This holiday season serve one of our most celebratory recipes, a prime rib roast. Celebratory doesn’t have to mean hard, a luxurious prime rib roast is actually quite simple. Our test kitchen-approved recipe provides all the steps and tips to make it doable, and our dinner menu takes the guess work out of planning dishes to compliment the showpiece entree and gives make ahead tips to reduce last-minute stress, so you can enjoy cooking and hosting.
Whet guests appetites by starting with a festive cocktail and a build-your-own relish tray, our clever spin on the much beloved shrimp cocktail. At the table, present a herb-crusted prime rib roast along with crispy roasted potatoes, individual Yorkshire puddings, spinach gratin, and pan gravy. As the meal winds down, transition into an stunning but easy dessert, a make-ahead cranberry trifle.
To Start: Quick Shrimp Relish Tray
The genius of this appetizer is that it combines the crowd-pleasing aspects of shrimp cocktail with the ease of a relish tray. You put the platter together and set a platter so guests help themselves to their ideal bites. Less work for you and more TK for them. The crostini in this recipe also pair well with cheese, so set out a few simple cheeses like manchego or aged cheddar if you have seafood adverse guests.
PRO TIP: Buy cooked shrimp and check one thing off of your to-do list.
To Drink: Cranberry Mule
Get festive with the signature drink for your prime rib dinner; cranberries add a bejeweled look and a fun bite to a classic Moscow Mule. Scale up the recipe so you have plenty ready in a pitcher when guests arrive.
MAKE-AHEAD: The simple syrup can be made up to a week in advance.
Main: Prime Rib and Oven-Roasted Potatoes
Our prime rib recipe is a winner, it shows how simple it is to roast a juicy, tender prime rib. And the next best part of the recipe is that potatoes cook alongside the meat, that's one side taken care of! Another bonus is that the pan drippings are used to make a quick, decadent pan gravy right in the roasting pan. Roasting the prime rib low and slow, leaves more room for temperature variation and ensures tender meat.
PRO TIPS: Plan about 1 pound of prime rib per person. Order the roast ahead of time from a butcher and ask for prime-grade meat, quality matters.
Season the roast the night before and leave uncovered in the refrigerator to let the seasoning penetrate into the meat.
Check the temperature between the bones in center of the roast.
Rest the meat to keep it juicy, while making the gravy and popovers.
Save pan drippings for the gravy and separate out the fat for the Yorkshire pudding.
Side: Yorkshire Pudding
A traditional British sidekick to prime rib, Yorkshire pudding is similar to popovers but even easier. We use muffin tins for our individual puddings. The reserved fat drippings from the prime rib add a super savory flavor to the Yorkshire pudding.
PRO TIP: Whisk together the batter while the roast cooks and bake the Yorkshire puddings while the meat rests. Don’t fret if you don’t have enough fat or the fat accidentally gets thrown away, use vegetable oil instead.
Side: Creamed Spinach Gratin
Last but not least, our cheesy creamed spinach gratin is a steakhouse-worthy side and a definite crowd pleaser. Combine cooked spinach with a creamy gruyere sauce, top with crunchy panko for texture, and bake.
MAKE AHEAD: The spinach mixture can be made ahead and spread into the gratin dish the night before. Refrigerate covered. Toast the panko ahead and store at room temperature in an airtight container. Top the gratin with panko right before baking.
Dessert: Cranberry Trifle
You've served a stunning entree, here's a dessert that will end the meal on an even higher note. This gorgeous trifle has good looks and delectable flavors, plus it's easy to put together; layer sweet cranberry-ginger compote, whipped cream cheese filling, and buttery pound cake into a trifle dish.
For the trifle base, make one of our homemade pound cake recipes or use store-bought cake.
PRO TIPS: There is no reason to prepare dessert à la minute when you're hosting a big dinner. Trifle actually tastes best when made the night before so the flavors have time to meld.
And if you don’t have a trifle dish, use a beautiful glass bowl, so you can still see the layers.