electronic Gourmet Guide

Carving a Prime Rib

by Prof. Steve Holzinger


Be sure that the butcher has removed the chine bone properly so that the knife can slip between the bones. The strings, feather bones and fat cap are best removed in the kitchen.

Sit the rib with the cut side up and the bones to the left for a right handed carver. Cut parallel to the cut surface, about 3/8 inch per slice. Steady the rib with the fork between the top two ribs. A 12 to 14 inch roast beef knife, well sharpened, will allow you to make long smooth cuts. Draw the knife with the blade parallel to the table through the cut you want to make in a long smooth bowing stroke. Avoid sawing motions that create jagged edges. Cut the end cut even with the bone. Then cut one slice on the bone, one slice off the bone. This gives 16 cuts on a 7 rib standing rib roast. As you get down near the bottom you may want to use the flat of the fork to hold the meat still. This is the most difficult part and why you need a long sharp knife.

If you wish to cut English style, which means thin slices, you can remove and separate the bones in the kitchen by scoring each side, running a boning knife down the bone, and twisting it out. You can then lay the roast on the board, boned side down, and slice parallel to the eye. Start on the thicker rib end first. Carving this way is a real cinch. Before you start, use the edge of your knife to mark the center lightly. Then you can estimate the slices in the first half. Count as you go along, or put the dishes in two counted stacks in front of you. If you run a slice short, remember that you are serving yourself last. Historically, both men and women have carved at table, and guests were served in order of rank.

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© 1996, Steve K. Holzinger. All rights reserved.


This page originally published as part of the electronic Gourmet Guide between 1994 and 1998.

Copyright © 2007, Forkmedia LLC. All rights reserved.

Modified March 2007