How To Purchase And Cook Prime Rib

Prime rib is tender, flavorful, and often quite expensive. It’s without a doubt THE best cut on a cow.

How To Purchase And Cook Prime Rib | Foodal.com

However, the term “prime” can refer to both the cut of meat as well as the USDA grade. Just because the label on your meat says the cut is “prime” doesn’t mean that it is actually of prime grade.

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The grade below prime is known as choice, which is what most supermarkets carry. Speak to the butcher at your local market to ensure you are purchasing the cut of meat you were intending to.

Most of the time, when you ask the butcher for prime rib, he or she will assume you are strictly speaking about the cut of meat and you will receive a choice grade roast.

The quality of the meat will still be very good, but if you are looking to splurge, you may need to ask the butcher to place a special order in advance of when you want to pick it up.

A full prime rib, also known as a standing rib roast, consists of seven ribs. Typically, a full cut will weigh between 16 and 18 pounds, and should be enough to feed about fourteen guests. When setting your menu, plan on serving two people per rib.

A Guide to Purchasing and Cooking Prime Rib | Foodal.com

Prime rib can be sold bone-in or boneless. Bone-in is recommended for a juicier and more flavorful dish.

Ask the butcher to prep the meat for you, so you won’t have to do it once you get it home. He or she will cut the bones away from the bottom. This will make carving easier, once it has finished cooking.

The butcher will also tie the roast for you. If not, you will need to do this or the outer layer of meat will pull away and overcook.

If you don’t have a butcher in area that deals with better cuts (you probably won’t find these at your local chain grocer), you may want to check out online offerings from CertifiedSteak.com.

Cooking

In order for the roast to cook evenly, it must not be cold when you put it in the oven. Loosely cover the meat and allow it to come to room temperature before cooking. This should take between two to three hours, but the time may vary depending on the size.

Basic Recipe

This is a no frills method with the opportunity for you to apply herbs and spices to taste. Personally, I find less is more with this cut of beef. Let the true meat flavors shine through and add a little au jus when you serve it for a more juicy and rich taste. A little horseradish also works well.

Basic Prime Rib Recipe
Basic Prime Rib Roast
Votes: 5
Rating: 2.6
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
15 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
15 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Basic Prime Rib Recipe
Basic Prime Rib Roast
Votes: 5
Rating: 2.6
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
15 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
15 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Ingredients
  • 16 -18 pound prime rib
  • seasoning to taste rosemary, thyme, freshly ground pepper, and garlic all work
Servings: people
Units:
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Season as desired. (I like to use garlic, salt, and pepper.)
    Seasoning the Prime Rib Roast | Foodal.com
  3. Place, fat side up in the pan.
  4. Cook for 20 minutes (to sear the meat) then turn the temperature down to 350 degrees.
  5. Cook until the internal temperature reaches at least 120 degrees.
  6. Remove from oven and allow to rest for at least 20 minutes before slicing.
    Resting the Prime Rib | Foodal.com
Recipe Notes
  • Rare - 120 to 125 degrees
  • Medium Rare - 130 to 135 degrees
  • Medium - 140 to 145 degrees
  • Medium Well - 150 to 155 degrees
  • Well - 160 degrees and up

Most people will say that rare is the only way to go with this cut. I prefer mine medium rare.

Basic Prime Rib Recipe

 

Making Au Jus

Au jus simply means “its own juice” in French, and refers to the liquid naturally given off by the beef as it cooks. Traditionally, it is simply the liquid that is expelled from the cooked meat.

However, most people like a little more and either prepare a reduction from beef stock or buy it canned (canned consommé also works well for this).

Here’s how you make it from scratch:

Au Jus Recipe | Foodal.com
Au Jus
Votes: 1
Rating: 3
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Print Recipe
Au Jus Recipe | Foodal.com
Au Jus
Votes: 1
Rating: 3
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Ingredients
  • pan drippings
  • 2 cups reduced beef stock or canned beef consommé
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • Salt and pepper to taste if using a canned product, it may have had salt added so remember to taste!
Servings:
Units:
Instructions
  1. While the meat is resting, transfer the pan to the top of the stove over medium to high heat.
  2. Add the red wine to the pan. Cook for 10 minutes while stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan.
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Add beef stock.
  5. Bring to a simmer, reducing by half.
  6. Serve with the sliced prime rib.
Recipe Notes

Au Jus Recipe | Foodal.com

 

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About Jennifer Swartvagher

Jennifer is an experienced journalist and author. Her work has been featured on TODAY Parents, The New York Times Blog, BlogHer, Scary Mommy, and scores of other parenting and cooking publications.

9 thoughts on “How To Purchase And Cook Prime Rib”

  1. I am practically drooling right now, because this looks so good. Please pass the horseradish sauce! I’ve been telling my husband that I’ve been craving prime rib. I haven’t had it in ages. Of course, it’s not something we eat often, but it’s been a really long time.

    I prefer medium rare as well. I used to like really rare meat, but I just can’t eat it like that any more. Medium rare sounds like perfection to me.

    Are those roasted garlic mashed potatoes on the side? Crisp asparagus too? Heaven.

  2. I don’t often splurge on expensive meat, since my budget is pretty tight these days, but your pictures look delicious, and they’re inspiring a craving in me that won’t be quenched by a lower end cut. I wasn’t aware that grocers didn’t stock higher end products.

    When I was growing up, we would go to the butcher section of a large popular steak house that was known for selling quality meat, and also had a local butcher that we would use, but where I live now, they’re harder to find, so I thought grocery stores carried all types and grades, so that’s good to know.

    • I’m lucky because here I have a specialty store and a regular grocery store where I can ask for a special order. I can then have items hand-cut perfectly to my taste. These are not high end stores either, but being able to do that does feel like a luxury to me. We also have a meat shop that’s fairly nice. It’s a bit further away, but I do get over that way pretty regularly. It’s also a bit on the pricey side, unless there’s a good sale going on, but it is another option if in a pinch.

  3. That looks fantastic! Here in the UK, beef on the bone was banned for several years due to BSE concerns. It was only re-introduced 15 years ago but you rarely see it in supermarkets, even now.

  4. That prime rib looks delicious. I wonder if the number people becoming butchers is decreasing. Unless I go directly to where our local butchers are, I don’t tend to see too many of them in super markets.

  5. Yep, there was definitely saliva buildup as I read this and viewed the pictures. Oh god it looks so good.
    I frequent asian markets, so acquiring specific cuts and such is a skill that I’m proud to have, and now it looks like I’m putting it to use soon. Thanks for sharing.

  6. I had no clue there was a difference between the cut and grade. I thought it all meant the same honestly. Shows how much I know about meat, right? At least I gained new knowledge to flaunt around to my husband; he’ll be shocked lol. The pictures look amazing though and I can’t wait to try it out, but I doubt it’ll look as good as the pics.

  7. Yummy! I was able to get prime rib at a discount at the restaurant I worked at earlier this year & last. It wasn’t the most flavorful, but there is no doubt the rib cuts are the best.

    I love trying out dry rubs and salts to add the beefiest flavor to my steak cuts, so I think I will try a suggestion from another article on this site and use some MSG for the next time I happen to make this.

  8. Oh my God! I want those prime ribs right now! I think I could handle at least 5 of the servings all on my own. LOL. Thank you so much Jennifer for all the great information that you provided on this topic. Truthfully, I learned more today with you, than what I’ve learned in my lifetime. Thank you as well for the cooking instructions, they will help the making of this amazing dish, so much easier for me.

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