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Prime Rib


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Mother's Day is Sunday, and I've decided to cook a prime rib and all that good stuff. I've cooked one before, but it's been awhile.

What should I look for when selecting a Prime Rib? I need one that will feed 4 people.

Also, does anyone have a really good recipe?

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Well, you will want to look for the same things you would look for in any good cut of steak. Despite the name, prime rib does not necessarily mean it is prime grade. You most likely won't find prime grade meat unless you go to a specialty butcher with good connections, but at least look for a well marbles piece of meat, and I hear bone-in lends towards more flavor.

For four people I would personally cook about a 6 lb bone-in roast, but then again, I like to make sure there is no chance anyone will go hungry.

He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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This is the Prime Rib that I did at Christmas. Half of it fed 12 people with half of that leftover. So, you probably won't need anything more than 2 ribs, but make sure that you go to a very good butcher. You want the bones left intact!! Most butchers cut the roast off the bones and then tie the bones back on. You want to be able to trim the fat yourself, that way you will have trimmings that can be rendered for yorkshire pudding, or anything else that beef fat is good for. Look for marbling. The marbling is key to a good piece of meat. If you can find dry aged, don't hestitate over the price, you will not regret a dry aged Prime Rib.

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This was the finished product cooked very rare. It was melt in your mouth good.

Enjoy Mother's Day. Sounds like someone is getting spoiled :smile:

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"This was the finished product cooked very rare. It was melt in your mouth good."

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...damn that looks good, that's what I want.

"Enjoy Mother's Day. Sounds like someone is getting spoiled :smile:

"

With any luck, there will be a new mother to spoil, my daughter's baby is due between now and then.

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Despite what others will tell you, Prime Rib is really a Prime Grade Rib Roast.

Any other grade is correctly referred to as a 'Standing Rib Roast'.

Prime Rib varies from aged to Dry aged and also in marbling. Most beef hangs for 30 days between slaughter and final conmsumption. Real dry aging is done in a very controlled invironment and the methods of aging for a few days is all in the minds of the beholders and offers no objective improvement.

Let your budget be your guide.

The method of cooking is very simple. Unfortunately many people and cooking magazines would lead you to believe other wise.

Brown your meat in a hot oven with whatever seasonings you prefer, reduce temp amd cook until about 100F. LET REST for at LEAST one hour if cooking a whole roast. Very simple but the resting is VERY important. Your meat will not be red raw but will be a pink rare. -Dick

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I like the ribs from the loin end. For 4 people you’ll want about 2-3 ribs.

fiftydollars is correct, I always specify to my butcher that I want ribs 10-12, otherwise known as the loin end or small end. As NulloModo pointed out, the word "prime" has nothing to do with the grade of meat, it is called prime rib roast because it constitutes the majority of the rib primal cut. A rib primal cut includes bone segments of seven ribs, ribs 6-12. I specify ribs 10-12 because while the meat has has plenty of marblization, it does not have the large pockets of fat found in the first 4 ribs. You will have more than enough meat for 4 people. I served 15 people over Passover with two sets of 10-12 prime ribs. Ask the butcher to remove the "chine" bone which is part of the cow's vertebrae, however ask him to give you the bone as it is good for stock. Its removal will make carving easier. By all means do not have the butcher remove the meat from the ribs.

Cooking it is simple. I set the oven to 450 degrees, rub the entire roast with olive oil salt and pepper, chopped garlic and either chopped rosemary or thyme, place the roast in a pan bone side down, fat side up, roast at 450 for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350 and cook until an instant read thermometer reads 110, which will give you rare meat within and medium rare amongst the outer slices. The meat will continue to rise in temprature by about 5-10 degrees as it rests. Obviously cook to a slightly higher temprature if you want medium rare through out, but it is key to remember that it continues to cook while it rests outside the oven. I preffer the British method of roasting it high for a bit then turning the oven lower, others preffer a low and slow method. Either way, you wil have a tender and very flavorful piece of meat, with delicious ribs to snack on as well. I think that the easiest way to carve the roast is to run your knife along the ribs seperating the roast entirely and then simply slicing it, pouring any pan juices over the sliced meat.

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I like the ribs from the loin end. For 4 people you’ll want about 2-3 ribs.

fiftydollars is correct, I always specify to my butcher that I want ribs 10-12, otherwise known as the loin end or small end.

I could not disagree stronglier. The loin-end ribs are way too lean. The glory of a rib roast is what happens when the fatty parts of the ribs near rib #6 (the first official "rib" cut south of the 'chuck') are slow roasted.

Here's a photo of such a cut raw, and one such roast that I cooked. The fatty meat not only crisps beautifully, but the fat that's there drips through all the muscle as it melts, and tenderizes and flavors all the meat.

