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Prime Rib in the Wood-fired Oven

For my son’t birthday dinner (14!), we had lots of family over, and I decided to try doing a roast in our new pizza oven.  I stopped in at Acme Meat Market, and received some great help in selecting a roast.  Ended up coming home with a 5 bone Prime rib, weighing in at just over 11 lbs.

Prime Rib - Before

I started the oven fire at about 11:30 Saturday morning, and by 1:00 in the afternoon, the oven floor was pushing 800*F!  I spread the coals out to the rear of the oven and let the fire burn down a bit, and 30 minutes later the floor temp where the roast would soon be sitting was down to about 675*F

I prepped the roast by threading stalks of fresh rosemary through the butchers twine, every few inches all around the roast.  I then salted the outside, very liberally, and also rubbed some cracked pepper all around.

I put the roast into the oven on a baking sheet, facing the bones to the rear of the oven for about 30 minutes, and turned the roast every 30 minutes to get it seared all around.  Finally, I set the roast in the pan with resting on the bones, and placed a strip of foil on the backside of the roast (facing the door), and let the roast cook for an hour with the door closed (put a piece of 1×2 under the door to let air circulate into the oven – didn’t want to smother the coals completely).

Prime Rib - During

After the hour, I turned the roast pan 180*, and moved the foil to keep the door side covered.  The temperature in the oven was 450*.  I let the roast continue cooking for another hour.  When that hour was up, the floor temp was down to 350*, so I added a few small sticks of birch onto the pile of coals at the back of the oven, to add some more heat to the oven.  I also popped a meat thermometer into the roast, and got a reading of just over 100*.  Gave the pan another 180* turn, and closed the door for another hour.

At the 5 hour mark, I tested the internal temperature of the roast and it was sitting at about 127* – so I pulled the roast out, wrapped it up in foil, and let it rest in the kitchen.  I then went back out to the oven, and added a few more small pieces of birch, and added a small roasting pan full of par boiled new potatoes, tossed with salt, pepper, and olive oil, and another roasting pan with carrots, beets, and red onion, all drizzled with olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.  These sat in the oven for about 50 minutes – I thought the beets may have been under cooked, but they were tasty – and everyone else agreed!

Prime rib - After