Prime Rib

Prime Rib The Butcher's BloceIf there is one cut of beef that just screams holidays or big celebrations, it is the prime rib.

Prime rib makes a dramatic impression when brought to the table, and the flavor and tenderness can’t be beat. As an added bonus? Any leftovers will make fantastic sandwiches, which is good because prime rib is an expensive cut of meat.

Prime rib, also known as a standing rib roast, is a cut of beef from the primal rib, one of the nine primal cuts of beef. This area is made up of ribs 6 thru 12 of the steer. The full rib roast, meaning all 7 ribs, on average can weigh up to 16 pounds or more. That’s a lot of prime rib. Not to mention the financial hit. As a general rule, 1 rib can serve two people so if you have 10 people coming for dinner, you will need a 5 rib roast. A “Ideal” roast is 3 to 5 ribs and will weigh from 6 to 12 pounds.

Most prime ribs are sold in smaller pieces of 2 to 6 ribs. The best portion, according to some, is the section that contains ribs 10-12 and is known as the small end. The meat in this area is tender and flavorful and is more lean than the other side known as the large end.

Prime ribs can be ordered without the bones, however the presentation is not as impressive. If you decide to go with a bone-in roast, remember to ask your butcher to trim off the feather, or chine, bones to make carving easier.

Cooking a prime rib couldn’t be easier. All that is required is your favorite seasoning and a good thermometer, so that you know it is not overcooked. Resting the roast after cooking is also essential.

Though there are plenty of options for seasoning your roast, you can never go wrong with classic salt and pepper. We strongly recommend Butcher’s Salt from the French Farm Collective, or Andy’s Rub that’s available in our Meat Department. And there is always our perennial staff favorite, Oakland Dust

Below is our preferred method of cooking your prime rib. These instructions can be applied to any size roast.

Standing Rib Roast
Adapted from the Complete Meat Cookbook by Bruce Aidells

Begin by liberally seasoning the roast all over. You can simply use salt and pepper, or one of your favorite spice rubs. Pay careful attention to any spaces between the meat and the bones. Loosely cover the roast with foil. Before cooking, allow the seasoned roast sit at room temperature for up to 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 450º F. Place the roast, bone side down, in a large, shallow roasting pan. Roast for 15 minutes. Then turn the oven down to 350º F without opening the door.

After about 45 minutes, check the internal temperature of the roast with an instant–read meat thermometer. If it is not yet 115 degrees, continue roasting, checking about every 15 minutes, until the roast reaches the desired temperature.

This temperature will give you a mostly rare roast, with the end cuts being medium-rare to medium. If you would like your meat a little more done, you can roast it a little longer to 120º to 125º F. Be careful not to overcook it.

Remove the roast from the oven, and cover it loosely with foil. Let it rest for at least 15 minutes (and up to 30 minutes). During this time the retained heat will continue to cook the roast, and the juices within the roast will stabilize

After 15 minutes, if you removed the roast at 115º F, the internal temperature will have risen about 10 degrees to 125º F. After 30 minutes, the internal temperature may read up to 130º F, which is still rare to medium-rare.

Carve the roast, and serve.

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