(The cooked roast is two-ribs, and will pretty much feed three people, by the way, although you could stretch it to four. But it would pay, greatly, to get a bigger cut with a third rib, because it's easier to get a crusty exterior and rare inside with a bigger piece of meat. I always start the roast at 550, or as hot as the oven will go, and then turn the oven down to 325 and use a probe or a thermometer, and take it out when the center reaches about 122. When I cook a small roast (2-ribs) such as this, I start by rendering some fat in a pan and crisping the outsides of the meat before I put it in the oven, because at the amount of time that a small roast takes to cook, the outsides won't get crisp enough. And, the crispy factor has a lot to do with the fattiness of the lower-numbered ribs. The loin roasts won't crisp as much.)

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Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

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Everyone is talking size to feed X number of people, but no one is talking leftovers. Those things nibbled, late at night, or early in the morning, fridge door open, juices pooling on the floor. It has never occurred to me to cook an amount of beef that will be eaten during the meal. A mother needs breakfast.

Bigger is better.

And, as the cook in my house, the bones are mine to gnaw!

Edited to add: Yes, I am a chronic Over-Orderer.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Hear! Hear! Susan. That is exactly what I do when I cook a roast like this. You must have leftovers. At Christmas I had to make sure that we had at least 3 ribs, one for me, one for my mom and one for her husband. You've got to have that midnight snack.

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This topic has come up before....

The rib muscle toward the loin end is more tender. This is the 'prime' end of the rib primal, and includes (depending on who you talk to) the last 4 to 6 ribs.

The remaining larger ribs towards the chuck end are 'standing' ribs. In Canada butchers aren't allowed to label or sell these as 'prime rib', and there's a price difference. Not sure if such a rule or difference exists in US.

If you find that the loin end is too lean, you're buying lower grade (=less marbled) meat. In the better grades, there should be plenty of fat flecked inside the muscle at both end of the primal.

The 'prime' in 'prime rib' has nothing to do with the grade 'Prime'. If it's graded Prime, your butcher (and wallet!) will let you know. You won't find much Prime grade meat at retail. Good photos showing the difference here: http://www.askthemeatman.com/what_are_the_...grades!.htm

Re the comment upthread that "Most beef hangs for 30 days between slaughter and final conmsumption" - that's simply not correct. Most beef isn't hung at all, but is broken down into primals, bagged in cryovacs, and shipped the same day it gets slaughtered. The 'aging' it gets is in the truck on the way to the store. In the US it is usually on the shelf 2-4 days after slaughter. Your chances of finding 30 day dry aged beef anywhere outside a very small number of specialty butchers or packers (most of whom only supply restaurants) is close to zero.

When I'm shopping for prime rib roast, I go for bone-in, loin-end roasts, from the top 2 grades (Prime or AAA in Canada, Prime or Choice in the US). Because grades don't seem to exist here in Hong Kong, I buy Certified Angus, which is a private grading program that's roughly similar. And I always look at the meat, to make sure I'm getting nice marbleing. Even within two roasts of the same grade, there can be significant differences in marbleing.

The smallest you can go for roatsing is 2 ribs, and even that's pushing it - you get much better results roasting at least 3 or 4 ribs. There is no such thing as too much. Leftover roast rib is dee-lish. If you're just doing a 2-rib roast, you're better off grilling or browning it like a steak, then finishing it in the oven until you hit your desired internal temp. Remember a 2-rib roast won't increase in temp after you pull it as much as a big roast would, so don't leave it resting for too long - it'll just cool.

I use the Alton Brown home-dry-aging method, and it works, but you have to be very careful. Depending on your fridge temperature and bacteria level, you might find it 'ages' too rapidly and you could be forced to cook it a day early. Method is here: http://www.goodeatsfanpage.com/Season5/Roa...tTranscript.htm or more concise version here: http://www.goodeatsfanpage.com/Season5/Roast/RoastRecipe.htm

Note in transcript that AB also goes for loin end roast.

For cooking, definitely use a thermometer. Artichoke's method upthread is classic for conventional ovens. These days I use a combi oven (steam + convection). I brown first, then cook very slow at a low temperature / low steam so there's little shrink and the roast stays juicy.

Hong Kong Dave

O que nao mata engorda.

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Everyone is talking size to feed X number of people, but no one is talking leftovers.  Those things nibbled, late at night, or early in the morning, fridge door open, juices pooling on the floor.  It has never occurred to me to cook an amount of beef that will be eaten during the meal.  A mother needs breakfast.

Bigger is better.

And, as the cook in my house, the bones are mine to gnaw!

Edited to add:  Yes, I am a chronic Over-Orderer.

I agree, prime rib leftovers are a wonderful, wonderful, thing.

Portioning is always tough to decide, I mean, everyone's friends/guests eat different amounts. My generel rule of thumb is I want a lb of meat (weight after bones and cooking are taken into account) per guest, that leaves room for those who will eat more than that, those who will just nibble, and insured there is usually a little leftover.

Prime rib is also nice if done in a smoker for a couple hours, so it stays rare/medium-rare, and then finished off on a grill or under the broiler to give it a crust.

He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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Well, yesterday was Sunday and the prime rib was cooked. Thanks to all for the advice.

It came out really well, had that nice cracked skin on the outside. I was tempted to skin it before slicing it and eating it by itself.

There are no more leftovers, being that I just got finished eating lunch.

Now can anyone point give me pointers on cooking a nice brisket?

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