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Date Night Prime Rib roast resting on a cutting board surrounded by herbs (rosemary and sage). In the background is a dish of roasted asparagus and a bottle of red wine.

Date Night Prime Rib for 2

A small prime rib roast will deliver huge servings for two people, with enough leftovers for the most fabulous, decadent prime rib sandwiches EVER the next day. Pairs wonderfully with mashed potatoes. But this is easily scalable to a larger crowd (see Recipe Notes).
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour
Resting Time 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 4 –6



  • 3 lb boneless prime rib roast (from the small end of the rib)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh sage, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 tsp coarse salt (I use Kosher)
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

FOR THE AU JUS (optional)

  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 1 1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour



  • 1 hour before you plan to being roasting the prime rib, remove the roast from the refrigerator and pat down with paper toweling. If you'd like, remove all but 1/4" of the fat cap. Carefully score the fat, making cuts in a criss-cross pattern over the top of the meat.
  • Preheat oven to 450º. As the oven heats, mix the garlic, herbs, salt, pepper, and olive oil to form a paste. Rub the roast with the paste, being sure to rub paste into the score lines in the fat cap. Place the roast on a rack set into a small roasting pan. If you have a digital meat thermometer, place the probe into the center of the roast. Place the roasting pan in the oven and connect the cord of the probe to your digital thermometer. Carefully shut the oven door on the cord.
  • Roast for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 325º. Continue roasting until the temperature on the digital thermometer reads 120º–125º for medium-rare (take it out at the lower temperature if you like it on the "rare side" of medium-rare; see Recipe Note #2). Tent the roast with foil and rest for at least 30 minutes.


  • Remove all but ~1.5 tablespoon of fat from the roasting pan and place the pan over medium heat. Mix in the flour and cook, stirring continuously, for 3 minutes. 
  • Add the beef broth and whisk continuously, being careful to scrape up any of the fond (delicious, caramelized bits of beef on the bottom of the pan). Adjust the heat to medium-high and continue cooking, whisking frequently, until the sauce has reduced and thickened slightly (see Recipe Note #3).


  • Carve 2 servings of the roast and serve with the au jus on the side (reserve extra meat for prime rib sandwiches! Coming soon!). Enjoy!


  1. If you're doing a big roast for a holiday dinner, you'll need to plan for a longer roast time: anywhere from 45 minutes after the high-temperature sear to 2 1/2 hours (figure about 15 additional minutes per pound of roast).
  2. To be extra careful, I also check the temperature of the roast by inserting an instant-read thermometer in a few different places (e.g., inserting the thermometer at the ends and in the center of the roast). For a medium to medium-well roast, remove when the temperature reaches 130º–135º. 
  3. Keep in mind that au jus is not gravy, so this will not be a thick sauce. Be sure to reserve some for prime rib sandwiches!

NOTE: You can easily adjust this recipe for a larger roast by allowing for extra cooking time and doubling the au jus recipe. Figure about 15 minutes of extra cooking time per pound of roast.