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Finding A Rib Roast For 12 People


Scott Johnston
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Scott,

Check out Wegmans. I've gotten small rib roasts there (just for Mr. S and me) and been very happy with them. They do have larger ones, and they will cut to order. Their meat counter folks do seem to know their way around the beef.

I've gotten them once or twice at Costco, and they've been good, but I don't know if Costco will cut to order.

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I live in NOVA (tysons) and want to cook a standing rib roast (12 people) for boxing day. Anyone know where to purchase a nice one at a reasonable price? I was thinking CostCo. What should I ask for?

If you are willing to drive into the District, Union Meat at Eastern Market will be able to help. Edited by Keithstg
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FYI: I went to Wegmans in Fairfax this afternoon, and they were heavily stocked with rib roasts of all sizes, for $6.99/lb. They have pre-wrapped and cut-to-order roasts at the service counter.

I didn't indulge in that today, favoring the dry-aged rib eye steaks and veal loin chops for tonight and tomorrow night. :lol:

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pros and cons of having your butcher remove...

Who has a butcher that does this? Although I'm on speaking terms with the guys at the Safeway, they gave me such an exasperated look when I asked them to bone a leg of lamb that I won't bother. In fact, are butchers still in existence? Aren't they on the endangered species list?

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Who has a butcher that does this? Although I'm on speaking terms with the guys at the Safeway, they gave me such an exasperated look when I asked them to bone a leg of lamb that I won't bother. In fact, are butchers still in existence? Aren't they on the endangered species list?
Shame you aren't in VA. We pick up our standing rib next Saturday, off the bone and then bone tied back on. Custom cut and ready for the oven. Springfield Butchers do a fine job. There are also a bunch of Halal butchers nearby.
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Wegmans has bone in dry aged Prime standing rib roast available for Christmas-it is the ONLY time of the year that they have these available. Last year they were about $15 per pound; this year they have dramatically raised the price to $19. Balducci's also has Prime for about $22 per pound. I will argue long into the night that if one knows what they are doing with a cut of meat like this you can prepare a Prime rib equal to anyone. Of course considering what this costs (i.e. $250+ for a large four rib roast) it should be the equal of any. Costco does a good job with their choice roasts. We've used these a number of times over the years. Still, based on the last two Christmas' Wegman's Prime, despite the cost, is extraordinary and if you are really into having the best, well worth the expense.

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Who has a butcher that does this? Although I'm on speaking terms with the guys at the Safeway, they gave me such an exasperated look when I asked them to bone a leg of lamb that I won't bother. In fact, are butchers still in existence? Aren't they on the endangered species list?

I'll bet the butchers at Union Meats in Eastern Market wouldn't bat an eye at your request. Or at Wagshal's or Organic Butcher of McLean. You might even find a meatcutter at Whole Foods who knows more about meat than just slicing up a primal and running it through the wrapping machine.

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Who has a butcher that does this? Although I'm on speaking terms with the guys at the Safeway, they gave me such an exasperated look when I asked them to bone a leg of lamb that I won't bother. In fact, are butchers still in existence? Aren't they on the endangered species list?
Mike Smollons at My Butcher and More. I just checked out their website and cutting the meat off the bone appears to be their default way of serving it :P Here's what the website says:

Prime Standing Rib Roast $18.99 lb.

Hereford Choice Rib Roast $16.99 lb.

bone cradle removed roasted garlic, olive oil, s&p and rosemary applied to meat cradle then tied back on

awhole rib is 7 bones each bone feeds 2 - 3 guests

I know I sound like a broken record but this guy is great. Everything is cut to order and all the meat is dry aged. Here's Todd Kliman's article on him from a recent issue of the Washingtonian.

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It's hard to go wrong with a standing rib roast from Wagshal's, unless you'd prefer to use the money for an addition to your house. They sell only dry-aged, prime meat that they age in-house for a minimum of four weeks, and there are real butchers there who will gladly remove the bones and tie them back on without carping. An alternative might be the Lancaster Market in Germantown where, just a few decades ago, there were more cows than people. Be that as it may, the butchers will custom-cut whatever you want, and the cost will be significantly less.

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Mike Smollons at My Butcher and More. I just checked out their website and cutting the meat off the bone appears to be their default way of serving it :P Here's what the website says:

Prime Standing Rib Roast $18.99 lb.

