Recipe and Tips to Prepare an Epic Prime Rib Roast with Wine Pairings
Want to turn your holiday roast from basic to epic? Check out this easy recipe and follow my tips on how to prepare an epic Coffee Crusted Prime Rib Roast. I hope it inspires you to get together with family and friends, celebrate life and go #MakeSomedayHappen one delicious bite, sip and trip at a time!
I’m proud to have been selected as a CK Mondavi and Family Ambassador for a second year. This recipe is sponsored as part of our collaboration and perfect for easy entertaining during the holidays and any time of year. I love working with the team at CK Mondavi. Not only are their wines fantastic for entertaining due to their affordable quality, but the company’s focus on family and providing an excellent certified All American product is one I admire.
Mayhem, Roasts and a Big Family: The Story of My First Prime Rib.
You never forget your first. Mine was New Year’s Eve 1999. Y2K madness was in full effect. It was an exciting, crazy time! The calendar would soon turn to ‘00’ and it felt like the world was about to change… mine definitely was.
After a long – very long – distance relationship, my boyfriend moved cross-country from Oregon to Florida – just to be with me. Oh, and if that wasn’t enough pressure, I was hosting a big family reunion. This would be his first holiday with my big, loud, Spanglish-speaking family.
What does this have to do with prime rib?
My best memories are framed in the context of food. What I cooked, what we ate, what wine we drank… Which is why I remember cooking that first prime rib and hosting that big family reunion all these years later.
Did you watch the movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”? Imagine all that comedy and drama happening in a small apartment in Miami and simply interchange Spanish for Greek and prime rib for lamb. When I saw that movie, I nearly died of laughter. It was like watching my own family on screen. Mayhem I tell you!
But, back to the prime rib.
I wanted to make a special meal for his first holiday away from home and learned of his mom’s famous prime rib holiday tradition. It’s tough to compete with mom’s cooking. There was no way I could ever recreate his mom’s beautiful Christmas meal. Rather than try to copy, I thought it best to put my own spin on it. I used a savory herb rub and cooked it in an oven that any second would be giving me its resignation notice. I often had to check if it was still on. I didn’t know much about cooking a big roast in those pre-Pinterest days. Thank the heavens for good old-fashioned cookbooks and a sweet mother in law who shared her tips.
The prime rib turned out great. The meal was a success. Oh and that boyfriend? He’s now my husband and we are still happily enjoying meals and hilarious family reunions after all these years.
How did I turn my prime rib from “great” to “epic”?
This is the secret!
A Southern Inspired Recipe: Epic Coffee Crusted Prime Rib Roast
My recipes are always inspired by my travels, the restaurants I visit, and the chefs I meet. I turned my prime rib from great to epic with the help of Chef John Rivers, the mastermind behind Orlando’s most popular BBQ joint – turned successful restaurant chain – 4 Rivers Smokehouse and the author of “The Southern Cowboy Cookbook”. One of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet, he’s a big part of the Central Florida community and one who gives back generously – both in charitable contributions and support. His signature brisket is my favorite go to Southern BBQ meal with its crisp flavorful crust and tender smoked meat. Although the recipe is found in his cookbook, some things are best experienced directly from the source. Look up 4Rivers Smokehouse when you’re in the area and you’ll see why it has earned cult status.
What’s my favorite recipe in the cookbook? The Coffee Crusted Cowboy Ribeye Steak! The blend of coffee, brown sugar and pepper with all the spices packs such a punch of flavor. It has the power to knock you over and revive you all at once.
I make a modified version of the coffee rub by adding thyme, minced onion and garlic salt and use it on steaks on a regular basis. It gave a ton flavor to this prime rib roast, which is why it earned the designation of “epic.” (I am very selective with that designation.)
The coffee rub also makes a fun take-home gift for your guests. The recipe can be easily doubled and you can package in cute little jars.
Epic Coffee Rub Gift
Tips To Prepare an Epic Prime Rib Roast
Some of these tips and tricks I learned from my mother in law. Others, I’ve learned through trial and error. All of them are tested to produce a juicy, flavorful and epic prime rib roast.
1) Buy Quality.
The butcher is your friend. Ask for “prime” when possible, instead of “choice” beef. Request a special order if not available as not all grocery stores carry prime. A good sign of a great cut of prime rib is the marbling. The more it has, the juicier and tender it will be. Ask your butcher to cut the chine bone, cut the bones partially from the meat and trim the fat to save you time and effort. I got mine all ready to go!
2) Room Temp it.
Take your roast out of the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for 2-4 hours prior to cooking. This allows it to cook evenly and avoids well-done ends and a raw center. Time will vary based on size of roast.
3) Rub it.
Apply olive oil and rub with coffee rub at least 45 minutes prior to cooking to allow the salt, sugar and spices to melt into the beef. Be generous with the rub as some of it will come off when you sear it. You can do this overnight as well.
4) Sear it.
I’m a fan of searing proteins to lock in the juices, before placing in the oven to roast. It’s a bit harder to maneuver with a big roast but still possible by using a large cast iron skillet or flat top skillet. Sear the roast on each side for 1-2 minutes. Then, transfer to roasting pan.
5) Roast it.
Place the roast, ribs down / fat side up, in a heavy stainless-steel roasting pan. Some suggest using a V shape roasting pan, however, I set mine on top of thick onion slices instead. The rib bones act as a natural rack and the onions add to the flavor, plus they make for a great side sauce.
Ready for the oven!
6) Cooking Temps.
Prime rib recipes vary regarding temperature recommendations. Start with higher temp 425°F – 450°F for 20 minutes. Then turn oven to lower temp 325°F – 350°F for remainder of cooking time. Estimate cooking time to 12 minutes per pound. Do not cover the roast as you want to create a nice crust.
