixture can easily be doubled

                        2+ tablespoons beef drippings per muffin spot
                        6 ounces all-purpose flour
                        6 fluid ounces milk
                        2 eggs
                        .5 tsp Salt
                        .5 tsp Fresh Cracked Black Pepper

                        Preheat the oven 425 degrees F.

                        Pour the beef drippings into a muffin pan.

                        Place in the oven until the drippings are smoking hot and sizzling.

                        Mix ingredients and beat for 5 minutes until smooth.

                        Cover and place into refrigerator for 1 hour to chill

                        Remove the mixture and beat lightly.

                        Pour or scoop equal amounts into muffin pan half filled

                        Bake for 25-35 minutes @ 425* ,depending on your oven

                        * The classic British recipe calls for baking the first 20 minutes @ 425*, then reducing the oven to 375* without opening the oven door for the final 15 minutes to finish. The mixture should be puffed and golden brown....removed and served hot.

                        * A great tip is to trim some fat from the roast, or use fat saved from previous beef cuts save in the freezer, and render them beforehand to save some time and make more efficient use of timing issues during your resting period of the Prime Rib Roast and preparing the sides for your meal.

                        1. Everything you need to know about cooking prime rib:


                          1. Just wanted to follow up and thank everyone for your help. I panicked at 6AM on Saturday morning because I couldn't access Chowhound. I didn't have access until almost 10AM so I was reviewing everything in my head but I hadn't printed anything or made notes so I wasn't sure on my times. I got access just about when I needed to put it in the oven. Praise the Lord! Luckily I had remembered to take the prime rib out of the fridge so it could come to room temperature and preheat my oven. I had 2 roasts. One was 5.34 lbs and flat while the other 5.6 and thicker.

                            I put the smaller one in earlier than thicker one to try to have it more medium rather than medium rare otherwise I followed Fourunder's sound advice of 20 minutes at 450 and then slow with my meat thermometer. 225 for 1.5 hours before I checked it. Panic again. Just realized, my thermometer's lowest temperature is 130. Achh! Poked it and decided to wing it and bake it for another half hour and then turn off the oven. Got back around 2:30-3 so it had been resting in the oven for 2.5 hours or so. It was still warm. Poked it with my finger and it seemed a little too soft so turned the oven back on for 30 minutes at 250 then took it out, covered it with foil, and then wrapped 2 thick towels over it while I did the sides.

                            Everyone raved about it. There was no gray and it was pink throughout. It was tender enough cut it with a fork. I was going to heat blast it the hour before serving but my hubby nixed that idea. I think it would have been better if the crust was hot instead of just warm, also I think I under seasoned it. I had made a chimichurri as well as au jus and the chimichurri was in high demand. I'm going to have to print out Fourunder's posting so that I have it on hand in case something goes wrong with the site again.

                            Apps - grape tomatoes, green olives, feta, minced shallots in a balsamic vinegarette, mustard sardines out of the tin, boiled globe artichoke with an avocado lime aioli, and stuffed mushrooms

                            Soup - cream of cauliflower good but not my favorite recipe. I was trying to be healthy so it didn't have any cream or butter. Mistake.

                            I was going to blanch the baby carrots and grill but walked away for a bit because guests arrived and ended up with boiled carrots so butter and thyme went into that. Braised kale took less than 5 minutes in the wok. Potato au gratin was ok but needs some tweaking although the boys seemed to like it. It was Alton Brown's recipe with Portobello mushrooms. It might have been the cheese, I should have grated my own parmesan instead of buying the packaged b/c it didn't seem to melt properly. If I do it again I'll definitely buy a mandolin and better cheese.

                            I didn't make the Yorkshire pudding/popovers after all. Realized that I only have a 6 muffin muffin tin. I told y'all I wasn't a baker.

                            I was tired at the end of the night so passed off the peach cobbler to my 13 year old son. It was yummy even though my hubby did forget the vanilla ice cream. :-( We finished the cobbler in less than 15 minutes straight out of the oven and I wasn't the only one huffing and puffing trying to cool off the bite in my mouth. Thank you my son!

                            At the end of the night we still had a quarter of the meat left and a third of the potato au gratin. We ate it last night. The prime rib was still really good. Unfortunately, no photos. We were so anxious to dig in, we didn't think about it until afterwards.

                            Thanks again everyone!

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: jzc

                              For the future you don't need muffin tins for the Yorkshire, you can do it in an 8 x8 pan.

                              1. re: jzc

                                It sounds fantastic! And, yes, I feel your pain re exhaustion. But so worth it. Thanks for reporting back.

                                1. re: jzc

                                  Nice job and thanks for the review....

                                  Should you attempt this again, Tell you husband to stay out of the kitchen unless he is helping. With regards to the Prime Rib holding period (2 hours) at the end of roasting, the warm-up phase and high heat blast.....inform him that it does not cook up the roast any further. A combination of the high heat and some olive oil or butter will put a nice crust on the outside...just before serving, not an hour before. As you found out, holding the roast for the longer time allows the meat to tenderize further...without cooking up the roast. Also, with regards to your thermometer, and 130*, 125-135 is still consider Medium-Rare.

                                2. Yorkshire is easy. Put drippings in 8 by 8 metal pan. Pour in batter and bake. Cut into servings. We serve our with butter like bread but many top with gravy.