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Prime rib

  • c

Last night I took possession of my share of a cow. I have a nice selection of beef at home - dry-aged, organic, lovely meat. It's also grassfed - I know a lot of people prefer grain-fed, but I like the flavor of grass-fed, though it does tend to require little adjustment because it's leaner. I have a big pile of ground beef, some stew meat, some short ribs, a couple shank, a big porterhouse steak, a top round steak, a chuck roast, a huge bag of meaty bones, and the prize, a beautiful prime rib. And I paid $5.00 a pound, with the bones thrown in gratis.

Okay, that was the sharing the thrill part.

For the advice part: does anyone have any suggestions on the prime rib? I've never cooked one before - they're usually too pricey for my budget. I've got it air-drying in my refrigerator on a rack, and I want to cook it tomorrow night for dinner. Cook's Illustrated suggests searing the outside, then cooking at 200 degrees. Craig Claiborne wnat you to cook it for a few minutes in a very hot oven, then turn the oven off and leave the meat in to cook. He adds that this only works if your oven is well-insulated, which counts me out, as I have a very bad apartment oven. But the general gist seems to be an initial burst of high heat for the outside, then a slow, very low cook for the center. Does that sound right to everyone? I was planning to serve it with Yorkshire pudding, braised Brussel sprouts, a green salad, maybe baked potato (others will expect it, though I prefer the pudding myself). Should I go for horseradish or is that gilding the lily if the meat is good? Any tips I should know about?

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  1. k
    King of Northern Blvd.

    That's alot of beef...Cook's is usually correct in what they do..I think I usually follow Jaques/Julia method which is similar maybe the temp varies a little. I would make sure you have a thermometer...I use a digital remote kind....No more mistakes....

    1. If you will scroll down to Christmas week there was lots of discussion on the subject of prime ribs and roasting.

      1. Went to a friend's house on New Year's Eve and she made prime rib (that she bought at Cosco). It was the best I have ever tasted! She uses the Martha Stewart recipe, has used it many times and always has the same wonderful results.

        1. I used the CI method, but added to it for flavor.

          Sear meat a day or two before (save the fat for the Yorkshire pudding & deglaze the pan and save the juices for the au jus.)

          To make it more flavorful, rub the roast with a paste of ground fresh thyme, rosemary, garlic, salt & pepper. Let sit 24-48 hours in the fridge. (then cook per CI directions--perfect!)

          1. c
            ChowFun (derek)

            I just did one with the "C.I." method, and it came out very well...I did have a thermometer....
            but tell us how you got all this beef, and prime rib for $5.00 a pound?

            6 Replies
            1. re: ChowFun (derek)

              I went in with some friends and bought a 1/4 cow. There's a farmer outside Boston who will sell at $5.00/pound if you buy at least 1/4 (he also will sell a half or a whole cow.) There were five of us and splitting up the packages of beef was a hoot. The was a small mix-up with the order, so he threw in some extra ground beef. I'm going to be looking for a lot of good ground beef recipes in the next few months. We got some liver, but no tripe or anything - next time, we're asking specifically.

              I also am placing an order next week for two lamb at $5.60/pound. Direct to the farmer is the way to go. (Of course, I've had to buy a freezer, which decreases the savings considerable, but only in the short-run.)

              1. re: curiousbaker

                How many friends did you have go in on this, and who is this farmer? Any other pricing details you can provide?

                I (and it sounds like others in the MA area) might be interested in doing something like this ^^


                1. re: Kamaji

                  Well, I found this farmer through the EatWild website -it's River Rock Farm (strangely, not the same one that sells at farmer's markets in Boston, but another one.) That website lists by farmers by state and it seems a lot of farms will give you really good rates if you are willing to buy in large quantities. It came to 125 pounds for a quarter cow, and that filled five paper grocery bags to the breaking point with meat, plus another two full bags worth of bones. You have to order early, and they butcher in December and June. (We've already placed our June order). Some places will probably have specific ways they cut up the meat, but both our cow-man and our lamb-lady are happy to cut to your specifications in terms of size of steaks or roasts, what you want cut from each section and so on. Oh, and he delivers (the lamb-lady does not.) Next time, we decided to go for the half cow, because we have quite a few more friends interested, and at least one of our group wanted more (big family and all).

                  I think it would be easier to split up a larger quantity. It's hard to determine how to divide the stuff fairly. It's easy to split the ground beef packages and stew meat, but how do you fairly divide five ways one brisket, one prime rib roast, one top sirloin roast, one top round roast, one tenderloin, three chuck roasts, six porterhouse, a couple shanks, three packages of short ribs, a flank steak, two packages of liver, and so on. Some valuable meat, some cheap meat, larger sizes, smaller sizes. Anyway, I guess what I'm saying is that I highly recommend doing this, but also recommend doing it only with people you like and trust. I was thinking last night how much fun it was to hang out with these people in a kitchen overladen with beef and pick and choose our packages - and how awkward and difficult it could have been with other people I know.