An instant-read digital thermometer is a must. I also like an alarm thermometer for the initial check. About 45 minutes prior to end of cooking time, set up the alarm thermometer to begin checking internal temperature. Aim for 110 to 120°F for medium rare (125 to 130°F after resting), or 125 to 130°F for medium (135 to 140°F after resting). The roast will continue to cook as it rests and temp will rise by 5 to 10°F.
8) Rest it.
Letting your meat rest before you serve is also a must for the juiciest and most tender beef. A good rule of thumb is to let it rest half the cooking time or at least 30 minutes.
Resting results in this….
Tender and Juicy!
9) Pair it.
This last step is not related to preparation of your epic roast but certainly a must to enjoy it to the fullest. An elegant Cabernet Sauvignon, a silky merlot or even a flavorful syrah will pair nicely with this recipe, especially since the coffee rub adds a higher level of spice. I enjoyed the CK Mondavi and Family Cabernet Sauvignon as it’s rich and velvety tones played well with the flavors.
CK Mondavi and Family Wine Pairings
CK Mondavi wines are my go to, especially when entertaining a larger group of friends and family, because they are approachable for everyone, easy to drink on their own as well as paired with a wide variety of dishes. Plus, you can’t beat a retail price of $6.99.
The Cabernet Sauvignon, with its deep red color and rich cherry and blackberry flavors, was a nice pairing with this epic coffee crusted prime rib roast. It’s perfectly balanced with a hint of oak and a long fruit finish. The blend with some Petite Sirah, Merlot, Petite Verdot and Syrah adds an elegant feel.
Have a few varietals of wine on hand to suit different tastes and courses. The CK Mondavi and Family Merlot, with its richer and softer fruit finish is perfect for appetizers. Pair it with my fig-glazed candied bacon!
For the white wine drinkers in the group, the Chardonnay is a great choice. Medium-bodied with a hint of oak and aromas of lemon and citrus combined with flavors of apple and pear is the choice for the season. Serve my Southern Apple Pie Sangria as a pre-dinner cocktail or post-dinner treat and you’re guaranteed a happy bunch. No Spanglish required.
To make pairing even more fun, CK Mondavi and Family introduced a monthly “#pairNpost” Social Media Sweepstakes, where anyone 21 or older can pair CK Mondavi and Family wines with their favorite things and win a prize. You can pair wines with food to music, clothing, events, and adventures. To participate, just post a photograph of your pairing with a bottle of CK Mondavi and Family wine to Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag “#pairNpost.” A winner is chosen each month. More details here.
Janice Mondavi at home with her daughters
I love this photo of Janice Mondavi and her daughters and the fact that these strong and smart women are a driving force behind the success of the company. Cheers ladies!
If you’re interested in learning more about CK Mondavi and Family, wine pairing tips and recipes, visit their website and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest. Follow #CKMondaviWines #CKMondaviAmbassador #CKMondaviHoliday for other great holiday roast recipes.
Check out the wine locator online to find CK Mondavi and Family wines in your area.
I hope you will try my Epic Coffee Crusted Prime Rib Roast recipe. If you do, please share your photos and tag @goepicurista #GoEpicRecipe on Instagram and Facebook. It’s a thrill to hear your feedback and that I helped inspire you to celebrate and “Make Someday Happen” so please leave a comment below.
Whatever is on your plate this season, I wish you an enjoyable time with family and friends around the dinner table.
Epic Coffee Crusted Prime Rib Roast Recipe
An epic coffee rub with ground espresso, fresh black pepper, brown sugar and spices creates a flavorful crust for a perfect prime rib roast.
- 1 bone-in prime rib roast 8 lbs
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ½ cup coffee rub see recipe below
- 1 medium onion thick sliced
- whole garlic cloves
- whole mini sweet peppers
Ask your butcher to remove the chine bone and trim the fat to 1/4 inch thickness save you time and effort.
Let meat stand at room temperature for up to 3 hours before cooking.
Either night prior or 2 hours prior to cooking, season entire roast with olive oil and coat generously with coffee rub. (you may use more or less depending on the size of your roast)
Preheat oven to 425F.
On a hot skillet coated with olive oil, sear roast on all sides (1-2 minutes per side including ends)
Place thick slices of onion on bottom of roasting pan, place roast on top of the onions with the rib bones down / fat side up.
Adjust oven racks so roasting pan sits in bottom third of the oven.
Roast for 20 minutes then reduce heat to 350F and roast for 2 hours, or up to desired temperature.
Place whole garlic cloves and sweet peppers around the roast one hour into cooking.
Use a digital thermometer. It should read 110F – 120F, for medium rare as meat will continue to cook once removed from oven.
Place roast on carving board and let it rest for at least 30 minutes before slicing.
Don’t forget to remove the twine before slicing.
Epic Coffee Rub Recipe
Get your Epic Coffee Rub spices ready!
Recipe adapted from “The Southern Cowboy” Cookbook by John Rivers, 4 Rivers Smokehouse in Orlando, FL. Perfect on steaks and roasts. Makes 1 1/4 cup
- 1/2 cup kosher salt
- 1/2 cup coarsely black pepper
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp ground coffee
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic salt
- 1/2 tsp dried minced onion
- 1 tsp dried thyme
Combine all ingredients until well blended. Store in a dry cool place for up to 30 days.
Disclosure: This post was written in partnership with CK Mondavi and Family. As always, all opinions are my own and I only partner with brands I love and enjoy to inspire you to go #MakeSomedayHappen one delicious bite, sip and trip at a time. Thank you for supporting those who support my mission at GoEpicurista.com. For more about my guidelines, read my disclosure policy. Cheers!