The Lean Pork Roast To Use In Place Of Prime Rib

Pork gets a bit of a bad wrap. It may bring up memories of dry, flavorless pork chops, but this meat has so many more delicious and tender cuts to try. There are even some cuts that can hold their own texture and flavor-wise against a classic like prime rib while still being leaner and cheaper. Whether you're on a budget, are watching your calories, or are simply tired of beef, a center-cut rib roast is the perfect pork replacement for prime rib.

Also known as rack of pork or center-cut pork roast, this rib cut has a fat cap over a single muscle. Like most rib varieties, the meat around the bones becomes incredibly succulent once cooked. This pork roast is also quite lean compared to prime rib. A 4-ounce serving of pork rib roast has 370 calories with 21 grams of fat, while the same amount of beef rib has 437 calories and over 36 grams of fat. Pork in general is also much less expensive than beef. A cut of beef prime rib can cost over $30 a pound, while the pork cut is half that at around $15 per pound.

Center-cut rib roast is a decadent pork option

Once you have secured your center-cut rib roast from your local butcher or a specialty online retailer, you're ready to start cooking — just make sure you check out our top tips for cooking pork first. One way to go about it is preparing the pork just as you would prime rib. 

Start by deboning the cut so you can thoroughly season it with salt and brown sugar, then pop it in the fridge for a day. Next, reattach the bones to the exterior of the meat using some butcher string or cooking twine, and roast everything at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for three to four hours, or until the internal temperature is 145 degrees. Finally, give it a quick sear by turning on the broiler before serving.

You can serve up your pork rib roast with a barbecue sauce or, if you're feeling fancy, a fruity balsamic sauce. If you can't get your hands on this lean cut, rest assured that there are plenty of other decadent pork cuts perfect for roasting. But if you can, we recommend trying center-cut rib roast at least once to see what all the fuss is about — it may just dethrone prime rib when it comes to taste and tenderness.