Classic Roast Prime Rib of Beef Au Jus

Roasted prime rib
Jun Seita/Flickr
Ratings (64)
  • Total: 3 hrs 10 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 3 hrs
  • Yield: 4-8 portions (4-8 servings)

The perfect prime rib is an easy undertaking if you follow a few key steps. The most important one is using an accurate digital thermometer. This is the only way to ensure the desired doneness, which hopefully is a perfectly pink medium-rare when the flavor and texture are at their best.   

This prime rib recipe will work no matter what size roast you're using and a great rule of thumb is each rib will feed two guests.


  • 1 standing beef rib roast (4 to 7 ribs, 9 to 18 lb.)
  • Black pepper as needed (fresh, course-ground)
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons kosher salt (or other larger grain, flake-style salt, about 1/2 tsp. per rib of beef)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons butter (softened, about 1/2 tbsp. per rib of beef)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1-quart beef broth (cold, 4 cups)

Steps to Make It

  1. Remove the prime rib from the refrigerator and place in a large roasting pan with at least 3-inch sides. No roasting rack is needed, as the rib bones form a natural rack and will keep the prime rib off the bottom of the pan. Rub the entire surface of the roast with the butter and coat evenly with salt and pepper. Let the prime rib stand at room temperature for 2 hours.

  2. Preheat the oven to 450 F. When the oven is hot, put the roast in and cook for 20 minutes to sear the outside of the roast. After 20 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 325 F. and roast until the desired internal temperature is reached (see Internal Temperature Guide below). For medium-rare meat, this will take approximately 15 minutes per pound. 

  3. Transfer the roast a large platter, loosely tent with foil and rest for 30 minutes before serving. Cutting into the meat too early will cause a significant loss of juice.

  4. Meanwhile, make the au jus sauce. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the pan and place the pan on the stovetop over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes to form a roux or paste. Pour in the beef broth and whisk, scraping all the caramelized beef drippings from the bottom of the pan. Increase the heat to high and cook the sauce, whisking often, for 10 minutes or until it reduces and thickens slightly (this is not a gravy, so don't expect a thick, heavy sauce). Adjust seasoning, strain and serve alongside the prime rib.

Internal Temperature Guide

Depending on how done you like your prime rib, below is a guide for internal temperatures. Remember, these are the temperatures to remove the beef and not the final temperature. The roast will continue to cook after it's removed, this is called sitting time. 

• Rare meat: Remove the roast when the internal temperature reaches 110 F. (Final temp will be about 120 F)
• Medium-rare meat: Remove the roast when the internal temperature reaches 120 F. (Final temp will be about 130 F)
• Medium meat: Remove the roast when the internal temperature reaches 130 F. (Final temp will be about 140 F)

Edited by Kathy Kingsley