How Prime Rib Won Over The Holiday Table

The holidays are a time for gathering around the table and enjoying delicious food with friends and family. While every family and group of friends have their own twist on holiday traditions, many serve prime rib during the time around the winter celebrations between Christmas and New Year's Eve. According to MasterClass, the term prime rib originates from a particular meat cut that comes from a cow's primal rib area and is usually served as a roast.

And as The Spruce Eats details, prime rib gets its juicy and tender flavor from a couple of factors; using a younger cow yields tender meat, and a marbled cut also guarantees a roast that is both flavorful and moist. If you've ever had this tender, juicy beef roast during the holidays, then you know that it is worthy of being the star of the celebrations of the season. But now that you know what cut prime rib is, you may wonder how this particular piece became the meat of choice for the holidays.

Why we serve prime rib

As Tony's Meats & Market details, many believe that prime rib became a popular cut to serve for Christmas around the time of the Industrial Revolution. The article further describes that the commonly held reason for this is because that time period is when the standards around butchering meat improved, which allowed a greater amount of families residing in the United States, Australia, Ireland, and the United Kingdom access to more cuts of beef.

According to The Washington Post, an additional reason prime rib became popular was that, prior to the 1940s, it was considered an economical option for a holiday meal. The Washington Post further explains that before the 1940s, turkeys were something only a small section of the elite could enjoy since they were obtained during special turkey shoots and mass production of poultry and home freezers wasn't widely available until the 1950s. So no matter what reason you choose to serve prime rib, now you know how it became the beef cut served during the holidays.