I have a follow-up question to gigiaxline's question about prime rib. Despite many people disagreeing with me when I talk about steak, our favorite cut of meat is a filet. It is tender, has great flavor, and we are usually always successful at getting it to turn out beautifully on the rare side of medium-rare. My memories of good prime rib are the same. However, in recent years, when we have made prime rib, we have always ended up disappointed. I am attaching a link to a discussion on eGullet that I started a number of years ago. One thing for sure, people do feel strongly about this topic.

I am wondering if I just have a poor memory. I have been told that one problem may be the fact that a two-rib prime rib roast is more difficult to get right, that larger roasts are recommended. Can prime rib turn out with the same tender, beautiful medium rareness as a filet? Or... should I just stick to filets? Thanks!

bella s.f.


bella S. December 24, 2010
Ouch! What can I say? I make mistakes. I did say "tender medium-rareness", as a teture thing. After reading the responses, I tried to clarify my question, to better express what I was asking. I do thank you for your suggestions and comments on the USDA grading. It is something that I now want to try making again.
anyone December 23, 2010
bella s.f.- I think you can credit the last few lines in your question for the answers you have. If you say "Of course I know" then you did a great job at confusing us because it really didn't seem like you knew at all.
anyone December 23, 2010
I would say then grade is what it sounds like you looking for. I always use "choice" or better if I can find it for my own personal use. Cooked on the rare side of medium rare "choice" should be very tender and juicy if cooked properly, If you can find a "prime" grade rib roast it should more than satisfy your needs.
bella S. December 23, 2010
I want to read all of your comments more carefully, but I also want to write a quick response. I might not have written my question clearly enough. Of course I know that one can cook prime rib medium rare. What I wanted to ask however, was... is my memory of prime rib being tender like a filet accurate? Am I looking for a filet in a different "package". I think that it may be a texture thing. There is a softness, (I don't mean mush.) to a filet. Maybe that is it. I think that I remember the same "softness" from eating prime rib. However, that is what has been missing the last few times we cooked one. A delicate tenderness. Does that explain it any better? I look forward to being able to read your responses when I get back. Much thanks!
betteirene December 23, 2010
Is this the time and place to state that "prime rib" is not a cut of meat?

There are four grades of beef. Most of us are only able to purchase "choice" (good) or "select" (don't even think about it), and ungraded beef, which is most often used for "by-products," which means it's so chewy and tough, the only way to eat it is to grind it into a paste.

Only 2% of the beef in this country is graded "prime," and almost all of it goes to restaurants such as Peter Luger's in New York or Daniel's Broiler in Seattle or to Omaha Steaks for mail orders or is exported. Even if we have a brother who's a butcher, it's really, really hard and very, very expensive to get our hands on a prime rib roast. If I had known this 40 years ago, I would have encouraged at least one of my sons to take up the profession of ranching.

What most of us will be roasting on Christmas day is a plain old rib roast.
anyone December 23, 2010
Certainly you can get a nice rare to medium rare on a small cut of rib roast. Just think of it as a large rib eye. Season it well to your liking and liberally and sear in a large skillet with some oil or butter on high heat both sides and pop it in a 425F oven and check for doness after15- 20 min or so.
But, yesterday there was a great article posted by Bettereine that suggested to do this in reverse order.
usuba D. December 22, 2010
You have hit a topic near and dear to my heart. I grow up on a grass fed only beef property and remember the most flavorful beef ever. I have complained over the last 25 years that beef in America has become tasteless due to the over use of grain fed diets. All it gives is fat that imparts some flavour and tenderness, but the actual meat has no flavour. I grow less and less enjoying beef, unless it is TRULY 100% grass fed. I bet you it is the beef that is disappointing you, not how you are cooking it. BTW, if you come across real grass fed, it is cooked differently. . . but that is another story.
nutcakes December 22, 2010
Of course ribeye roast it can be tender and rare, but it is more flavorful than filet. It is my favorite cut. However I don't have any experience with a smaller roast. Do you use an instant read thermometer to determine doneness? I like filet fine, but I haven't made it in a very long time.
mrslarkin December 22, 2010
As I don't cook a lot of beef, I don't have a clue. But I AM making a 2-rib, just over 4 lbs., roast for xmas and going with the advice of Harold McGee, start high and then go low: http://www.wbur.org/npr/130697865/harold-mcgees-keys-to-good-cooking-for-chefs As he states, there will be a larger window of getting it right this way.
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