Sunday, December 21, 2008


With Christmas approaching it is time to decide what to serve as Christmas Dinner. At my house our tradition is to serve Prime Rib and this is the week to buy it. It is on sale at grocery stores at over half the regular price. People often ask me about Prime Rib, where to buy it, how to prepare it and how to serve it. Let me answer a few of those questions.
When you go to the grocery store you won't find "Prime Rib." What you need to watch for is "Standing Rib Roast." It is sometimes called Ribeye Roast. Ribeye is really just steaks cut from the Rib Roast and pan fried. Why isn't it called a Prime Rib Roast when you go to the grocery store? Well, as most of you know, the USDA labels cuts of meat based on the amount of fat in each cut, Prime, Choice, Select and rarely seen Standard, with Prime being the leanest and best and Standard being the fattiest. It is extremely rare to find Prime graded meats in the grocery store. Standing Rib roasts graded as Prime are sent to restaurants and Choice and Select are sent to grocery stores. Because restaurants buy in bulk they get better pricing. If you find "Prime" Standing Rib Roast you would be looking at nearly $20.00 a lb or more. But with "Choice" which is second best or 3rd best "Select" you find much better pricing.
When selecting a roast ask for it by the number of bones in your cut for example ask for a 3 bone roast which will serve 4 - 6 depending on how you want to carve and serve it when cooked. Next ask for a cut near the "Loin End" or a "Center Cut". The loin end is less fatty and bones are slightly smaller so they weigh less, giving you better value at the weigh in.
To prepare and cook your Rib Roast you need to prepare a rub of your choice. I use only one thing, Lawry's Season Salt. I cover the entire outside of the roast top, bottom and all sides with olive oil and the seasoning salt then fresh cracked pepper. You can pour about a 1/8 - 1/4 cup of seasoning salt in a large dish and roll the roast in the salt liberally covering the entire roast. Sounds like a lot, but that is what gives the roast such a great flavor. That is what we did at Blank Angus. It is soooooo good!
Bake it at 250 degrees F. until it reaches an internal temperature of 118 degrees F. I like to use a thermal probe thermometer that beeps when it reaches the set temperature. Remove from the oven and cover with foil to let it rest. The roast will continue to cook as it rests keep the probe inserted or it will start to seep juice and dry the roast out.
Raise the temperature in the oven to 500 degrees F. When it reaches 500 put the roast back in and cook for another 10 - 15 minutes. This will give it it's rich baked color and crispy crust. Watch it closely so it won't burn. Remove from the oven.
To serve you can either cut it between the bones for large slices or I carve the bones off in one sweep with the electric knife and then carve the roast in 1/2" or 1 inch slices.
Make a brown gravy from the drippings and beef stock if you like or use Campbell's Beef Consomme Soup as an Au Jus.

Where to buy Standing Rib Roasts:

Stater Bros. $3.87 lb
Albertson's $3.77 lb
Ralph's $3.97 lb
Von's $4.99 lb

Buy extra and freeze. Save it for that special Valentine's Dinner in February.


Hafer Family said...

your prime rib info is great and we will be trying that soon for sure! eddie loves prime rib. we usually make that for christmas but this yr. we were at in-laws for thanksgiving and I haven't made a turkey yet so I just have to make a turkey! i will be trying out your rolls though and the cranberry sauce and probably carrots and salad too for christmas dinner!

Gregg, Your Cook & Green Grocer said...

Cool, hope it all turns out great!!! The rolls are fantastic. Of course it's all the butter that makes them so good. Have a Merry Christmas!!!

Hillary said...

Thanks for the prime rib info! I thought about making prime rib for christmas but didn't want to buy it because i didnt know how to cook it. well now i do so, maybe ill try it next time.