The Easiest-Ever Holiday Roast

Every once in a while, a recipe comes along with such stunning simplicity it makes us wonder how we've managed to make cooking so complicated. And when it comes to holiday entertaining-long guest lists, crowded grocery stories and a kitchen as busy as a bus station-we need all the help we can get.

Enter what will be your go-to holiday roast. A stately sight to behold, this roast prime rib (from the handsome cookbook Canal House Cooks Every Day, itself a testament to the "simple is best" philosophy) looks impressive but calls for three ingredients and two anything-but-taxing steps. Leaving you the calm presence of mind to care for other pressing holiday concerns, like cookie-baking and finding the perfect sequin dress for New Year's Eve.

Tips to keep holiday entertaining stress-free

Authors Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton prefer to roast large cuts of meat like this at a low temperature, "the gentle heat cooks them evenly throughout (which means beautifully rosy-pink slices of beef)." With such a foolproof method, there's no need to be intimidated by this kingly cut of meat. This is a recipe that yields excellent results that belie its effortlessness. Don't you just love when that happens?

Roast Prime Rib of Beef

from Canal House Cooks Every Day
Serves 8-10

1 prime rib roast of beef, 8-12 pounds, tied between the ribs
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Generously season the roast all over with salt and pepper. Heat a heavy skillet large enough to accommodate the roast and sear the meaty sides until they are nicely browned, 5-10 minutes.

Transfer the roast to a large roasting pan, rib side down, and roast in the oven until the internal temperature reaches 120 degrees for rare, 130-135 degrees for medium-rare, or 140 degrees for medium, 3-4 1/2 hours. Transfer the roast beef to a carving board or a warm serving platter and let it rest for 30 minutes. Remove the string before carving.

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