Prime Rib Loaf the Next Great American Entree

My buddy and former coworker Dallas Gross, who is now back home in Indiana had this great idea for a low budget special occasion meal. Dallas was always coming up with something. Everyone that knows him says he should have been a chef. In fact we have an idea for a television show if anyone is interested. Dallas is affectionately known as the white trash gourmet. Which coincidently is the name we’ve chosen for his television show if it should ever materialize, which isn’t looking to good anymore now that he’s gone.

Anyhow Dallas and I used to brainstorm together as we hacked up the meat for the meat case in the supermarket where we worked. Dallas came up with this incredible idea for people who are either on a budget or have company coming and don’t want to go to a lot of expense and I helped him to perfect it. It’s called Prime Rib Loaf.

Do you ever have a special occasion but don’t want to spend a lot of money? Or maybe your newlyweds and your first anniversary rolls a round and you want to do something nice but you’re on a budget? This is for you.

It’s simple really. What’s better and cheaper than a nice big meat loaf? Nothing right? What’s better and more expensive than a nice big prime rib? Not much right? Well what we’ve done is make an imitation prime rib by molding a big meat loaf into the shape of a prime rib and then expertly tying the beef back rib that comes off the prime rib onto the meat loaf. Brilliant! It even slices up like a prime rib and if you are very careful you can serve a slab of it just like the fancy restaurants do with a nice rib bone and everything.

Here’s what you do. First find a store that has some nice boneless chuck roasts, round steaks, rump roasts or cross rib roasts or anything lean and cheap on sale and have the butcher grind up some for you. If you are going to make a small one then a couple of pounds should do. The small ones are harder to make however. You should probably go with at least four pounds to make it work. Next you will need some beef back ribs which can be found anywhere from 99 cents a pound to $1.79 a pound. There are seven ribs on a whole rib and it will take at least two ribs of the seven for a four pounder. Figure two pounds of meat loaf per rib. Call around and find the best deal on the meat for grinding as well as the back ribs. For a small prime rib loaf you will need two ribs. This will give you two generous slabs or two servings. The servings will be kind of large if you cut through the bone but you can remove the bone and slice it up like a regular meat loaf. The presentation is really what you are after.

Once you have your ground beef and beef back rib make up your favorite meat loaf recipe with one little adjustment. Take all of your non meat ingredients, onions, bread crumbs, etc and run them through the blender until completely blenderized. Then mix into your meat very thoroughly. This step is very important. You do not want any chunks of anything when you go to slice it. You want the finish product to look as much like a prime rib as possible. It might help to use an extra egg or two in your meat loaf recipe to help it set up nice. Now you will also need several of those long wooden skewers that you use for making kabobs and string from your butcher. Take the meat loaf and place it on the meaty side of the back ribs. There is a membrane and fatty side and there is a meaty side. When the meaty side is up the back ribs are bowed downward. It may seem like you a placing the meat on the wrong side but you are not. Once the meat loaf is on the meaty part of the back ribs mold it until it looks like a prime rib. Then place several skewers length ways or the opposite direction of the bone. This is to protect the hamburger when you go to tie it. Next take the string and tie up the whole thing starting at the one end and going to the other. Do not cinch it down too tight. The hamburger is very delicate. Place it into your roasting pan and cook like you would a meat loaf. To serve take the string and the skewers off and slice between the bones very carefully with a sharp knife or cut it up like a meat loaf.

There you have it, a meal fit for king and queen. Or maybe in-laws.