California Reserve Dry Aged Prime Rib Roast
The classic cut of beef to roast; incredibly tender and delivering the most flavor of any beef cut. Hand selected after extensive dry aging.
A quick note about why we are now selling the prime ribs by pound, instead of by rib:
Once upon a time you could trust a rib; but no more. Things you used to be able to count on: Sun rising in the East, taxes, pumpkin flavor everything at Thanksgiving, and Prime Ribs being uniform weight at Christmas. Well 3 out of 4 are still working, but we have had to make a change in how we list the Prime Rib Roasts. Now before anyone thinks flimflam and chicanery, let me explain!
We always priced the Prime Rib roasts by the “Rib” and we were confident that the weight would be 2 to 2.5# per rib; then along came 2019 and many of the ribs were small and wouldn’t meet the weight estimate we made. To remain the upstanding retailing citizens of the world that we are, whenever necessary we bumped 2 rib to 3 rib, and 3 rib to 4 rib etc. We slept very well knowing we did the right thing, but the deluge of phone calls this generated ruled out any daytime naps.
The adjustment will be to list the roasts by the range of weight to better define the product size. What this means is that a 4-5# roast which in the old days would have been a 2 rib roast, will be either a 2 rib or a 3 rib roast – goal is to see to it that you get what you pay for and what you expected- another set of novel ideas we bring to the fore!
In terms of how to translate this into portion sizes, figure about a pound to a pound and quarter per anticipated serving.
As far as I am concerned, this is the origin of the species (since I spoke of Creationism with the Rib Cap, I feel that I must give Darwinism a nod with the Prime Rib). In my humble opinion, most all of the flavor in beef spends its life migrating to the Prime Rib. I need to set the stage here a little bit so let’s talk about the Prime Rib in general.
In 12 words or less, the prime rib is a whole family of Rib Steaks left together.
Interesting little point here; although the actual cut is called the PRIME Rib, it will come in the same grade levels as other cuts, namely Prime, Choice, Select, and all the way down to “Whoa Nelly.”
The rib runs from the short loin (where you’ll find the New York and Porterhouse) up toward the shoulder (or ‘Chuck’). Nowadays, these sections are produced with a total of 7 ribs. Years ago you’d get 8 ribs, but in today’s production, the first rib (or last) is left on the short loin. My guess on this is that since the short loin generally carries a higher price tag, beef processors figured out they could shift roughly 4 pounds from a lesser priced cut (relatively speaking) to one that sells for more.
Another major change from earlier years is the notion of the “1st cut.” Way back when, the Prime Ribs came to butchers with a whole lot more meat on them than they do today. The culprit behind this, you might ask? Look no further than the Boneless Short Ribs that have become an increasingly popular cut. Before the Short Ribs were removed from the Prime Rib, that extra beef would cause the diameter of the Prime Rib to increase starting from the loin end (the 1st cut), and the percentage of pure Rib Eye to net weight would move from 100% to somewhere around 60%. This is why our parents and grandparents would ask the neighborhood butcher for the 1st cut – to ensure that they were receiving the cut with the purest ribeye flavor. But take note: that concept is a thing of the past, and if you were to ask for the smaller end today, you would be getting the section of the short loin that is closer to the chuck.
The Prime Rib is the classic beef roast and although there are a number of other excellent roasts, the rib is the most dramatic by far in terms of presentation and flavor. Some practical points to consider; the “loin end” will have fewer chunks of fat, longer ribs, and the spacing between the ribs will be greater than the same facets of the “chuck” end. The chuck end by virtue of the greater percentage of the Rib Cap will deliver a more intense flavor than will the loin end. Either way, it’s a winner!
The average individual rib (a full Prime Rib has 7 ribs) will weigh about 2 pounds to 2.5 pounds each and will serve 2-3 adults easily. Here is something to consider when sizing the cut you need: the Prime Rib has a large diameter to the eye of the meat; so a half-inch cut from the Prime Rib will weigh a lot more than a half-inch cut from say the New York strip. So be careful when ordering by weight; what I mean by this is that if you were sizing a Filet Mignon roast, I would advise at least half a pound of meat (finished cooking weight) per person. But if you apply this to the Prime Rib, a half-pound of meat would be a slice maybe 3/8” thick. It’s much safer to figure servings per rib.
Lastly, here’s an idea to consider: Have the ribs removed and tied back on (our "Bones Tied" Rib Roast is prepared this way). We’ll be happy to do this for you or if you are shopping locally, ask your local butcher to do this for you (just don’t tell them it was our suggestion…they’ll hate us for it). For those of you who have ever struggled when carving the cooked roast, this is the answer. When done properly, you can’t even tell that the ribs have been separated. The cooking process will be exactly the same and there will be no loss of juice because the ribs are seating back exactly where they were and will seal the roast while cooking. When done, simply cut the strings and lift off the meat… Voila! you have a boneless roast to slice and the ribs will be fully cooked and servable if desired. You will also find that you can get even more servings when the roast is prepared this way.
USDA PRIME: the California Reserve Bone-in Rib Roasts are graded USDA Prime, the top tier of quality in the US.
HOLSTEIN CATTLE: The roasts are cut from Holstein Cattle, raised in California predominantly in the SE corner of the state. The Holstein breed have a slightly different shape to the muscles than Angus cattle, so these roasts will present a tad more narrow that you're used to, if your typical roast is from Angus.
SHIP FRESH: We prepare these roasts fresh the day we ship out, and being a larger cut of meat they will have a slightly longer shelf life in your fridge once received, 6-7 days in your refrigerator, or 6-7months in the freezer.
DRY AGED: these Rib Roasts are Dry Aged for 30-35days.
There’s a million ways to cook a prime rib, but roasting in an oven is a tried and true favorite. I’ll admit, the only time I cook a prime rib is around the holidays, and I’m not one to experiment with cooking methods when I’ve got fifteen hungry family members waiting on me.
My trick is to start with a 500 degree oven (make sure you don’t skip the step of preheating!). Put the roast in for 15 minutes at this heat, then drop the oven temp to 350 degrees. Going hot at the beginning of the cooking process gives you a nice sear and blasts the heat into the center of the roast, giving you a more uniform finish. Depending on the size of your roast, the remaining cook time at 350 degrees will vary. These times will give you a medium rare finish:
- 4-5lb roast: 1 hour and 15 minutes
- 6-7lb roast: 1 hour and 30 minutes
- 8-9lb roast: 1 hour and 45 minutes
- 10-11lb roast: 2 hours
- 12-13lb & 14-15lb roast: 2 hours and 15minutes
The roast will continue cooking once you take it out of the oven, it’ll go an additional 5 degrees or so. Don’t rush this step, make you give it a good 10 minutes. With individual steaks, they’re small enough that the time it takes you to get it off the grill, into your kitchen, get your knives out, etc…. that’s about enough ‘resting’ time. With a larger cut, especially a roast, it needs a little extra time. So, whether you use those ten minutes to corral everyone towards the kitchen to serve up, or sit down with a glass of wine, use it!