You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Mon, Dec 19, 2011 : 2:15 p.m.

Standing Rib Roast a simple but perfect entree for Christmas

By Peggy Lampman


(Super-Simple) Standing Rib Roast

Peggy Lampman | Contributor


The new Holiday Cookbook answers all of your cooking needs. Strapped for time? Check out the well-tested Super-Simple section.

I saw this recipe redux from 1966 in the New York Times last year. The article was written by Amanda Hesser. and I couldn’t wait until prime rib season was here to try it. Why? Because it sounded impossibly simple. And guess what? It was. It was also delicious and cooked to rare perfection.

The recipe was adapted from Ann Seranne, a former editor of Gourmet Magazine. One change I made was rubbing rosemary into the flesh, which took an extra minute of time, and this flavorful addition was worth the effort. I also sauteed some shiitakes in pan drippings with a splash of wine, but it wasn't essential for success, so I didn’t include that step or ingredients in the recipe.

Last year I roasted an Herb-Crusted Standing Rib Roast with flavors of horseradish. I served it with a red wine mushroom gravy; pretty darn tasty, as well. The gravy would also be marvelous with this roast.

Click here for a slide show demonstrating just how easy this recipe is to prepare.

Active Time: 5 minutes
Rest Time: 2 1/2-4 hours
Roast Time: Refer to above instructions;depends on size of roast
Number of servings (yield): Each rib serves 2 people


1, 2- to 4-rib roast of beef, weighing 4 1/2 to 12 pounds
Flour as needed
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons dry rosemary


1. Remove roast from the refrigerator 2 1/2 to 4 hours before cooking.
2. Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
3. Place the roast in an open, shallow roasting pan, fat side up. Sprinkle with a little flour, and rub the flour into the fat lightly. Generously season all over with salt, pepper and rosemary.
4. Place roast in oven and roast according to the roasting chart below*, timing the minutes exactly. When cooking time is finished, turn off the oven. Do not open the door at any time. Allow the roast to remain in the oven until oven is lukewarm, or about two hours. The roast will still have a crunchy brown outside and an internal heat suitable for serving as long as 4 hours after removing from the oven.

*2 ribs: 4 1/2 to 5 pounds; 25 to 30 minutes.
*3 ribs: 8 to 9 pounds; 40 to 45 minutes.
*4 ribs: 11 to 12 pounds; 55 to 60 minutes.

My new web site (packed with holiday recipes) has recently been launched. (! I'm a real-time food writer and photographer posting daily feeds on my website and in the Food & Drink section of You may also e-mail me at



Tue, Dec 20, 2011 : 8:17 p.m.

This looks amazing. Thanks for sharing!

Peggy Lampman

Mon, Dec 19, 2011 : 9:41 p.m.

Thanks Poohbah. I wish I'd known about this technique as it's so easy to commit to memory. Interesting that the recipe has such deep roots. I am going to try your suggestion with a roaster after the holidays. I have a wonderful recipe for Thai Roast Chicken that could use "pruning". Great comment and thanks much for sharing! Peggy


Thu, Dec 22, 2011 : 8:49 p.m.

Glad to be of help, Peggy. I goggled &quot;Adele Davis&quot; and then did an advanced search with &quot;Slow Roasting.&quot; Got over 3,000 hits! I guess a lot of folks are still using the technique. The cookbook Adele wrote is &quot;Let's Cook It Right&quot; and was published in 1947. I have a copy but right now it's out of reach since it was packed away (somewhere) while the house was being remodeled. However, my favorite site for old books is <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> and a search on the title yielded 22 copies ranging in price from $2.00 for the 1947 edition to $8.00 for a softcover updated 1970 edition (or if you really want to splurge, there's a copy with a price of $500! Don't ask me why....).


Mon, Dec 19, 2011 : 4:13 p.m.

This recipe is an adaptation of the &quot;slow roasting&quot; technique promoted by Adele Davis back in the '50s. The initial high temperature bake &quot;sterilizes&quot; the surface and then produces a nice sear. The oven temperature should then be set to the desired final temperature of the roast or even five or so degrees less. Then forget about it until your digital thermometer says it's there. Remove the roast from the oven and allow it to rest 10 minutes or so as the internal temperature rises to the final value. The result is an absolutely perfectly cooked and really juicy roast! Initial reaction of many is that such a long exposure to heat will dry out the roast. Not true. I've been using this technique for years and it works on beef, pork, turkey and chicken.


Tue, Dec 20, 2011 : 1:09 a.m.

How many ovens can be set as low as 130-155, for medium rare to medium? Mine winks out below 170 and I can't recall seeing any that go much lower. I just use one of the older heavy-duty thermometers that you jab it and leave it there - can't see much advantage of the instant-read digitals - the internal temperature's going to keep rising after you take it out and the less jabbing you do through the crusted skin, the better.