Hereford Choice Rib Roast $16.99 lb.

bone cradle removed roasted garlic, olive oil, s&p and rosemary applied to meat cradle then tied back on

awhole rib is 7 bones each bone feeds 2 - 3 guests

I know I sound like a broken record but this guy is great. Everything is cut to order and all the meat is dry aged. Here's Todd Kliman's article on him from a recent issue of the Washingtonian.

The last time we bought a standing rib roast (Thanksgiving) it was on sale at Safeway for $5.99/lb.

Faced with an additional $13/lb, we are going to try separating a bone-in roast from the "bone cradle" ourselves this year. Thanks for the information, this will be interesting.

Although, we still won't trim off the extra fat. If you like popovers, and beef, you'll love Yorkshire pudding. It's the same batter as popovers, only cooked in beef fat.

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The last time we bought a standing rib roast (Thanksgiving) it was on sale at Safeway for $5.99/lb.

---snip snip snip--

$5.99/lb?? There's the school of thought that says you get what you pay for. For the extra $13/lb, you get Prime (not Select, which I believe is Safeway's standard), 21-day dry aged beef that comes from locally raised, hormone-free cattle. I'm doing this for several friends on New Year's Eve. I'd like to usher in 2007 with a little style and quality (Lord knows I have little to start with :P )
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$5.99/lb?? There's the school of thought that says you get what you pay for. For the extra $13/lb, you get Prime (not Select, which I believe is Safeway's standard), 21-day dry aged beef that comes from locally raised, hormone-free cattle. I'm doing this for several friends on New Year's Eve. I'd like to usher in 2007 with a little style and quality (Lord knows I have little to start with :P )
USDA Choice bone-in rib roasts are $7.99/lb at Costco; USDA Choice boneless ribeye roasts are $8.99. It appears to me (non-expert) that the Costco butchers already cut the chine bone off the bone-in roasts, and in the process, skinned the bones as well.

I'm not disputing that you're getting a nice piece of meat for almost $20/lb.

Just saying, USDA Choice rib roasts are mighty fine things, and Alton Brown has a recipe for dry aging your own roast.

Chacun à son goût.

(Yes, I am cheap. I also buy my chocolate in broken blocks! Valrhona is Valrhona to me, and Callebaut is Callebaut, even if it's broken off a bulk block. I don't dispute that it's prettier, and fancier, made into luxury chocolates in a lovely box, but in the end, it's just chocolate.)

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USDA Choice bone-in rib roasts are $7.99/lb at Costco; USDA Choice boneless ribeye roasts are $8.99. It appears to me (non-expert) that the Costco butchers already cut the chine bone off the bone-in roasts, and in the process, skinned the bones as well.

I'm not disputing that you're getting a nice piece of meat for almost $20/lb.

Just saying, USDA Choice rib roasts are mighty fine things, and Alton Brown has a recipe for dry aging your own roast.

Chacun à son goût.

(Yes, I am cheap. I also buy my chocolate in broken blocks! Valrhona is Valrhona to me, and Callebaut is Callebaut, even if it's broken off a bulk block. I don't dispute that it's prettier, and fancier, made into luxury chocolates in a lovely box, but in the end, it's just chocolate.)

I've used Costco for a number of years for their standing rib roasts. They are fine. But they taste NOTHING at all like a dry aged Prime standing rib roast such as Wegmans/Balducci/Wagshals/etc. I believe that for Christmas if you are REALLY into a truly special meal it is worth the over $100 difference for a ten or eleven pound four rib roast.

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And one more question, considering I will probably be picking this up at a WF and might not have access to a knowledgeable/caring butcher, how can I make sure I get one from the loin end? I keep hearing people tell me you should get one from the loin end but is there anyway to tell without actually being there when it is cut? Does it have a different look or size?

