Scrumptious Pepper-Crusted Roast Beef
Pepper-crusted roast beef is the quintessential perfect special-dinner dinner. It’s a little out of the box but it is something everyone will love, even the pickiest eater. It puts on a great show, impressing guests without a lot of kitchen time. If you get your roast bone-in it adds a little extra flare without any extra work.
In culinary school we made Steak Au Poivre which is French for pepper crusted steak and it was absolutely delicious, so I took that technique and turned it into a whole bigger thing. Pepper-crusted roast beef, is so simple but comes with big layers of flavors and it is roasted to perfection so that it melts in your mouth.
If you have leftover, pair it with your favorite cheese to make amazing leftover sandwiches!
Buying your Roast Beef
There is not a cut of meat called “roast beef.” For this dish, I highly recommend a Rib Roast (or Prime Rib) with the bone-in. A rib roast is when the meat is not cut into steak before it it cooked, so it’s one large roast. To serve 4-6 people, you will want 3-4 pounds (or 2-3 ribs) of bone-in roast, depending on sides. You can also opt for a bone-out rib roast, since you don’t have to account for the bone weight, you can order ounce per serving – I usually shoot for about 8oz per person so people will eat more and some people will eat less. Rib roast without a bone will also cook a few minutes quicker, the recipe below is for a bone-in roast.
When I bought groceries for this photo shoot, the delivery service gave me ribeye steaks instead of a roast. I was eager to share the recipe for the Easter Sunday holiday so I shot it with the steaks rather than a roast, please stick with me – the roast is beautiful, scrumptious and the perfect center piece to any holiday table. I will re-shoot this recipe with a roast, but until then, this is the best I could do.
I tied the 3 steaks together for the “roast” look and so they would cook like a roast – however I am disappointed that it was not homogeneous roast. In my humble opinion the roast is tastes so much better too. Okay let’s dig into this shall we?
Let’s talk about Pepper (and salt)
This roast has only a few simple ingredients but they all have a big-punch-impact. Other than the cut of the meat, pepper is the next most important ingredient to this dish, let’s talk about it.
Pepper – there are so many different kinds out there. This roast beef is suppose to be fun – stress free! I would say go with the flow, pick the ones you like the most, but knowing that not everyone can comfortably do that I’ll provide you with a path, you can choose the direction you go. You will want to cover the entire roast with it so it’s nice to have a ground and coarse pepper mix.
Ground Black Pepper: This is what you probably use on the daily bases. You probably have this on hand and it’s easily accessible. You can do the entire roast in this and it would be great.
Coarse Black Pepper: This is my favorite kind of black pepper for this pepper crust roast- it’s a larger piece of pepper which may turn you away at first but I think it’s important to have a variety of depth in both the flavor and crust, this provides that extra something special.
“Broken” Black Pepper: This is what we had to do in culinary school, so if you’re looking for that culinary school experience, you can take whole peppercorns and break them up by pressing down the bottom of your pan over them until they break. You can also grind them in a grinder to create one more layer of pepper depth. The fresh grind will release more pepper oils and will be add some “freshness” to the crusted roast.
White Pepper: If you want to do it all in white pepper you can. White pepper doesn’t change the flavor, it’s just another option to have on deck.
Salts: Although this is a pepper-crusted roast beef, you will also use salts – two kinds. Salts help bring out the flavors of the dish and with meat it’s important to have salt. Regular kosher salt & Maldon sea salt flakes. Kosher salt will be used as you prep the roast. Right before serving you will sprinkle the Maldon sea salt flakes to “finish” the dish. This will enhance the pepper-crusted roast beef flavors. If you’re new to Maldon sea salt flakes – they are also amazing in top of warm chocolate chip cookies.
Resting your Roast Beef
It is important to rest meat. The science behind it would tell you that when meat cooks it pushes it’s juices to the outside edges (when you cook chicken you see the white juices push out of the side). Resting gives it time for the juice to stop reacting to the heat and allows it to resettle evenly throughout your piece of meat before cutting into it so that everyone gets a perfect mouth-watering roast beef.
Scrumptious Pepper-Crusted Roast Beef
- 3-4 lb Prime Rib Roast (Standing Rib Roast) (Bone-In) see blog notes
- 1 pinch Kosher Salt
- 1 drizzle Olive Oil
- ½ cup Pepper Mix see blog notes
- 1 pinch Maldon Sea Salt
- Preheat your oven to 450F.
- On a roasting pan, cast iron pan, or another oven safe pan place your rib roast. Sprinkle kosher salt all over the outside (all sides).
- Drizzle a little of olive oil on all sides. Press in your pepper mixture so that the entire rib roast is covered in pepper on all sides, including the fat caps.
- Roast at 450F for 15 minutes, this will allow the fat to start to render and will jump start the browning of the pepper crust.
- After 15 minutes, keep the roast in the oven and drop the temperature to 250F. Roast for about 1.5 – 2 hours or until the internal temperature is 135F for a medium doneness.
- Rest for 36 minutes (or 1/3 of your total cook time)
- Sprinkle with sea salt.