The rib primal offers some of the most mouth-watering steaks and roasts. It typically includes seven ribs, and consists of several muscles that run along the back of the animal. The largest of these is the center muscle called the “eye”. The butcher may choose to cut across the muscle groups to include a portion of each muscle and the rich fat between them, or the muscles can be separated and individually cut into steaks and roasts for leaner options.
Cooking Method: Braise/Broil/Grill
Other Names: Beef Rib Back Ribs, Beef Riblets, Dinosaur Ribs, Finger Ribs, Rib Bones
Beef back ribs, sometimes called dinosaur ribs, are the most expensive and most tender of all the rib cuts, but they are not the meatiest. A full rack will consist of 7 bones, while a half rack will consist of 3-4 bones. Unless they have been split down the middle, the bones should range in length from 6-8 inches. They are so tender, the can be grilled, but braising results in juicy ribs that can be sauced and finished on the grill.
Cooking Method: Broil/Grill
Other Names: Cap of Ribeye
The ribeye cap is one of the several muscles that make up the rib primal cut. The third most tender muscle, it has a rich and satisfying beef flavor that some consider to be the best of any cut. It can withstand a lot of dry heat and is difficult to over cook. It can be purchased whole but is commonly portioned into 4-9 ounce steaks. Steaks can be sliced thin and used to make a delicious beef satay.
Ribeye Center Roast & Steak
Cooking Method: Roast/Pan Fry (Steak)
Other Names: Center Cut Ribeye, Filet of Ribeyehuck Roast Blade Cut
The ribeye filet roast is cut from the singular center muscle of the ribeye and offers a leaner alternative to the ribeye roast. The full center generally weighs about 4–6 pounds (1.8–2.7 kg). It is commonly cut down the middle into 1.5–2.5 pound petit roasts or sliced into 1-1½ inch (2.5-4 cm) steaks, each about 4 to 6 ounces (113–170g). It has great flavor, is well marbled, and presents beautifully.
Cooking Method: Roast
Other Names: Delmonico Roast, Newport Roast, Prime Rib, Rib Roast, Rib Roast Oven Ready, Standing Rib Roast, Regular Roll Roast, Ribeye Roast Bone-in, Ribeye Roast Boneless, Rib Eye Pot Roast
This is the grand daddy of all roasts. Great for special occasions. Cut across the rib primal between ribs 5 and 13 to include most of the rib muscles and the large layer of connective fat, it is rich and succulent. The full 7-rib roast weighs more than 15 pounds (7 kg) and is primarily intended for restaurant or food service use. A 3- to 4-rib roast makes a more practical solution for the home cook. Prime Rib can only come from USDA Prime grade beef. When purchasing, always ask if the vertebrae (chine bone), along with its feathery bones, and the black strap ligament have been removed. Otherwise, carving will be a nightmare. Roast bone side down in a hot oven (400-450°F / 200-230°C) for about 15-20 minutes, then drop to a moderate 350° (180°C) until the desired internal temperature is achieved.
Cooking Method: Broil/Grill/Pan Fry
Other Names: Bone-In–Bone-in Rib Steak, Cowboy Steak, Frenched, Rib Steak Small End Bone-In; Boneless–Beauty Steak, Delmonico Steak, Fillet Steak, Market Steak, Rib Steak Small End Boneless, Spencer Steak
This steakhouse favorite is considered by many to be the best because of its rich marbling. Like the ribeye roast, this steak is fabricated by cutting across the rib primal cut and includes several muscles and the rich think connective layer of fat between the rib eye center and cap muscles. Sometimes steaks will be cut with the “lip on”. The lip is a thick piece of fat that runs the length of the rib primal. Select steaks that are 1-1½ inches thick (2.5–4 cm). Perfectly suited for the grill, the ribeye steak can also be pan seared and finished under the broiler. Cowboy steaks must be bone-in and are usually between 1½ and 2 inches thick (4–5 cm). Cowboys served “French-style” have the lip removed and the end of the bone is cleaned of all meat.