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And one more question, considering I will probably be picking this up at a WF and might not have access to a knowledgeable/caring butcher, how can I make sure I get one from the loin end? I keep hearing people tell me you should get one from the loin end but is there anyway to tell without actually being there when it is cut? Does it have a different look or size?
Specify ribs 10-12.
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And one more question, considering I will probably be picking this up at a WF and might not have access to a knowledgeable/caring butcher, how can I make sure I get one from the loin end? I keep hearing people tell me you should get one from the loin end but is there anyway to tell without actually being there when it is cut? Does it have a different look or size?
This description comes from Fine Cooking magazine:

The chuck end (aka the large end of the second cut) is bigger in overall size, but it has a smaller rib eye, with several thick layers of fat interspersed between portions of lean meat....The loin end [is] called the small end or first cut. It is smaller in overall size, but it has a larger rib eye, meaning more mean and less fat.

The went on to say that the word "prime" has two meanings when it comes to standing rib roast. There is prime grade (which is an indicator of marbelling) and there is a prime cut. The prime cut is the loin end. So you have to be careful when someone says they're selling you a prime rib roast. They could mean prime grade but usually it means prime cut of a choice/select grade.

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The went on to say that the word "prime" has two meanings when it comes to standing rib roast. There is prime grade (which is an indicator of marbelling) and there is a prime cut. The prime cut is the loin end. So you have to be careful when someone says they're selling you a prime rib roast. They could mean prime grade but usually it means prime cut of a choice/select grade.
The safer way to play this is to assume that the word "prime" has nothing to do with the grade of the meat and only describes the location from which it was cut. If the meat is prime grade, you will know because of the price and they will go out of their way to make the grading known to the customer.
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And one more question, considering I will probably be picking this up at a WF and might not have access to a knowledgeable/caring butcher, how can I make sure I get one from the loin end? I keep hearing people tell me you should get one from the loin end but is there anyway to tell without actually being there when it is cut? Does it have a different look or size?

Whole Foods does not carry dry aged PRIME rib roasts. At least neither Reston nor Vienna.

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I stopped by the SS WF last night for some NY strips and found out that they have Choice grade standing rib roasts on sale for $9.99/lb. Even after taking into the account this is choice and not dry aged, it's still a DAMN good price. And they have bone in rib steaks cut from the same also for $9.99/lb. Oh, and NY strips were $12.99/lb. All good prices - for WF.

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I believe Old Town does. At least they did recently.

I was told by the buthcer in the Vienna store this evening that Old Town is the only Whole Foods in Virginia that carries Prime dry aged standing rib roasts. I do NOT know if this extends to D. C. and Maryland.

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Balducci's is having their annual sale on Prime-grade standing rib roast, $12.99/lb. With our 10% discount coupon, $11.50/lb. was too hard to pass up...

I just returned from Balducci's in McLean where I bought a prime seven rib bone in. I was also at both Wegman's and Costco this afternoon and found myself speechless when someone bought a similar seven rib roast at Wegman's for $10.00 more per pound. I had a debate with myself about whether I should say something and decided that with the butcher only a few feet away the entire time I should keep my mouth shut. (And, if I ever wanted to buy meat at this counter again!) Still, Wegman's, for a 15 pound roast, was literally $150.00 more.

Choice was $6.79 a pound. Costco was $6.79 a pound for Choice also. Wegman's had a LOT of Choice standing rib roasts while perhaps remarkably Costco didn't have a single one with more than four ribs.

I also happened to be at the Organic Butcher in McLean where I paid $7.99 for 7 1/2 ounces of veal demi glace. Wegman's was $5.99 for 6 and 1/2 ounces-both were from D'Artagnan. I'm not sure of the price for a standing rib roast at the Organic Butcher. I've used them before and they were outstanding. But their meat was not graded. Regardless, it may have been the best of all and several months ago was in the high teens per pound.

I want to mention again that the recipe I linked above is absolutely outstanding for anyone thinking about doing a roast for Christmas. It is worth either buying demi glace or making the stock from scratch.

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You might also check with Springfield Butcher. They are a real butcher shop and should be able to give you any size in any configuration you want. Grover and I did a standing rib roast from there that was excellent. All of the meat that we have purchased there has exceeded our expectations.

I was just at this butcher and cut to order rib roasts are $15/lb.

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FYI the $12.99/lb Balducci prime rib is not the dry aged. Dry aged is $22.99/lb.

Whatever the Springfield butcher is charging, it's probably dry aged. That's what he usually sells.

I got a two rib roast of the non-dry aged from Balducci today, thinking about getting another two rib roast of dry aged from Springfield Butcher, cooking both and comparing.

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