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I generally buy Choice grade beef, but will sometimes spend the extra money and buy Prime.

How should I prepare Prime beef so as to take proper advantage of the additional tenderness, marbling and overall flavour of this grade?

So far I've just been serving it on the rare side, or making carpaccio, but would not have a problem with serving it less rare.

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I've edited this to relate as specifically as possible to the properties of the Prime grade itself; although the answers have been pretty good so far, the previous version of the question seemed to be inviting recipe suggestions. –  Aaronut Dec 30 '10 at 2:05

2 Answers 2

If I'm spending the money to get prime, aged beef, I'm going to cook it rare if I cook it at all. The more you cook it, the more flavor you're going to lose. In the restaurant business, it's not uncommon to slip you a substandard chunk of meat if you order the fillet and you order it well done. How would you know the difference between good and bad at that point?

Likewise a lot of additions. There is a place in town here that does an extraordinary fillet stuffed with goat cheese and cranberries, and one of the best I've ever tasted was covered with bearnaise and crabmeat, but, as a general rule, don't add a lot of extra flavors to high quality beef. The worst thing you can do is hide the taste, since that's what you're paying for.

Still, aside from the two that I mentioned, you can stuff with blue cheese, make beef wellington, or make beef stroganoff (Link is to James Beards version, which, imho, is the best); quality of meat is huge in stroganoff. I'd only use fillet there, or some other very lean cut. Saved the marbled stuff for the grill.

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Agreed with all points flavor as far as conventional wisdom. Since I can't handle fully rare myself, I'd still go for med-rare if you're talking steaks. Also, prime rib is somewhat more generally acceptable for company more into the medium range, in my experience. Depends on who you're serving. Most vendor websites advertising prime beef display it seared. –  zanlok Dec 21 '10 at 17:23

I find beef is better seared at very high temperature, then finished under the the broiler... well when there's no grill available because of winter obviously.

Good ingredients don't usually need lots of fancy prep...

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