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Calling all Prime Rib experts....cut question???

Posted by eileenlaunonen (My Page) on
Wed, Mar 24, 10 at 9:38

Most of the butchers in the area are ranging between $6-$9 a pound for prime rib bone on. One local market has a power coupon for 2.99 a pound but the add reads...USDA Choice Beef Bone-In MIDDLE cut Rib eye Roast....Is this a good cut or not??? How hard is it to take it off the bone and tie it back on??? This store does not off butcher service. First cut is 3.99 lb whats the difference? Thanks soooooooo much!!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Calling all Prime Rib experts....cut question???

Well....think of a whole rack in terms of the rib cage....because that's what it is. The first cut has more meat....a larger center portion....don't know it it's $1 more or not....go look at the meat before you decide.
I wouldn't cut the bone off and tie it on....cook it with the bone and serve each person a one rib portion, a la Durgin park in Boston.
Linda C

RE: Calling all Prime Rib experts....cut question???

Thanks Linda appreciate your help

RE: Calling all Prime Rib experts....cut question???

I prefer roasting it with the bone but already cut off and tied in place. It's easier to serve and cut. Most people won't nibble the bones and you can eat those later so they don't get wasted.
Butchers will commonly cut it off the bone but keep it in place so the bones become the rack upon which it is roasted.
No help with different parts: end, middle.

RE: Calling all Prime Rib experts....cut question???

Eileen, Like Linda, I roast with the bone on. Then to make carving easy, I stand the roast up on its end and carve down between the bones and the roast separating them. Now you can separate the bones and serve them along side the meat.


RE: Calling all Prime Rib experts....cut question???

I also agree with Linda in that you should go to the store and look at what's available. Some places have good sales but they end up selling just a rib roast, as opposed to prime rib roast.

The "rib eye" is a prime cut, so you should be OK if you trust their advertising, but check them out before deciding.

I also roast with the bones in, just because I don't want to bother to do otherwise.


RE: Calling all Prime Rib experts....cut question???

Just by way of education, it's only a "prime" rib if the grade of the meat is USDA Prime. Otherwise it's called a standing rib roast. I would definately cut the meat off the bones prior to roasting, it's not that dificult and makes final carving so much easier, and allows for better portion control. Just start at the cut ends of the ribs and follow along with your knife until it's clear of the bones. Then at cooking time, place all your aromatics in the bottom of the pan, place the bones on top and the roast on top of that. The bones are a natural roasting rack and absolutely delicious the next day. They are the cooks greedy pleasure!


RE: Calling all Prime Rib experts....cut question???

A little clarification might be in order. This section of meat in the cow is one of the main divisions when cutting meat. Therefore it is known as a primal cut. When it is cut as a roast (as opposed to steaks) it is considered a Prime roast. There is confusion and a lot of debate on the matter because prime is also the highest grading given to meats that meet a certain criteria of quality. But Prime rib is such an accepted term for the cut, even if it does not meet prime grading standards, the USDA gives it a pass and doesn't get anal about the title. You can purchase prime graded roasts at top dollar- most grocery outlets sell the lesser grade "choice".

Your actual question though about middle cut is an interesting one and hard to track down. There are some theories that I'll toss out to throw around. An old meat cutter's term for this setion of meat (ribs 6 through 12) is "middle meat". It could be that the store was simply being redundant and selling the idea of middle as being pretty good stuff. After all there is center cut this and eye of that.

Another idea is that some stores call the second cut or slightly less quality Chuck side of the full 16 pound rib, the center cut. It's a rarely used term but maybe that's where the middle cut term comes from. Below is a brief description of first cut and second cut.

First Cut Rib Roast

An extremely tender and flavorful roast, First Cut Rib Roast consists of ribs 9-12 from the loin end of the cow. First Cut Rib Roast may also be called Prime Rib, Loin End, or Prime Rib Small End. Not surprisingly, this is one of the most expensive cuts suitable for a beef roast.

Second Cut Rib Roast

Also known as a Large End Rib Roast, the Second Cut Rib Roast is cut from ribs 6-9, closer to the chuck area of the cow. As a result, this beef roast is slightly fattier and slightly less tender than the First Cut Rib Roast. It remains, however, an excellent choice for cooking a beef roast. It is also a rather pricey cut of beef, though slightly less expensive than a First Cut Rib Roast.


RE: Calling all Prime Rib experts....cut question???

Michael's got it right on target. The more expensive rib roast cut is also called "small end" because it is smaller and more compact than the bigger, less choice "large end" cut. In this case, bigger is NOT better! You'd actually have to look at the roast and check what both ends look like before deciding if this is a good buy or not. It's easy enough to tell once you look at the roast - if on one end, the meat is broken up into three or four sections divided by fat and gristle, you're basically buying a cut of chuck instead of sirloin.

At $3.99, I'd buy the small end, myself. Even for Choice grade meat, that's a great price. With some marinating and a medium rare roasting, it ain't filet but it'll be really good eating!

RE: Calling all Prime Rib experts....cut question???

I usually don't make Standing Rib once the weather gets warm, but after reading this post, I think Eileen has a great idea and I am now craving Rib Roast!


RE: Calling all Prime Rib experts....cut question???

So Eileen, did you buy it?

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