Today is National Prime Rib Day!
Today is National Prime Rib Day.
Prime rib is, speaking strictly, the three rearmost ribs from the primal rib roast. However, most restaurants and butchers consider all seven ribs in the standard rib roast as being prime rib. The ones in the back have a bigger "eye" in the center and smaller islands of lean around the perimeter of fat. It's the same cut used for ribeye steaks, but before the bone is removed.
The big difference between prime rib and ribeye is the cooking method. Most prime rib roasts are roasted whole for hours at low temperatures--300 degrees, give or take. That's what gives prime rib its soft, juicy texture, so different from the firmer texture of the same cut if meat grilled one steak at a time. Prime rib is usually not carved until serving time.
One more confusion: the word "prime" in the expression "prime rib" is not the same as in "USDA Prime grade" for beef. A prime rib can be choice or worse grade. USDA Prime prime rib is rarely seen; the amount of fat in it is fantastic, but fans of the cut love it for that.
Prime rib was much more popular in the 1960s and 1970s than it is now. Back then, restaurant chains all over America specialized in it.
Courtesy of Tom Fitzmorris - www.nomenu.com
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