Holiday roasts can be tricky, especially under pressure to pull off a spectacular meal. Give yourself a break by making this prime rib roast that’s packed with flavor and couldn't be easier, thanks to the air fryer. We marinate the prime rib overnight in a simple mixture of salt, pepper and fresh garlic, then rub it generously with an herby compound butter before air frying. The result is a roast that’s perfectly seasoned throughout, with the hot circulating air of the fryer providing a crisp, deep-brown crust that mimics the kind you would get from hours of roasting. Serve it with our simple horseradish cream sauce for a surprisingly easy holiday showstopper.
Make the prime rib: Cut 4 evenly spaced small slits about 1/2-inch deep on the top of the roast with a paring knife. Push a piece of quartered garlic into each slit. Repeat on the other side of the roast. Make 2 slits on the ends of the roast and stuff with the remaining quartered garlic.
Combine 4 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper in a small bowl and stir to combine. Sprinkle all over the roast, pressing the mixture firmly onto the exterior and stuffing some into the slits. Refrigerate at least 8 hours and up to overnight.
When ready to cook, remove the prime rib from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes. Stir the softened butter, thyme, rosemary, pink peppercorns and the 2 minced garlic cloves together in a small bowl until combined. Rub the butter all over the prime rib, coating it evenly.
Place the prime rib in a 6-quart air fryer and cook at 350 degrees F until deep brown and an instant-read thermometer registers 120 degrees F when inserted into the center of the roast for medium rare, flipping halfway through cooking time, 55 to 60 minutes (see Cook’s Note). Transfer to a cutting board to rest for about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the horseradish cream: Whisk together the sour cream, horseradish, chives and 1 1/4 teaspoons salt and several grinds of black pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Carve the roast into 1/2-inch-thick slices and serve it with the horseradish cream on the side.
Settings may vary on your air fryer depending on the model. Please refer to the manufacturer’s guide.
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