No Apologizing – Holiday Delicious Crusted Pepper Prime Rib Recipe

This Crusted Pepper Prime Rib Recipe is the most delicious holiday main dish to serve! Simple tip: Cut meat off the bone and retie before baking. Watch the video below how to make the BEST prime rib!

Unrealistic expectations can quickly steal our joy. So when it comes to preparing a 4-5 course meal, and possibly this amazing Crusted Pepper Prime Rib Recipe, realize there will be some mistakes.

Strive to make things excellent, not perfect, is my motto.

Every time I make my prime rib, I wonder if it’s going to be “cooked to perfection.” Because everyone’s oven heats differently, it’s just best to get used to using a meat thermometer when cooking meat. Luckily I have a “count-it-backwards” method (bottom of post) that helps create the perfect prime rib!

For an expensive cut of meat like prime rib that’s prepared maybe once a year, you want to make sure it turns out great. Cooking the prime rib in a hot oven at first helps create a browned crust, which lends to a deeper, delicious flavor when it’s fully cooked.

Crusted Pepper Prime Rib Recipe

Preparation is easy for this Crusted Pepper Prime Rib Recipe. Follow my method; slather the prime rib with mayonnaise, tons of pressed garlic, and heavy salt and pepper.

Press together and wrap in plastic wrap in the fridge (follow formula).

Bake and serve. Delicious!

My husband is a sweetie. He always grabs the knife and cuts the meat. This time it actually did turn out perfect, but there have been times when the meat has been overcooked.

Crusted Pepper Prime Rib Recipe

What to do when things are not perfect

Let’s say the meat comes out of the oven overcooked. You don’t have a lot of options. Can you add sauce?

If the meat is undercooked, you have several options:
– Put it back in the oven for another 20-30 minutes; push dinner back.
– Slice and microwave on the platter.
– Ask your guests who like rare, medium, etc. Slice from the outer sides of the meat for medium cooked, and toward the center for rare.

But honestly, most the time, just serve the meat! Don’t say a word, and people won’t care.

I also remember at this dinner party serving the main course to our guests and looking at the plate and wishing I had put smaller rosemary garnishes on the platter. We were rushed to get the food to the table while it was hot, so we just grabbed what was on the counter.

It seems every time I entertain, I see something I “missed.” But I’m learning to not be hard on myself anymore. It’s hard being a hostess and a food blogger. You can’t always capture the “perfect” picture when your guests are waiting for their food!

What your guests will think

I’ll  guarantee that your guests will never remember the doneness of the meat that you cooked at your holiday event. The garnishes on the plate. Or the state of your house.

They will probably remember the people who were there, maybe even the conversation if it was impacting. Possibly the music and the ambience.

I realize that when we entertain, we visualize a perfect day–with perfect people, perfectly cooked food, angelic kids–but it isn’t reality.

So this is my challenge to you (and myself): How about catching yourself and your attitude and changing your way of thinking?

Unless you’re a chef with amazing skills in the kitchen, you’ll probably be just like me–making many mistakes, over and over.

Do you struggle with your cooking or your house having to be perfect? What has helped you to realize that you’re miserable when you think this way?

Crusted Pepper Prime Rib Recipe

When you buy the meat, ask someone in the meat department to cut the meat off the bone and retie the roast for you. This will help make carving and serving easier. It will be dark on the outside, but delicious on the inside (will not taste burnt).

Count-it-backkwards Method – SAMPLE formula for cooking an 8 lb. roast, to be served at 6:30 PM:

10:45 am – Put roast on the counter for 3 hours

1:45 pm – Cook roast 30 minutes at 450 degrees

2:15 pm – 8 lbs. x 30 minutes per lb. = 4 hours at 200F

6:15 pm – Remove roast from oven; let stand for 15 minutes

6:30 pm – Ready to serve

If you want an actual temp, cook until temperature of 120°F – remove from oven, cover loosely with aluminum foil, and let sit approximately 20 minutes. The roast will continue to cook as it sits and reaches 130°F.


  • 1 8-lb. prime rib (rib roast), cut off the bone
  • 1 cup mayonnaise (plus more, if needed, to slather all sides of the prime rib)
  • Sea salt (use a lot)
  • 24+ cloves garlic, pressed (A LOT)
  • Coarse-ground black pepper (use a lot)


  1. When you buy the meat, ask someone in the meat department to cut the meat off the bone and retie the roast for you. This will help make carving and serving easier.
  2. Cover the roast with mayonnaise. Generously season the coating on all sides with salt. Pat the pressed garlic onto the outside and heavily cover with pepper. (No need to add garlic and pepper to the bone side.)
  3. Rewrap the roast with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator one to three days before serving.
  4. Three hours before baking, remove the roast from the refrigerator and let sit on the counter.
  5. Unwrap the roast and lay on the bottom of a roasting pan (on the rack).
  6. Preheat the oven to 450F and roast for 30 minutes. Turn the oven down to 200F and roast for 30 minutes per pound. If desired, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature (130F).
  7. Remove from the oven and cover with foil. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.
  8. Remove the twine and set the roast on a cutting board to slice. Serve with horseradish sauce.

Count-it-backkwards Method – Sample formula for cooking an 8 lb. roast, to be served at 6:30 PM:

10:45 am – Put roast on the counter for 3 hours
1:45 pm – Cook roast 30 minutes at 450 degrees
2:15 pm – 8 lbs. x 30 minutes per lb. = 4 hours at 200F
6:15 pm – Remove roast from oven; let stand for 15 minutes
6:30 pm – Ready to serve

(Always check your roast with a meat thermometer for doneness.)

