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Cooking a Prime Rib

Prime rib, also referred to as standing rib roast, is a beautiful piece of meat. Whenever I need a true show-stopper for a holiday or dinner party, I turn to it. A well-cooked prime rib is juicy, full of flavor, and not at all difficult to make. Plus, it's impressive: You'll make your guests think you labored for hours, but it'll be your little secret that it was no sweat. Here are the four important rules to follow.

1. Crank up the heat!

Preheat your oven to 450°. You want to start your prime rib at a high heat for two reasons: to get a nice sear on the outside and to lock in its juices. Let your piece of meat sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes while your oven is heating (it'll sear easier).

2. Season - and then season again.

Prime rib is so flavorful, you don't have to do much more than salt and pepper. That said, DO a lot of salt and pepper. Don't be shy; blanket it!

3. Roast it.

Place your seasoned prime rib in a roasting pan and roast for 30 minutes. Then lower the oven to 350° and continue cooking for another 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads 130° for medium. (Remember that it will continue cooking while resting and reach 140°.)

4. Let it rest.

This is a very important step. You will be tempted to cut into it right away - the smell! - but letting the meat rest before slicing will make sure you don't lose all of its juices. Besides, this hunk of meat will be way too hot to handle right out of the oven anyways.