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"poor man's prime rib"??

Hi there....Every Christmas I usually go to the local butcher and buy a prime rib roast. This year we've been hit hard in the wallet and I can't afford the prime rib...but would like to still make some kind of beef roast so I can also make the traditional Yorkshire Pudding that my family loves.

Any ideas for a cheaper cut of beef that will roast well in the oven and produce good juices for the pud' and gravy?

Thanks in advance...

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  1. Would you consider a chuck roast? It falls apart when roasted and is very tender, a lot of good juices. Along this idea:


    1. According to the Cooks Illustrated people, best bet for a cheaper cut roast been is Top Sirloin, also called top butt, top sirloin butt, center-cut roast, or spoon roast. It is well--marbled.

      Second choice: Blade Roast, which is beefy and juicy but does have a line of sinew. Avoid Bottom Round Roast, which is tough and dry.

      Re chowser, chuck roast is a good cut for pot roast or stew, not roast beef.

      2 Replies
      1. re: greygarious

        I don't agree, while nothing can replace a rib roast, I like chuck cross rib. I season with a nice crust of pepper, garlic powder & thyme, put in on a rack over a pan of au jus (adding addl water as needed) and do it in the gas grill with hickory chips until 120 degrees for med rare. Serve thinly sliced with the au jus and horseradish. It is also very good roasted in the oven just doesn't have that nice smoke flavor

        1. re: greygarious

          I would second the recommendation of Top Sirloin as suggested by (greygarious) from Cook's Illustrated. My suggestion would be(like weezycom) for you to slow roast @ an oven temperature of 225* to achieve medium-rare temperature. When you slow roast, the meat results are more tender from my experience. This is how many commercial kitchens cook their meats for maximum yields and consistent results. Think of the Roast Beefs you see in your favorite deli cases. I have also used the same method to roast Blade and/or Bottom Chuck Roast to Medium-Rare temperature with positive results as well. Whenever there is a sale on meat at the market, I request the butcher to prepare four inch thickness cuts for me to prepare in this manner. Three to three and a half hours later a very tender roast with great natural flavor. The only drawback of slow roasting is there is not very much in the way of pan juices. If you want to make a gravy, I would suggest you buy some beef bones a head of time, make a stock and then a gravy.

          There is a restaurant in my area that is known for their roast beef sandwiches and the cut of meat they use is the Top Sirloin. On any given day they serve over 100 pounds of the meat for sandwiches....

        2. in my family, we had rump roast a lot, and left the fat cap on so it would self-baste as it roasted. Roast it low and slow to just barely medium and let stand 30 minutes before slicing thin.

          1. Sirloin tip. I bought some for $5.99/lb this weekend, roasted it, and served it with Yorkshire. It is certainly is not as tender as prime rib, but it is flavorful.

            1 Reply
            1. re: masha

              In my part of the world you can get standing rib for $5.99/lb

            2. Totally off topic, but I couldn't figure out how to contact you wyf4lyf...

              I have a question about the chocoalte cherry trifle you made and posted about, but was afraid since it was posted so long ago, you may not see that I left a question there.

              I was hoping you could tell me how you liked it. It looks delicious. I also liked your idea of soaking the pound cake in the cherry juice opposed to liquor.

              One last question....you used a boxed chocolate pound cake? I've never seen one. Is it something you can get at a regular grocery store?

              Thanks, and hope you don't mind all my questions!

              1. I made a delicious silvertip roast about a month ago. It was $8.99/lb for kosher, so it'll probably be cheaper if you're buying nonkosher meat.

                Also, NY TImes has a recipe for flanken with pomegranate. Haven't tried it yet, but it looks awesome.

                2 Replies
                1. re: cheesecake17

                  What is a silvertip roast? My niece keeps kosher and gave me a recipe for this kind of roast but I can't figure out what cut it is.

                  1. re: SIMIHOUND

                    I'm not sure. I usually just ask the butcher for it. When I buy it packaged, it only says 'silvertip roast'

                2. Trouble is, cuts of beef outside the ribs and loin call for braising unless you can put up with chewy meat. You have liquid in the pan, which doesn't do much for Yorkshire pudding. Of course, you could always mix up a batch and cook it separately.

                  1. Everyone is forgetting that the next thing down from a prime rib roast is a standing rib roast. Go to your local Sam's, BJ's, Costco... whatever you use. I live in the Charlotte, NC area and I can get a standing ribeye for alot less than a prime beef ribeye. The only difference is in the marbling. USDA Prime is chosen carefully by color and marbling, USDA Choice is only a bit less marbled. The real difference will be in the aging. Are you usually buying aged prime? If you are buying fresh prime, you will notice very little difference in the USDA Choice.

                    Now, some people call a USDA Choice ribeye roast a Prime Rib... Prime rib is USDA Prime. Choice is a Standing Rib Roast. If you usually get choice and the problem is with the $70 or so for a nice standing ribeye, I have a bit of a strange suggestion. Flank steak. To do it properly you need a cast iron skillet, but you can get some nice flavor. Get your skillet as hot as you can, salt and pepper your, room temperature, steak about 4 minutes before you put it in the rocket hot skillet. 4 minutes.... don't get nervous and DO NOT MOVE OR TOUCH. Flip and cook 1 minute. Remove from heat (and skillet), cover with aluminum foil to trap in heat. Allow to rest no less than 10 minutes under foil. To make your Yorkshire Pudding you will need drippings from a slow roasted meat. For this check with a local butcher for ribeye trimmings he may have. Slow roast the trimmings on a grate over a baking sheet. There should be plenty of drippings. A chuck roast is another good idea, but it is so easy to serve up shoe leather when roasting chuck. Make sure you get a good sear on the outside and roast in a 225 - 275 oven over a longer period of time.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Chef_Rich

                      I suggest you try a cross rib roast. Brown and roast at 200 degrees until about 130 faren. The nomenclature can get a little confusing. A "prime rib roast" can be USDA Prime, Choice or Select. The "prime" refers to the cut. A standing rib roast can be any grade. Meat vendors play a lot of cute games with "labels". They prey upon the public's lack of knowledge...in my area markets sell to top sirloin as "chateaubriand" They label a full tenderloin as "filet mignon", etc. There are some good web sites to help you better understand I doubt you will find USDA Prime beef in the average market, but only in upscale places. Keep in mind that the best beef is often not graded, but sold to top restaurants. No need paying for grading if the customer trusts the packer. The thing to remember is that The bottom section of Prime is pretty much the same as the top section of Choice. The real difference may be in the aging.