From what I've read, there's no difference between to two. It confused me for a while because Grandma Dede and Aunt Kathy would say we're having Prime Rib and when I went to the store one year to continue to family tradition of having Prime Rib for Easter Dinner, nothing in the meat department was labeled "Prime Rib". I was then informed that what I was suppose to look for was called Rib Roast - Small End, with the ribs attached which then makes it a Standing Rib Roast. Meat terms and labels are so confusing. What the recipe calls for is not always the same name you'll find at the market, especially if you're using an old cookbook. I suppose this is where it comes in handy to have a good relationship with your butcher who doesn't mind silly "layman" questions :).
Now tell me that doesn't make your mouth water? I've talked to several people over the years who are afraid to make Prime Rib. I was shocked. To be honest with you....it's a total piece of cake. Cooking a turkey is way more complicated! I swear! Maybe it's the cost of the meat that makes it more intimidating. And I totally get that. Thats why I never ever ever, not EVER, buy this baby at full price (except for maybe once, but I had to. I'll explain why later). Around the holidays I can usually find if for under $4 a pound. Compare that price to the steak house in town with their fancy schmancy white linen table clothes.
Now, lets get down to business. The seasoning. I never measure and I probably don't even use the same seasonings each time. I just grab jars out of the spice cabinet and sniff....the ones that smell like yum, get promoted to the Prime Rib seasoning bowl and the others stay in the cabinet. This year I ended up with a blend of the following:
Salt & Pepper (no brainer)
Oh, and I always grab several twigs from my rosemary bush (the thing is taller than I am and is on its way to being a dwarf rosemary tree).
Set that wonderful standing rib roast in a shallow roasting pan. Mix all your seasonings (except for the rosemary) and smother your roast with the mixture....aaaaall over. Then take those rosemary twigs and slide them under the roast in the rib "cave". How difficult can that be? Hell, it's not like you have to wrestle with it and stuff if full of moist bread crumbs. I'm not bashing turkeys by any means. I love me some turkey but seriously....this is way easier!!
Preheat your oven to 325'. Plop that baby in the oven with your meat thermometer inserted in the middle of the meat without it touching a bone. Just guesstimate, maybe insert it about 2 inches at the top of your roast. Follow this roasting timetable:
6 - 8 lbs.
Rare - thermometer reading: 140', approximate cooking time 23 - 25 minutes per lb.
Medium - thermometer reading: 160', approximate cooking time 27 - 30 minutes per lb.
Well Done - thermometer reading: 170', approximate cooking time 32 - 35 minutes per lb.
If you notice towards the end of its roasting time, that its getting too dark, just tent it with some tin foil and continue cooking.
Once your baby is roasted to your desired degree of doneness, allow it to set 15 - 20 minutes after removing it from the oven. The meat will continue to cook so you might want to remove the meat when the thermometer registered 5' - 10' lower than the desired temperature. I always tent it with tin foil while its resting. I don't have a "clinical" reason but I remember seeing Grandma Dede doing that so I thought it was the thing to do. Works for me, doesn't hurt. And now it's time to carve away, serve and enjoy. I mostly serve Prime Rib with my Twice Baked Potatoes but one of these days I'm going to make some Yorkshire Pudding and Gravy to go with it. (drool drool)
I do have a couple of Prime Rib horror stories. Those weird-ass who would've thought this could happen type of stories.
The same Easter that I had my exploding glass in my Twice Baked Potatoes happen, well....I had bought 2 smaller roasts on Friday from the store. Sunday rolls around and I pull them out of the fridge to get ready to smother them in all those yummy seasonings. Only something wasn't right....no, the trash had been taken out....the dog was outside and the cat had not died. Oh GOD one of the roasts was rancid!!! WTF!!!!! Oh hell no! I'm not eating this! Figuratively or literally. Nope...didn't save my receipt, but the store label was still on the nasty thing. So...Dennis and I marched into that store and found the store manager behind the customer service counter....on his cellphone...making a personal call. Ignoring us and our bag full of nasty smelling meat. He didn't even look at us and say..."I'll be with you in just a minute." Ya, I know....it's a holiday and you have to work but hey! It's your job, you signed up for it and you get paid so GET OFF YOUR PHONE I HAVE A DINNER TO COOK AND COMPANY COMING!! (clears her throat). Ya, I guess that still pisses me off. After a few stern words and ignoring the fact that he really did not want to take the meat back.....I got my replacement roast and headed home with only a few minor detours (back into line with a pound of bacon for the Twice Baked Potatoes).
This other time, I had placed the roast in the oven, thermometer inserted and all. Everything was under control and I was feeling good. Hm...should've been my first clue....when are holiday meals every under control for long? All of a sudden I hear this awful "POP" from the oven. Whaaaaat was that?? Um...let me start by saying...if the thermometer instructions say "Do NOT put in dishwasher", apparently there's a reason. If you do...the next time you use it, the extreme oven heat will cause it to explode, and tiny microscopic pieces of thermometer glass will be embedded in your Prime Rib, causing you to make an unwanted trip to the grocery store and possibly paying twice as much for your roast as you did because it is no longer on sale. ARGH!!!
Now...after reading what kind of holidays I have, maybe you'll know why this is a total must! A little something to calm my nerves. This year mixed Limoncello and Champagne was the desired nerve calmer, happy cook maker. Great taste....major ass kicker!! So keep it to a minimum, but enjoy!