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What Is Prime Rib and How Should You Serve It?

If I just had to choose one cut of meat, then my most favorite one would be the coveted prime rib.

Why you ask?

Well, that magical cut is extremely juicy and has the most tender and flavorful meat. Moreover, there are numerous ways in which you can roast and serve this delightful cut of meat. 

So, if you are wondering what is prime rib and how you can serve it, then read on to find out!

What Is Prime Rib?

It’s hands down one of the finest cuts of meat that you can ever buy. It is typically roasted with the bone and served with a simple sauce that’s made from its own fat and juices (au jus).

Prime rib is a classic roast beef preparation that you make from the beef rib primal cut, which is one of the primal beef cuts. 

The prime rib is technically identified as the standing rib roast.

The name comes from the fact that this cut of meat is typically cooked in a standing position – you stack the ribs vertically, which allows the juicy coating of fat at the top to melt and flavor the meat through to the bottom. 

As for the word “prime”, it’s a legal designation or grade for the beef set by the USDA. If the meat cut is not labeled as “prime”, then it’s simply a standing rib roast.

However, nowadays, every standing rib roast is typically known as prime rib.

How to Serve Prime Rib

Just like there are various ways to roast prime rib – in the oven, on a grill, etc. – there are also various ways in which you can serve cooked prime rib.

You can cover the entire roasted cut in your preferred seasonings, such as salt and pepper, allow it to cook through perfectly, or serve slices of it with a Red wine Au Jus. 

You can also serve slices of roasted prime rib with homemade horseradish cream and a delectable helping of golden roasted potatoes – the delightfully cool and spicy cream is a must-have in my household!

The coolness of the cream perfectly offsets the richness of the meat.

Moreover, you can also turn the fat and caramelized beef drippings of the meat into a delicious gravy.

Simply add some butter, beef broth, flour, and seasoning to it and cook it in a pan before it reaches the desired thickness.

Here are some amazing Prime Rib recipes that you could try at home:

Is Prime Rib and Rib-Eye Steak the Same Thing?

Although prime rib and rib-eye are pretty similar, they’re not the same. Both these cuts of meat come from the same primal cut of beef.

The rib-eye is one section of the rib roast that is cut and separated from the rib before it gets cooked, while the whole rib roast, which has the rib-eye and the bone, is known as prime rib or standing rib roast.

The key distinguishing factor is that the rib-eye is cut from the rib before it gets cooked. These cuts are separately sold as rib eye or rib-eye steak.

They can be boneless or bone-in. 

The prime rib definitely has a richer and more pronounced flavor than the rib-eye as it has more bone and fat content.

Moreover, when it comes to roasting the two cuts, there’s more room for experimentation with the prime rib than the rib-eye (typically seared in olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper).

Hence, the prime rib is typically more flavorful. 

What Does Prime Rib Taste Like?

This generous fat marbling and muscle, along with the rib bone, is what makes the prime rib meat so divinely juicy, rich, and flavorful.

Prime rib has a large chunk of meat in its center, which is exceptionally tender and juicy.

This eye of meat is surrounded by a fat-marbled muscle, which is further encapsulated by a thick cap of fat. 

Check out these recipes:

How to Pick Out a Prime Rib

If you are under the assumption, like I was, that the leaner the cut of meat, the better it tastes, then it’s time to throw that assumption out of the window!

When choosing prime rib, you need to select the chunk of meat that has the most glorious packing and a layer of fat around its ends. 

Moreover, the layer of fat should also be even, this will ensure that the cooked meat is as juicy and tender as possible.

However, make sure that the roast has more meat than fat on it; the first cut or the back section of the cow’s rib has the most meat.

Choose a rib roast that has a bright color and luster, with milky white fat around it. Make sure that you steer clear of meat that has a dull color and yellowing fat around it.

Additionally, if you don’t plan on buying the entire rib roast, then always ask your butcher for the small end of the rib.

It is closer to the loin area and is more juicy and tender than the large end.

Final Words

I hope this guide has answered your question, “What is prime rib and how to serve prime rib?”

So, on your next visit to the butcher’s, make sure to pick out the perfect prime rib and do give this delectable cut of meat a try. 

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