No Really, “Prime” Prime Rib: The Lobels Experiment Continues

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And yet…another episode in the Lobels experiment. I cannot express to you enough how much this investment tasted. I guess I really was anticipating a high ROI (return on investment for you cooks out there) with such a large outflow of dollars for meat that is already rather expensive. I mean, with the purchase from Lobels I made, I got beef that was in betwixed of Wagyu and choice, but still a step ahead of Whole Foods locally grown dry-aged beef that I have come to love so well. I almost feel unfaithful to WF; like I have a paramour. It has become difficult to stroll by the beef to get to the fish in that store as I feel the meat calling out to me, “Donald, why dost thee forsake us so?”. I’m just heading for the seafood, cause I have beef in the freezer. I feel oh, so bad.


When I first began blogging, my blogosphere friend Claudia over at cook eat Fret had commented on my blog about her experience and she definitely agreed; rob a bank, work that extra shift, sell your flat panel, do something but find a way to try this beef! Her experience is documented here. I have also tried their Kurabuto pork standing rib roast. And it was super delish! I have never seen such marbling in pork before. I almost want to go a buy a Berkshire pig and….well maybe not.

As far as prime rib is concerned, it is, and has always been, an expensive cut. Usually people tend to serve it around the holidays. I like to have it once every couple of months. For my money, the expensive of buying it and preparing it myself has always proven cheaper than ordering it at a restaurant, with wine and tip. That is one night out that is upwards of $100 and by preparing it myself, yes, it too can be upwards of $100, but, BUT, I get 2 nights servings. Beat that! Plus, if I buy the cut at Whole Foods, it isn’t nearly as expensive, but it isn’t “prime” either.

The “prime” in prime rib has become common place, however it is truly misleading. Just because you are eating a prime rib does NOT mean that the beef is prime. Confusing? I was confused at first. Only about 20 percent of beef in America is graded “prime”, with the remainder being graded either choice or select. Most of what we see at our local supermarket is choice. I recommend, as does America’s Test Kitchen, that we refrain from eating beef graded select. You can go to Longhorn’s Steakhouse for tough meat. It is all about the fat. And I don’t mean my modest belly. The fat in the marbling. If you look at the comparison of the three grades, you may want to get the leaner cut, but I warn you, if you are not accustomed to chewing shoe leather, DON’T DO IT! Buy a chicken breast instead and save yourself. You can and probably do get a standing rib roast that is graded choice. So think of what you are missing, if that choice cut tastes good. Yeah, believe me it is a lot!

The main reason for this particular soliloquy on prime rib is that, I think that eating is indeed important for survival, and eating well it important for health, but eating really, really tasty specimens is a must no matter the cost! Well, at least, some of the time. I do have to make a car payment, and a mortgage payment. I couldn’t cook no prime nothing if I ain’t got no stove, right?

On to the Roast!


Just look at this gorgeous specimen! As a side note, I will buy dry-aged beef over non dry-aged prime any day. The dry aging process does tremendous things for that beef injection flavor. The meat from Lobels though, is, um, both dry aged, and prime. I feel like saying sorry.

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I cannot stress enough how important a good, accurate thermometer is when preparing roasts. Especially if you are concerned about the cooking temperature of the meat. I mean, if you are cooking seven hour leg of lamb, well, a thermometer isn’t going to do you much good, now is it? If you are cooking your prime rib that you sold your 1975 vintage Ford Pinto for, you want to make sure that you get the exact temperature. Me-myself-personally, and Becky, we like our prime rib pretty rare. Not too bloody, but not quite to medium rare. I find that temperature also aids in the reheating of the, YEA!, leftovers.

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This thermometer speaks to you and is wireless. You place the probe into the cut and take the head unit with you. The speaking part is cool until it becomes annoying. I set the roast to be done at 130 degrees and at 125 the thermometer begins with, BING! “It’s almost done”, then 5-8 seconds later, BING! “It’s almost done”. OKAY! Then finally, it issues, BING! “It’s done”. Well you better go and get the probe. Picture me wrestling with hot meat just to shut the thing up from saying over and over, “It’s done!”, “It’s done”, I know, I KNOW! I taking it out of the friggin oven now!!!! I will learn to find a common zen with the thing next time.


To make the absolute best prime (or standing) rib roast you should need only a few components, one being a generous amount of good salt, I used Maldon smoked sea salt, and fresh ground black pepper. That’s it. The beef does the talking all by itself, I swear to you. See that perfect layer of fat on the top of the cut. That is going to melt into the beef and create more and more flavor. Back fat can be good on a cut of beef, just not from the demarcation of a low cut shirt and hip huggers. Sorry, had to vent there.

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I start my oven at 500 degrees. Into it goes the roast. 15 minutes later, I turn the oven heat down to 325 degrees. I let it roast until, BING! “It’s done!”. Usually, but not scientifically, the roasting time will be around 15 minutes per pound, depending on how you like your meat. This was rare to medium rare. At 125 degrees, you would have really rare. At 135, you’d get medium. Remember, you let the roast sit for at least 15 minutes before carving and during that time it will continue to cook another 5 degrees.

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What roast would not be complete without Yorkshire pudding?

2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1/4 cup drippings from roast
3/4 tsp salt

Mix batter together and place into fridge for at least 30 minutes. Then put into tins. I used muffin tins.

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All that is left is to enjoy! Serve au jus and horseradish sauce.

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Oh yeah, the jus comes from combining the meat drippings with 1/2 cup of beef stock. You should reserve the bone to make your own stock for another attempt at perfection.