Cooking a Four Rib Prime Rib Roast

4 rib prime rib roast

Is Prime Rib for two possible? I’ve read that purchasing a smaller standing rib roast can make for risky cooking. A full prime rib has seven bones and can feed a crowd. Scaling down makes it very difficult to find the right balance between outer crust and inner rare. For Easter I announced I was going to attempt my first. I was a little nervous because it costs a darn fortune and I knew I’d be pretty darn angry with myself if I ruined the most majestic and the most expensive piece of meat I’d ever have in my kitchen.

I spent time Googling and reading a couple of cookbooks for research about procedures and cooking tips, and on Saturday morning we were off to Tony’s Market, the only place I’d trust for such a special purchase. With the help of a young butcher, we selected a four-rib roast which weighed in at about five pounds and rang up at a whopping $75.00. Even though I cooked this for just the two of us, this will actually serve 4 – 6 people.  We enjoyed lots of wonderful leftovers.

cooking a small prime rib roast

I followed a recipe I found in my Creme de Colorado Cookbook for Fall River Prime Rib with Hunter’s Horseradish Sauce. I mixed up the marinade of chopped parsley, grated lemon peel, thyme, juniper berries, garlic, Tabasco and olive oil and spread it on all sides of the roast. Instructions were to let this marinade for 24 hours.

Prime Rib for four

On Sunday I cooked the meat, fat side up, in a 500 degree oven for fifteen minutes, then turned down the heat to 350 degrees and roasted for fifteen minutes per pound. I let it stand for ten minutes before slicing. I couldn’t believe my eyes with the first cut. The knife slid through the wonderful crust on the outside to reveal a perfectly rare prime rib roast. I have to admit, I was pretty darn tickled with myself.

The marinade was a heavenly combination of flavors. I’d use this when cooking other cuts of meats. And the homemade horseradish sauce was a very special treat for a very special meal. Made with fresh egg yolks, butter, heavy cream and a kick from Tabasco Sauce, I’d urge you to take the time to make this.

4.9 from 8 reviews
Fall River Rib Roast
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4-6
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, minced
  • 1½ tablespoons fresh grated lemon peel
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme, crumbled
  • 6 juniper berries, crushed
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 - 4 drops Tabasco Sauce
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ⅛ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1-5 pound standing rib roast
  1. Combine parsley, lemon peel, thyme, juniper berries, garlic, pepper and Tabasco in blender. Add oil, 1 tablespoon at a time, blending until a smooth paste is formed. Add lemon juice and blend. Rub mixture over surface of the roast. Cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hours.
  2. Bring roast to room temperature before proceeding. Place roast in large heavy roasting pan and road in preheated oven at 500 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees and continue roasting for 15 minutes per pound for rare, 20 minutes per pound for medium, or 25 minutes per pound for well done. Let roast rest for 10 minutes before carving.

And for the homemade horseradish sauce:
4.9 from 8 reviews
Hunter's Horseradish Sauce
Prep time
Total time
Recipe type: Condiment
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4-6
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup butter, melted and hot
  • ¾ cups heavy cream, whipped
  • 3-4 tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • 1-2 drops Tabasco Sauce
  • 3 tablespoons onion, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
  1. Combine egg yolks, lemon juice, salt and pepper in blender. Mix until well blended. While machine is running add hot butter in a slow stream. Transfer to large bowl and fold in whipped cream. Add horseradish and Tabasco to taste. Fold in minced onion and parsley and transfer to serving bowl.

Side note: Many of the recipes in the Junior League of Colorado cookbook series are named after locations in our State. Fall River happens to be in one of our favorite local destinations. It is a 17.1-mile-long tributary to the Big Thompson River in Larimer County, Colorado. The river’s source is near the Alpine Visitor Center in Rocky Mountain National Park. It flows down the canyon and over Chasm Falls before its confluence with the Big Thompson in Estes Park.

Fall River Prime Rib Roast with Hunter’s Horseradish Sauce…It’s what’s for Dinner.

On this day..

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Post to Twitter


  1. Nancy says

    This is why I don’t cook. Too much stress. 😉 It looks amazing! You must cook this for us some day. Please put it on the list.

  2. says

    Woohoo, now you are talking! This does look perfect. My family will never forget the first one of these I ever cooked. It was Christmas Day and I didn’t give it nearly enough time and we were all starving by the time it hit the table. Thank goodness I can say it was worth it. Next time you make one, remember my phone number if you need help polishing it off.
    Karen Harris recently posted…Saucy Mama’s 2014 Recipe Contest: Honey Dijon Fried Chicken and Bacon WafflewichesMy Profile

  3. says

    This is perfectly cooked! And looks so lovely. I haven’t cooked a prime rib roast for years, and would always do one about this size (5 pounds). I’ve been thinking I need to do this again, and will probably do so in the fall. You done good! Thanks for the inspiration.
    John@Kitchen Riffs recently posted…The Dubonnet CocktailMy Profile

    • says

      Thanks Holly. And yes, I was afraid to look at the price tag as I carried that piece of meat through Tony’s. But it was worth the experience, the flavor and the defeat of agony over my fear of cooking Prime Rib.

  4. says

    I wish you would have invited Manservant over. Since I don’t eat meat anymore, he totally craves it. Coming from a family of butchers we had this a lot when I was a kid. But no one ever took a photo that looked as good as this! You guys must be in meat heaven! I can smell it from here and I still love the smell of meat cooking. Go figure!
    Abbe@This is How I Cook recently posted…Hearts of Palm, Avocado and Orange Salad or Have a Heart!My Profile

    • says

      I’m pretty sure they would freeze well. For this meal we didn’t have any leftover to find out. I hope you try that horseradish sauce, it’s a special treat.

  5. says

    That was quite a pithy blog—-in other words I learned something. Your prime rib looked perfect to me. Yay boy howdy with the price of that baby, one does not want something to go sideways. A simple Oh Darn and moving on would not cover a failure. I didn’t know the uber prime rib had to be 7 ribs big. You know what I am craving right now. Seriously, very interesting blog. Thanx for the research.
    Carol at Wild Goose Tea recently posted…Mama Goose Honks for MamasMy Profile

  6. says

    We adore prime rib and have never thought about asking for a smaller cut! Now that our family get-togethers are sadly getting smaller as our adult kids move further away and can’t always get back, this is the perfect answer! The inside of your prime rib is exactly the perfect color and level of ‘doneness’ that we love!!! Can you believe the expense of beef now Lea Ann?

    I also stopped by to wish you a beautiful Mother’s Day!

    Roz recently posted…Limoncello and Raspberry Prosecco CocktailsMy Profile

    • says

      Thank you Roz. Happy Mother’s Day to you also. I was really surprised at how easy this was to cook. And now my confidence level is good to go for a larger piece for a dinner party. It’s a wow type of meal.

  7. says

    I don’t normally crave red meat but after seeing your post…I really really want this piece of meat! Thank you for sharing!

    • says

      It’s interesting that you say that, I don’t usually crave red meat either … except for a good burger. Thanks for stopping in and the comment. Always love new visitors.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Rate this recipe:  

CommentLuv badge