Prime Rib 102

By | March 7th, 2017

San Antonio Country Club’s Executive Chef Nelson Millán demos how to refine prime rib by eliminating the excess internal fat, connecting tissue and silver skin to create a solid and more “meaty” steak.

Tender, juicy prime rib is a staple in almost every foodservice venue in America. But as per my observation as the Executive Chef of San Antonio (Texas) Country Club, it is more revered by private club members than any customer at any hotel or resort I have ever worked before.

As such, I was challenged to explore Prime Rib closely several years ago while working at one of the busiest restaurants at the Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo, Fla. Every Thursday night was Prime Rib night—like in many of our clubs I’m sure—and we started to receive feedback from the members about how “fatty” the Prime Rib was. I was determined to find a solution to this feedback.

We started by sourcing a better quality and under 13lbs. beef rib that was roast-ready with the cover off, short cut (export style) NAMP/IMPS 109 primal cut. (Until then we were using a 14lbs beef rib, ribeye roll lip-on NAMP/IMPS 112 Prime Rib.) Then we’d surgically disconnected the fat flap and cap to study the interconnected muscles to basically perform “liposuction” on these prime ribs. When we finally got it open with the cap separated from the eye we encountered a substantial amount of fat as well as tough inedible gristle and silver skin on both side of the Prime Rib. We removed all of the inedible parts and glue the cap and the eye back together with a natural transglutaminase enzyme, aka “Meat Glue”, a product that bonds proteins-containing foods together, and

When we finally got it open with the cap separated from the eye we encountered a substantial amount of fat as well as tough inedible gristle and silver skin on both sides. We removed all of the inedible parts and glued the cap and the eye back together with a natural transglutaminase enzyme—aka “Meat Glue.” We trussed it with butcher twine and the results were extremely successful. (To the point that I remember a member calling me to the table and asking me “if I was buying beef cuts from different cow” because he could not find any fattiness or gristle on his prime rib anymore and it was fantastic.)

Ever since that time, I have processed prime rib this way and the feedback has been super positive every time we serve it. Here’s how to do it.

Cooking Prime Rib

Season the Rib with your preferred seasoning and sear at high heat all around. (For the best results, even cooking and the least amount of shrinkage use an Alto-Sham set at about 200°F and place in a pan suspended by a wire mesh, this will allow the heat to surround and cook the Prime Rib more evenly.) The next best method is in a conventional oven, followed by a convection oven with a “low fan” setting and a temp of about 185°F. I do not recommend cooking it in a normal convection oven on high fan as you will lose about 25% in shrinkage.

Be aware that because we eliminated the lip (or chain) of the prime rib and trimmed all of the other inside components, the diameter of the Prime Rib became smaller, therefore the roasting time was 15 to 20 minutes less than normal time.

Prime Rib Internal Cooking Temperatures

  • Rare 110°-115°
  • MR 120°-125°
  • Medium 130°-135°
  • MW 140°-150°
  • Well (Stop! Don’t even try it!!)

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