Salt Crusted Prime Rib Roast

The rib roast is a beautifully marbled hunk of meat from the rib cage. In its most familiar form, it's sold as rib-eye steak. Here we roast with a salty garlic paste that forms a crispy crust as it cooks.


  • Bordeaux style red wine (preferably Williamson Merlot)  ·  ½ cup 
  • kosher salt  ·  1 cup 
  • coarsely ground black pepper  ·  ¾ cup 
  • head of garlic, peeled  ·  1 whole 
  • rosemary  ·  ½ cup 
  • chili powder  ·  ¾ tablespoon 
  • extra-virgin olive oil  ·  ¾ cup 
  • 3 pound prime rib roast (3-4 bones)  ·  1 whole 


The rib roast is a beautifully marbled cut of meat from the rib cage usually sold as rib-eye steak. Here we cook the meat on the bone and carve it as a roast.

Place the prime rib roast on a cutting board and let it stand covered with a paper towel for 1 hour.

Using a food processor, combine the salt, pepper, garlic cloves, rosemary and chili powder and process until fine. Add the wine and olive oil and pulse to form a paste and rub a little all over the prime rib.

Transfer the meat to a large roasting pan and pack the salt paste all over the fatty surface, pressing to help it adhere. Allow the prime rib stand at room temperature for another 1 hour. Make sure the salt is totally covering the meat because you are actually using the salt to make an oven within the oven.

Preheat the oven to 450°. Roast the prime rib for 1 hour, until the crust is slightly darkened. (At the 50 minute point potatoes can be added – see Oven Roasted Potatoes recipe) Reduce the oven temperature to 350° and roast for about 1 1/2 hours longer, until an thermometer inserted into the center of the roast (not touching the bone) registers 135°. Transfer the roast to a carving board and let the meat rest for 30 minutes under a foil tent. (At this point the au jus can be converted into a sauce – see Merlot Au Jus Sauce recipe)

Insure you remove ALL the salt crust off the meat and place it in a serving dish. Brush away any excess salt with a reasonably stiff brush. Using a long sharp carving knife along the bones, separate the meat in one piece from the bones, leaving a single empty rack of bones. Separate the individual bones and place into a serving dish.

Carve the prime rib roast ½ inch thick and serve immediately with Williamson Wines Merlot. The bones, au jus and salt crust can each be offered in its own dish as a condiment for those who love salt and as a treat for those who love the tender meat along the bone.

Amour Merlot

Amour Merlot

Amour is a limited production single-varietal Merlot wine from our Estate vineyard.