All images and text ©

Side dishes to serve with prime rib: This classic Mashed Potato Casserole or Potato Fennel Gratin Recipe, or Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Apple and Bacon [Barefeet in the Kitchen], or Nana’s Famous Green Beans [Mom Time Out].

REVIEW all 5 posts and fabulous recipes:

Day 1: The Purpose of the Home, Roasted Grapes & Fresh Rosemary
Day 2: Culinary Mistakes and Beauchamp Orchard Salad
Day 3: Learning to be Authentic and Pesto Baked Potatoes
Day 4: Don’t Plan for Perfection and Crusted Pepper Prime Rib
Day 5: Laugh at Your Mistakes with Holiday Poached Pears

Crusted Pepper Prime Rib Recipe

29 comments on “No Apologizing – Holiday Delicious Crusted Pepper Prime Rib Recipe”

  1. I love your blog. You were in my head all day yesterday. I made a cake for a celebration at work. It was a newer recipe and I was afraid it was baked too long and caramelized too much. I was worried it wasn’t my best because people always compliment me on my baking. All day I had to tell myself…no apologies, no excuses, just serve the cake. Well I did and it was a hit. I know they weren’t just saying that because most went back for a second piece! Thanks again Sandy for always helping me keep things in perspective while entertaining.

  2. Everything Lisa said, ditto from me! You are in my head every day as I am cooking, baking and entertaining this holiday season. I have a feeling I’m going to stress less and have more fun when entertaining, thanks to you Sandy! I agree that I always seem to forget something when entertaining, but you are right- if you don’t point it out no one will know! :-)

    The roast looks perfectly cooked and so delicious!

  3. You are always in my head too! :) I have a motto…what would Sandy do? Seriously, you keep me grounded sister! Love this post! (and the whole series!)

  4. Sandy….I really need to print out this post (and many of your others) as reminders about what is important. I have two friends coming over tomorrow for afternoon dessert and coffee…and I’m so nervous. What if my cake fails? My Christmas decorations aren’t up. Will they see the smudges on the walls? And then….that’s not what it’s about at all. I’ll be channeling you tomorrow.

  5. You always put a smile on my face. You are so spot on with this series. Love it!

  6. I have totally done the “cut-into-the-chicken-whoops-it’s-not-done” microwave shuffle. I try to remember to test with a meat thermometer before I serve – especially individual pieces that aren’t being sliced. But hey, I have to remember to laugh it off and try to turn the conversation to something terribly interesting to keep people entertained for a few more minutes (and, hey, it’s better than people getting sick!)

    And then there was the time that I thought I would just whip up a quick pecan pie for a weekend guest who mentioned a hankering for pie. I think I was halving the recipe (which made two pies) and forgot to half the number of eggs. Still edible, but definitely a different, eggy sort of texture. We all ate it anyway (and lived to tell the tale). At least the from-scratch pie crust was wonderful? :)

  7. Great post, Sandy! Your meals look way more delicious than anything I cook!

  8. I am loving this series! My hubby and I have been struggling with what to serve for our family gathering on Christmas Eve — I thing Prime Rib would be perfect! These recipe and tips, schedule make it seem far less intimidating that I would suspect — Thank YOU!
    Would you suggest . . . for a larger crowd that we prepare 2 8lb rib roasts rather than 1 larger 1? I think I would feel more comfortable with 2 smaller.

  9. Sandy, you’ve done it again with just the right thing! You and I are on the same page with the unrealistic expectations– love from a recovering perfectionist! You’ve helped a lot!
    Blessings to you and your family this holiday season!

  10. Pingback: No Apologizing - Laugh at Your Mistakes & Holiday Poached Pears | Reluctant Entertainer I Sandy Coughlin - Lifestyle, Entertaining, Food, Recipes, Hospitality and Gardening

  11. Excellent, not perfect… is a fantastic motto! Gorgeous prime rib!

  12. Love this recipe, but love the message of this series even more! You are a hostess’ fairy god mother!

  13. Love the motto too! And I would love to make Prime Rib for a dinner party, great idea!

  14. Thanks for this great recipe. When you say “ask the meat dept to cut the meat off the bone” yet I see bones in the pictures. Can you offer a bit more detail on what you mean?

  15. I had to pin this – it just looked fantastic! I hope it was a lovely dinner! You really are an incredible entertainer! I was fortunate enough to grow up with some of the best and I love your settings, etc! Great post and Merry Christmas, Sandy!

  16. Pingback: Entertaining at Home and 4 Happiness Stealers | Reluctant Entertainer I Sandy Coughlin - Lifestyle, Entertaining, Food, Recipes, Hospitality and Gardening

  17. This looks so good! And I love this post, I always worry that things won’t be perfect and I find it refreshing that I really shouldn’t. Your entertaining tips are truly priceless, and quite honestly when I visit friends, I could care less if things are perfect – I am just happy to be in their company.

  18. I used to watch Sarah Moulton on FoodTV and she always said something to the effect that “however it turns out is exactly how you planned it!” Even if it isn’t. No one needs to know.
    Love your blog and so glad I stumbled on it on Pinterest.

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  24. I have cooked enough to know to remove the plastic wrap from the roast before putting in the oven but you really should add that as a NEW cook may not think to do that! ha ha. I have never used mayo on my prime rib. I shall try your recipe at Christmas. Thank you

  25. Thanks for the recipe, I will try it out soon.

  26. Where do you get your ” Prime Rib ” ??? We never see it in our area

  27. Pingback: The Best Prime Rib Recipes - Cupcakes & Kale Chips

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