For my birthday dinner this year I opted to make something fabulous at home rather than go to a fabulous restaurant. While I absolutely love going out for fancy dinners every so often (maybe once or twice per year), I had been saving the prime rib from our grass-fed side of beef all year for a special occasion. And my birthday seemed like the perfect occasion to use it! I’ve never made prime rib before, so I scoured the internet for tips on how to make the perfect medium-rare prime rib and the perfect rub recipe to go with it. I chose this recipe from Epicurious, but followed slightly different roasting instructions.

I started with the seasonings:

1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
2 bay leaves (not California)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
3 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon olive oil

And ground them to a paste with my mortar and pestle. Then, they got spread over the entire roast. My only complaint with the rub is that it was salty. If I used this rub recipe again, I would probably cut the salt in half. Then, the roast went into the oven, and this is where I deviated from the recipe. I found many “perfect prime rib” recipes that called for starting the roast at 500 degrees for roughly 5 minutes per pound, then reducing the heat quite low for 2-3 hours, then ramping the heat back up to about 375 for the last 30 minutes. Since my roast was about 6 pounds, I set it at 500 degrees for 30 minutes, then turned the oven off but kept it closed for 2 hours, then turned it back on to 250 for another hour and finished it off at 350 for the last 30 minutes. It was a long process. I tested it with my meat thermometer at the end and let it get to 140 degrees internally (medium rare), then took it out of the oven and let it rest uncovered for 25 minutes.

The meat was tender, pink, and delicious! My two complaints with the recipe and technique, however, are that the fat going through the meat did not break down as much as it should have for the length of time it was in the oven, and that the rub on the outside cuts of the roast was too strong. The inside cuts, where just a sliver of meat had any rub were perfect. I made mashed cauliflower and au jus to go with the roast, and bacon roasted brussels sprouts as well.

For dessert, I was so excited to make Tyler Florence’s Creme Brulee! I’ve made it before, and would recommend it to anyone whether you’ve made creme brulee from scratch before or not.

For 8 servings (or 6 bigger servings as his recipe suggests) all you need is:

1 quart heavy cream (remember to find good stuff!)
9 egg yolks (yep, that many)
3/4 cup sugar (though I only used 1/2 cup and it was plenty sweet) plus 6 tablespoons for dusting/torching at the end (or 8 if you make smaller servings)
1 vanilla bean

I also added some vanilla extract to the egg yolk/sugar mixture before adding in the heavy cream, to give it a little extra vanilla flavor. I won’t rehash the whole recipe here, since I followed the heating and baking directions exactly, but instead, I’ll just let you drool over the finished product:

It’s too good. Seriously. Adam and I both ate more than enough…see, I gained 10 pounds just from eating it!

Just kidding, I’m eleven weeks pregnant (or 14…the debate continues with the midwife until our first ultrasound), and haven’t actually had any creme brulee yet!