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Jan 5, 2011 05:50 AM

Where and How to purchase Prime Rib

I would like to prepare at home a nice prime rib dinner but am not sure what to ask for at my butcher counter. I would like to have it with the bone in (preferably two to four bones in size). I am looking in the metro west area (Natick, Framingham, etc.) to puchase the meat. What stores would carry a nice cut of meat and know how to cut it to my liking? Basically, what should I ask for at the butcher counter? Thanks in advance for your help and Happy New Year!!

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  1. Metro west - probably John Dewars. I've never purchased a roast (standing rib roast?) like that, but if you are going to drop some $$ on a high quality piece of meat, explain to the butcher what you want, what you are going to do with it, and ask for advice. Part of why you pay a premium for a good butcher (and its a good premium to pay) is because they know a boatload about cutting and preparing meat.

    They probably will have to special order it though, don't assume butchers have every possible cut of prime-graded meat just laying around..

    You might want to try to dry-age it in your fridge for a couple of days if you have the space..

    4 Replies
    1. re: grant.cook

      What does dry aging do? Does it concentrate the flavor? And how long should you dry age for best taste?

      1. re: TravellingFoodie

        Dry aging tenderizes and flavors the beef. When dry aging, 28 days is the professional standard. We wrap the meat in cheesecloth and put it on a screen shelf so air circulates around it 24/7. In the 28 days the meat will shrink by 20-25%, the natural enzymes in the meat tenderizes it and the meat will develop a stronger beefier and gamey flavor.
        When you unwrap the roast to use it some trimming of the meat will be involved.
        Caution: Not everyone likes this flavor.
        As far as where to buy your meat I believe Stop & Shop carries Certified Angus Beef in their butcher shop/case and they cut to order, so you can get any size you want.
        Lastly, dry aging for a couple of days won't do much for your meat, at least a min. of
        10 days to be noticeable.

        1. re: chefstu

          Thanks for that info. It's great to know going forward. I love beef and have not purchased dry aged beef but it is on my list of things to try.

          1. re: chefstu

            The Alton rec for a standing rib roast was this:

            "Place the standing rib roast upright onto a half sheet pan fitted with a rack. The rack is essential for drainage. Place dry towels loosely on top of the roast. This will help to draw moisture away from the meat. Place into a refrigerator at approximately 50 to 60 percent humidity and between 34 and 38 degrees F. You can measure both with a refrigerator thermometer. Change the towels daily for 3 days."

      2. Ask the butcher for 3 ribs from the small end (10 - 12) and to remove the chine (backbone). then it up to you. I like to cook the roast on a pan on top some carrots, parsnips onions, shallots. the veg lifts it off the bottome of the pan and creates extra flaovr for making a pan gravy. Bone side down. I like to season the roast by rubbing with olive oil and then rub in some sea salt and fresh cracked pepper or by making a horseradish paste. Cook it to 125 degrees and then let sit for 15 mins. Should be a perfect M-rare.... Enjoy.

        1. Dry aging is nice if you have the time or the money.
          Want to keep it simple? Go to a big market that sells both fresh and dry aged-the Massachusetts version of stew leonards-maybe bread and circus if they still exist in MA. You should be able to find it in the meat case-if not ask for it!
          Generally, less is more if you have a nice piece of meat. Season and roast it properly, use a reliable thermometer, and you should be fine.

          1. Blood Farm Groton, MA
            Not too far from Metrowest
            A real slaughterhouse, nice drive in the summer.