Perfect Prime Rib Beef Roast

Photo by Karen Pavone

Photo by Karen Pavone

Christmas Eve dinner at our home always means one thing: Roast Prime Rib of Beef . It’s a tradition in my family that has become synonymous with celebrating the holidays.

Buying prime rib is a splurge, but it is worth every penny if you choose quality meat. For me, that means buying beef that is humanely raised on pasture from start to finish. For my money, family owned Stemple Creek Ranch in West Marin is the best beef you can buy in the Bay Area. Rancher Loren Poncia is the fourth-generation in his family to steward their land. He and his wife Lisa raise grass-fed and finished Angus beef and lamb using the utmost best practices in sustainability.

Loren & Lisa Poncia of Stemple Creek Ranch

Loren & Lisa Poncia of Stemple Creek Ranch

I love visiting Stemple Creek and seeing the cattle grazing placidly on the natural forage in their wide-open fields. The animals wander at leisure enjoying nature’s bounty and slowly growing fat for harvest. I like knowing they are raised with care, and enjoy a good life under the Poncia’s watchful eye.



The final proof is in the pudding (or in this case the meat!) The prime rib I reserve from Stemple Creek is always tender and flavorful with just the right marbling of fat that makes for a juicy finished roast.


Through the month of December, Stemple Creek Ranch has prime rib roasts (while they last) at their farmers market booths; Saturday CUESA Ferry Plaza Farmers Market in San Francisco (8:00am-2:00pm) and Sunday Marin Civic Center Farmers Market in San Rafael (8:00am-1:00pm). You can also order prime rib and other prime cuts of beef or lamb year round from their webstore and have it shipped directly to your door.

Having made a substantial investment to buy the best beef, it is imperative to know how to prepare this centerpiece for your feast. One of the most common mistakes is overcooking. Ideally, prime rib should be served medium-rare.  For perfect results every time, I rely on Loren’s foolproof recipe for cooking prime rib.

Happy roasting everyone!


Poncia’s Perfect Prime Rib of Roast Beef

*Printable recipe: Stemple Creek Ranch Perfect Prime Rib Roast


2, 3, 4, or 7 Prime Rib Beef Roast


  • Take the roast out of the refrigerator and pat dry.
  • Liberally apply a salt-based dry rub to the outer surface of the roast. Season with a blend of salt, pepper, garlic, onion powder, and lemon zest along with any herbs you like. Let the roast sit at room temperature for four (4) hours prior to cooking.


  • Heat oven to 500 degrees F. Put the prime rib on a roasting pan and place on the center rack in the heated oven for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F and continue cooking (allow 10 minutes per pound of meat).
  • After the first 30 minutes, check for doneness with an instant read thermometer inserted into the center of the roast. Take the roast out of the oven when the internal temperature has reached 110 degrees F, and cover with a foil tent.
  • The roast will continue to cook as it sits on the counter top, and is ready to serve when the internal temperature reaches 130 degrees F (perfect medium-rare). This will take an additional 20-30 minutes.
  • To serve, slice the roast thinly against the grain of the meat and adding a sprinkle of good sea salt. Garnish with horseradish sauce on the side if desired.
Categories: "How To" tips, Entrees, Farms & Ranches, Holiday RecipesTags: , , , , , , ,


  1. How timely is this?? I just ordered a 6-rib roast from Marin Sun Farms (sorry Stemple Creek!) and will take their advice for the rub & technique. Thanks Karen, for the always delicious ideas!

  2. Thanks Karen for the recipe! I’ll be heading to the Ferry Building this Saturday to get my very own Stemple Creek prime rib!!!

  3. I am always intimidated by cooking this roast. It is such a delicate meat, you don’t want to ruin it. I will have to try Loren’s recipe. Beautiful photos, Karen.

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