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Prime Rib and Oven-Roasted Potatoes with Bay Leaves and Sage


A proper Victorian Christmas dinner had a roast at its center. The archetypal English "joint," prime rib of beef, features a burnished crust and a rosy interior. Although Mediterranean in origin, bay leaves and sage pair beautifully with cold-weather fare, enhancing the prime rib and accompanying potatoes.

Source: Martha Stewart Living, December 2005


  • 15 dried bay leaves, crumbled, plus whole leaves for garnish
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh sage leaves, plus whole leaves for garnish
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt
  • 1/3 cup finely grated orange zest, (from 3 oranges)
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 (about 7 pounds) three-rib prime rib of beef, trimmed and frenched
  • 3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and halved lengthwise


  1. Stir together bay leaves, sage, oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and the orange zest in a small bowl. Season with pepper. Rub herb mixture all over the roast. Refrigerate roast, covered, overnight.

  2. Put potatoes into a large pot of water. Bring to a boil; add salt. Cook 5 minutes. Drain. Score lines lengthwise in potatoes using the tines of a fork.

  3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Transfer roast, fat side up, to a metal roasting pan; let stand until it comes to room temperature, 30 minutes to 1 hour. Roast 15 minutes. Add potatoes; roast 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees. Roast, turning potatoes after 30 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into meat (away from bone) registers 115 degrees for rare, about 1 hour. Let stand 20 minutes (temperature should rise to 125 degrees), and slice. Garnish with bay leaves and sage.

Cook's Notes

Rub the roast with the herb mixture the day before you cook it; the roast needs to be refrigerated overnight.

Reviews Add a comment

  • isideris
    28 DEC, 2007
    This was our Christmas dinner and like it was in the oven it filled the house with a heavenly herb and orange essence. My sister made her fennel/red onion/orange salad and I made rosemary fingerling baked potatoes. The orange and onion in the salad perfectly complimented the roast which we made to a lovely red perfection. The rosemary in the potatoes married well with the herbs in the rub. This recipe is a keeper!
  • southernrose2648
    24 DEC, 2007
    This is absolutly delicious. I made this for Sunday Dinner. We like our meat cooked medium,it melted in your mouth. I also slivered elephant toe garlic and stuffed it between the meat and bone. I recommend this to everyone.Cook it and enjoy!
  • SanJoseBob
    20 DEC, 2007
    I made this with a Horseradish Sauce on the side......Three equal parts of Sour Cream, Mayo, Yogurt......prepared H/R to taste......SanJoseBob
  • OCchef
    8 DEC, 2007
    I did this with a 5 lb. bonless prime rib for Sunday dinner. What I did was heated the oven to 500 degrees
  • sspoor
    6 DEC, 2007
    This is a great recipe for prime rib--love the orange zest and have never seen that used this way before. When I bought the meat, I asked the butcher to "french" the bones for me and he had no problem doing it--saved me a lot of time and it looked great.