What comes into your memory when you hear "Prime Rib"? For me, its family friends, dinner table, fairy lights, presents, and fancy wine glasses-Christmas. Several memories spring up, ranging from munching on Prime Rib through the dinner to cooking and serving it to our family and friends. Many people associate Prime Rib with festivals like Christmas, Thanksgiving, and birthdays mostly because it is more expensive than other cuts of meat. This association gives it an iconic and inexplicable "festive taste." In other words, you feel the true spirit of celebration when you bite into it.
Prime Rib is among the most well-known cuts of beef out there. Butchers cut it from the middle section of the bovine, which consists of ribs. These might range from the 6th to the 12th rib.
Though many people visit steakhouses to eat it, you can easily prepare it at home with some knowledge and practice. As it has a remarkably generous size, you can serve it to multiple guests at once.
Origins of the Prime Rib
Did you know that every year the 27th of April is still celebrated as Prime Rib day? I was stunned when I stumbled across it in fun facts. It got me wondering, what is the history behind Prime Rib, and why does it have an entire day dedicated to it? It led me to uncover some interesting facts about its origins.
Prime Rib emerged on the surface and became well-known in the mid-nineteenth century, around the Industrial Revolution. Though little to do with industries, it was a wonderful delicacy that farmers and butchers cut from beef. As the home-cooking trends gained popularity, so did the Prime Rib. Due to its cooking method, people more commonly knew it as “Standing Rib Roast.” Over the decades, chefs have discovered some great cooking methods that have given the Prime Rib the reputation of being among the most mouthwatering beef dishes. Till today, restaurants offer tempting deals and discounts on the 27th of April.
What Makes It So Special?
People often relate it to festivals, like the way cake is associated with birthdays. Besides, it has an entire day dedicated to it on which restaurants offer exclusive discounts. But what is it in the Prime Rib that makes it so unique? In other words, why is it compared favorably with different cuts of beef? Among other factors, there are two that make it stand out the most.
A standard Prime Rib comes from the middle part of the cow and consists of seven ribs. It means it is larger than steaks or most other cuts of beef. You can also ask the butcher to leave fewer ribs in your cut, depending on your intended number of people. Usually, one rib suffices for a dinner of two.
Chefs often recognize the rib section of the beef as the most flavourful one. It is primarily due to the composition. When you buy a Prime Rib, you also get fat layers and meat alongside the ribs or bones. This variety means that you can taste a well-blended and heavenly flavour of molten fat, roasted beef, and barbecued bones all at once!
Prime Rib vs. Prime-graded Rib
There is a vital difference that you should remember when buying prime rib, and here is a compelling way to put it: Though all Prime Rib is Prime-graded, not all prime-graded ribs are Prime Rib. A bit mind-boggling, isn’t it? Let me explain.
When we talk about beef, Prime can mean two things. Firstly, it could refer to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) that grades beef. For the cut to earn the grade of Prime, it must meet several high requirements like marbling and fat content. Only 2.9% of the total beef available for inspection achieves this standard. Thus, it is possible for you to encounter distinct ribs in the market that do not have the label of Prime on the packaging.
Secondly, Prime also refers to the significance of ribs in the bovine. The section where ribs exist or the collection of ribs is called primal. Interestingly, humans and all vertebrates have primal ribs! In beef, Prime Rib’s name indicates that it belongs to a specific section or place on the cow. Due to its placement, almost all Primal Rib earns the grade of Prime after undergoing the specified checks. It means that when buying Prime Rib, you are buying a very high-quality roast that butchers cut from an important portion of the beef.
Cooking Tips for the Prime Rib
There’s nothing more pleasurable than a perfectly cooked Prime rib. The succulent flavourful Prime Rib paired with delicious sides like mashed potatoes and a beautiful gravy will take you on a journey to Christmas or Thanksgiving nirvana. Use 3 these tips to create the perfect centerpiece for your holiday table.
Use the In-Bone Method
Its alternative name, Standing Rib Roast, is based on how chefs prefer to cook it. Cooking with bones and is arguably the best method up till today. This in-bone cooking trick leaves you with a lump of more juicy and tender meat. It is because bones have high thermal resistance because heat transfers slowly through their molecules. In other words, they take longer to heat, which leaves more time for evenly distributed juices and flavour in the meat.
For a refined, buttery flavour, it is important to season your roast beforehand. As Prime Rib has a magnificent size, it needs a longer time to rest and absorb the condiments you apply. Ideally, you should leave it for a day, but if you are short on time, make sure you leave it seasoned for at least 4 to 5 hours before cooking. Though a thorough salt application is crucial during seasoning, you can also apply black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and several other spices as per your taste.
Cook Till Medium-rare
After many experiments, chefs have discovered that the Prime Rib tastes best when cooked till medium-rare, which is the degree of doneness of a moderately cooked beef. It is usually the temperature of 130℉ (54℃), at which the meat is pink and slightly firm. It is highly endorsed that you work with a good food thermometer to monitor the temperature throughout.
The Prime Rib is the most tender and flavourful cut of beef that you can enjoy. Though comparatively expensive and tricky to deal with, the finger-licking taste and belly-filling content make it perfect for occasions. However, you can also devour it on Sundays or any other day because celebratory events do not have to be the prerequisites to quality food!. Nevertheless, remember to season beforehand, use the in-bone cooking method, and regulate temperature with a thermometer for the best results.