Mary's Christmas Prime Rib
My brother's birthday is on Christmas Day, so he always picked out what we got to eat for our holiday dinner. Since my Mom did such a fantastic job of cooking our Thanksgiving spread, my brother became accustomed to requesting turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, stuffing and challah for his birthday celebration.
I met Kevin (my husband) in August 2011, and that Christmas, he invited me over to his Mom's house for dinner. Kevin's mom, Mary, is an incredible cook. In fact, she is one of the best chef's I've ever met. To my surprise, when we arrived at her house, she had prepared prime rib, a cut of meat I'd never eaten before for Christmas.
When I experienced the feast that evening, my whole world changed. The prime rib was melt-in-your mouth delicious, and his Mom served it with tender, savory elbow noodles. The noodles were cooked in the pan drippings of the beef, and lightly tossed with salt and parsley before serving. Horseradish cream was the condiment on the side, and I was completely shook. It was an epic meal, and one I will never forget.
When I asked Mary how to replicate the prime rib at home, I couldn't believe how easy the recipe was. It became clear in our conversation that I could create the same holiday spread with less than 10 ingredients, and it was a restaurant-worthy experience. A heavy hand of salt, some fresh cracked pepper and a beautiful cut of meat is really all you need to make a perfect Christmas main.
For the last eight years, I have cooked Mary's exact same meal or Kevin and I for our holiday meal. After all the effort of Thanksgiving, this simple Christmas dinner is a much needed escape from the usual chaos.
I serve this dish with a garlicky caesar salad and horseradish cream, which is as easy as finely grating fresh horseradish root into some sour cream, adding a little dijon, some salt and pepper, and a splash of lemon juice or white wine vinegar until its as spicy and cooling as you'd like. I always make my sauces to taste, and for Kevin and I, the more horseradish the better...
Christmas Prime Rib Recipe
- 6-8 lb prime rib roast
- 1 box elbow macaroni (I use gluten-free noodles, but any will do)
- salt (I use himalayan sea salt)
- 1 tsp pepper
- chopped parsley
- Pre-heat oven to 500 degrees for 20 minutes
- Generously season the prime rib roast with salt and pepper
- Place roast (ribs down) in roasting pan on a rack in oven at 500 degrees for 20 minutes
- Lower the heat to 325 and bake the roast:
- 2.5-3 hours for rare*
- 3-3.5 hours for medium*
- Boil macaroni to a little under al dente
- 30 minutes before roast is done, add macaroni to the juices below the roast in the roasting pan, tossing to coat. Add some salt to the macaroni and stir every ten minutes.
- Remove the roast and let rest before carving. Remove the macaroni to a bowl on the side and toss with chopped parsley before serving.
*I recommend using a meat thermometer to achieve desired doneness. Check out this chart from ThermoWorks for reference.