              2. re: ChowFun (derek)

                When I was a kid (think 70s) dad would buy a 1/2 steer or a whole lamb from the butcher at a fixed price per pound. Back then the price for a 1/4, 1/2 or whole steer was posted on a board behind the counter. And when my uncle was working on a farm he got every tenth calf and we'd usually buy a portion of it when it was butchered. So you might want to inquire with a good local butcher about this. Overall it is a cost savings, but you get more burger then steak.

                As for the prime rib, my restaurant owning friend who does a fabulous prime rib, would caution you to let it sit, sit, sit out of the oven. The prime rib is almost warmed by the au jus served with it on the plate.

                1. re: muD

                  We were supposed to get about 1/3 ground/stew, 1/3 steak, 1/3 roasts. We definitely got about 1/3 ground (because there was an order problem, he gave us some extra ground), 1/3 roasts, and about 1/3 steaks+short ribs+stew, etc.

                  1. re: curiousbaker

                    I like how you lump steaks, short ribs and stew meat in as one. The best meat together. I just wanted at least one warning that if a 1200lb steer yields 30lbs of real steak, not to expect a freezer full of prime rib and strip steaks.

              3. I usually follow the cook hot to sear/then slow down method, with good results. Alton Brown does the opposite, cooking at 200 and then jamming it up hot at the end to make a crust.

                I don't know how big your prime rib is, but bigger ones have more carry-over cooking, so plan accordingly. Something I learned from Karl S in the Christmas thread is that if you give the roast more time on the counter to come to room temp before cooking (like 2 or more hours instead of the recommended 1) you get less carryover. I haven't tried it myself (usually just cook to 115-117 and let it rest until done) but he's usually pretty solid.

                As far as horseradish goes, I'd make it and put it out. People will use or not- and it's good with the baked potato.

                1. Searing and very slow cooking is the secret. The slow oven conserves juice and flavor.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Jim H.

                    This is my favorite method, too; and a meat thermometer is so important also.

                    1. re: Val

                      Just cooked a seven bone for Christmas, rare to medium rare. Sear high heat, 450degrees for 20 minutes, then cook at a slow oven, 250-300 for 15 minutes per pound. Use a meat thermometer to test for doneness, let sit on counter for 30 minutes when it registers lower than the doneness you want. Nothing could be simpler than a prime rib roast. I season with course salt, fresh ground pepper and then dried oregano, liberally. Cook bones down, fat cap up. Rich but rewarding food. Yummmmmmm. Also, when you are done, take the bones and put into a crock pot overnight, strain off grease and freeze beef stock for soup some winter night. Roasted bones are the best. Prime rib roasted bones, the best of the best.

                      1. re: Ginger Wolf

                        There is nothing more enjoyable than gnawing on those roasted bones...it is a pleasure that surely goes way, way back to our primal roots.

                  2. About your oven, I would suggest you find a good roasting pan that has a lid so that you have the "seal" that that provides. A Le Creuset is too heavy for a prime rib or turkey, but you can find a roaster pan with a proper fitting lid, I'm sure. It's not the same as using tin foil, but if tin foil is your only option at this time, be generous and use heavy duty foil sealed securely and do not open it up until it's done.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: kc girl

                      Roasting is done with dry heat. When you tightly cover a roast of any sort you are in essence steaming the meat and you will not get the good caramelization which gives you the nice crust.

                    2. it's more trouble than cooking them whole but try this recipe/technique for cooking brussel sprouts - made famous by Gordon Drysdale. Very yummy.

                      Link: http://www.findarticles.com/p/article...

                      1. l
                        La Dolce Vita

                        I've been making prime rib for the last two or three years now, and I follow the Cook's Illustrated method every time. I have tried no other because I like the results I get with CI. The meat is succulent and never over-cooked.

                        I'm a big believer in having a thermometer to check the internal temperature. Otherwise, it's all guesswork, and when I try to guess, I'm usually wrong.

                        I usually make horseradish or mustard available for those guests who want it. Personally, I like the meat without.

                        Good luck!

                        1. Happy New Year!

                          Every Christmas our family has a prime rib for dinner, this has been a tradition for the last 35 years. Last Christmas it was cooked in a very different way.

                          With the meat at or near room temp, roast in a preheated 375 deg oven for 1 hour. Turn the heat off and let it sit there for 2 hours.... DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN.

                          After 2 hrs, bring oven up to 375 deg. For rare roast another 25 minutes, for medium roast another 30 minutes.

                          It came out perfect! It doesn't matter what size the roast are. In fact I had a 7-1/2 lb and a 5 lb in the same oven. I took the larger one out after 25 minutes then took the smaller one out 5 minutes later.

                          The family said it was the best ever and I liked the method. It took a bit longer in elapsed time but there is no need to do any calculations other than watching the clock.

                          Good luck...


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