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Monday, January 01, 2007

Cost Per Serving vs. Servable Pound

My standing rib roast cost a lot less this year. Overall, I paid $40 for a 4 rib roast which was nicely marbled and labeled certified Angus beef. Trimming was minimal (about 4%) and I dry aged the meat for 4 days in my refrigerator. Dry aging can reduce a roast's weight by 10% to 15%. My roast lost 9% of the weight during the aging process.

Once the slow roasted meat hit 125 degrees, I pulled it from the oven and let it rest for 20 minutes. Next, I carefully removed the bones for a French Onion Soup the next day. The net weight after trimming, aging, roasting and boning was exactly 60% of the original weight.

Since my guests included 6 people with a medium rare preference and 2 with a medium preference, I offered the end cuts to the two medium fans. Everyone enjoyed the rib and asked for my secret. (a great thermometer!)

My cost per serving was $5. The various yield tests I performed were simply to document the shrink for this specific roast. I knew my cost was $5 per serving since I was feeding 8 people with a $40 roast. I could have served half the portions on the bone (one on, one off) and the cost per serving would still be $5. The cost per servable pound would be lower with the bones.

My preference for costing prime rib is the cost per serving method. The actual weight can be impacted by loss of moisture during storage and cooking, trimming process and serving method. Cost per servable pound may vary but the cost per serving was decided when I purchased the meat.

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