Prepare for “oohs” and “ahhs” when you place this roast on your holiday table. Although it looks difficult, it’s truly simple to prepare—slather it with our herb butter the night before; then let your oven do the work. Our peppery roast will be the heart of your Christmas Eve meal. The crust of pepper, rosemary, sage, and thyme creates a flavorful, fragrant roast that pairs beautifully with warm, roasted root vegetables. This roast is the kind of main dish that memories are made of. Add a pour of sherry pan gravy—the rich flavor of which belies the easy preparation—and you have a beautiful meal worthy of any festive holiday table.
1/2 cup salted butter, softened
2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 (8-lb.) 4-rib prime rib roast, chine bone removed
Stir together butter, pepper, salt, rosemary, sage, thyme, and oil in a small bowl. Spread evenly over roast. Chill, uncovered, 12 hours or up to 24 hours.
Remove roast from the refrigerator; let stand at room temperature 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 450°F. Place roast on a lightly greased rack in a roasting pan. Bake in preheated oven on lowest oven rack 45 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F; bake until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest portion registers 120°F to 130°F for medium-rare or 130°F to 135°F for medium, about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Let stand 30 minutes. Transfer roast to a serving platter, reserving 1/2 cup drippings for gravy.