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Mustard-and-Herb-Butter-Rubbed Prime Rib

Scott Phillips

Servings: 8 to 10

A butter, Dijon, rosemary, and thyme crust hugs this juicy roast. The genius “reverse-sear” method lets you roast the meat hours ahead of the final sear, so you can pull the rest of the meal together without worrying about when the meat will be done. Plus, you can do the final sear either in the oven or on the stovetop, depending on what’s going on with the rest of the menu. Finish each slice with a pat of the same savory butter that coats the roast.


  • 4 oz. (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 6 medium cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh sage leaves
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 5- to 6-lb. boneless beef rib roast, patted dry
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil, if needed for searing

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 440
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 270
  • Fat (g): 30
  • Saturated Fat (g): 14
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 12
  • Cholesterol (mg): 135
  • Sodium (mg): 430
  • Carbohydrates (g): 3
  • Fiber (g): 0
  • Protein (g): 38


Make the butter

  • Melt the butter in an 8-inch skillet over medium heat. Let it foam until it turns light brown and smells nutty, about 5 minutes. Immediately pour the butter into a small heatproof bowl, leaving most of the milk solids in the bottom of the skillet. Refrigerate the butter until solid, about 1 hour.
  • Purée the garlic, rosemary, sage, thyme, mustard, Worcestershire, 1-1/2 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. pepper with the solidified browned butter in a food processor to make a thick paste. Reserve 1/4 cup of the butter and rub the rest all over the roast. Put the roast fat side up on a rack set in a roasting pan and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour before roasting.

Roast the beef

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 300°F. Roast the beef until an instant-read thermometer registers 110°F for rare, about 1-1/2 hours, or 115°F for medium rare, about 10 minutes more. Remove the roast from the oven. Let sit, tented loosely with foil, for up to 2 hours (or continue with the recipe).

Sear the beef

  • To sear in the oven: Heat the oven to 475°F. Roast until 125°F for rare or 130°F for medium rare, about 10 minutes.
  • Or, to sear on the stove: Heat the oil in a heavy 12-inch skillet until shimmering hot. Sear the beef, turning and pressing down with tongs, until browned all over and cooked to desired temperature, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board. If there was no earlier rest between roasting and searing, let the roast rest for 15 to 20 minutes. Slice and serve with the reserved mustard butter.

Make Ahead Tips

The beef can be roasted and then sit at room temperature, tented with foil, for up to 2 hours before the final sear.


Rate or Review

Reviews (7 reviews)

  • Lariah | 04/17/2017

    The cook time on this was completely off. I set the roast out for at least one hour - closer to two to come closer to room temp. 5 and 3/4 lb roast. It took over 2.5 hours to come to 115. Went straight to the oven searing step and it took at least 45 min to get to 130. I think that if you don't have a thermometer that is the type to leave in with the cord (or plugs into your oven) to outside to constantly monitor it is tough to get this right because you have to constantly open the oven to check the temp. I think the "closed door method" is better.

  • Cutebunny | 01/30/2015

    Rave reviews from my dinner guests. This was truly one of the best prime rib recipes ever. I followed it pretty precisely. I did rest it 2 hours, it reached 125 after removing from the oven, and I only took it back to 118. It was rare but perfect!!

  • JEK100 | 01/07/2015

    Fabulous flavor ! I too found that the roast took longer to reach the first temperature; possibly it had not been at room temperature for the whole hour, or maybe my fridge runs cold. I seared mine in the oven, but found 130F (on two different thermometers) to be a tad too rare, even for those who like our meat on the rare side! So I ended up running late with my dinner, but it was worth the wait - I shall just adjust the time next time.

  • Billbobaggins | 12/27/2014

    I must admit that I am rating the cooking method, and not the mustard-herb butter rub, since I didn't use it. Opted instead for another recipe found in Fine Cooking. Anyway, I had a 6.5 lb boneless roast. Used the GE oven probe to track temperature. Chose to use a lower heat to start: 250 degrees. Took nearly 3 hours to get to 115. Then we tented the roast and let it sit out for 2 hours to get us closer to dinner time. The recipe suggests that you can do this and then turn up the heat to 475 for 10 minutes to reverse sear to 130--that was the goal. Took far longer. After 30 minutes the temp had hardly budged. So I made a mistake: switched the oven to convection bake. That got it going but by the time it hit 130 the outside was overdone. I guess the ten minute time is the better way to go, but I thought the internal oven probe would be foolproof. Not sure what to conclude here!

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