Wood Roasted Prime Rib Of Beef

Cool Picture

Prime ribs of beef are elegant and delicious.  I love a good prime rib cooked medium rare and served with horseradish.  Prime rib was originally called a standing rib roast because the meat when cooked stood on its bones and did not touch the roasting pan.  Some of the best recipes call for you to sear the roast in the oven at 500 degrees and then turn the temperature down to 350 degrees and cook for 15 minutes per pound.  I decided to try this in my wood oven and it turned out amazing.

When I pick a prime rib roast, I look for a good fat cap and well marbled meat.  The fat cap and the marbling in the meat will melt and baste the meat as it roasts.  This is especially true in the high heat environment of the wood oven. The following is how I prepared my prime rib roasts in my Forno Bravo Primevera Wood Oven.

First, you will need to pick out a quality rib roast.  As I mentioned above, I like a roast with a good amount of fat on the cap as well as some good marbling in the meat.  I buy my roasts at Costco because I have found that they have the best selection out of all the markets in my area.

Once you are ready to season the roast, take it out of the refrigerator and liberally slather with olive oil. When the roast is covered with oil, sprinkle the meat on all sides with Montreal Steak Seasoning. Don’t skimp on this part.  The heat of the oven will sear this seasoning into the meat and form a delicious crust which will keep the roast moist and flavorful.  Cover and put back into the refrigerator to marinate for at least 2 hours or for best results overnight.

Start the fire in your oven.  I prefer a mixture of oak and cherry wood when cooking beef.  You can use any type of hardwood you like.  Once the fire has started and you no longer have to watch it to make sure it does not go out, remove the prime rib from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature.  While the roast is coming up to room temperature make sure you have a good base of hot coals in the oven.  Once you achieve this, push all the coals to one side of the oven and add a piece of wood.


Now you are ready to sear the meat.  I put my roast on a small rack in a roasting pan and then place it in the oven for about 5 minutes.  It only takes five minutes to sear a 7 pound roast in a hot wood oven.  It is important to watch over the roast while it sears and too move the pan around to avoid any part of the meat burning.  After the roast is seared and the fat cap is sizzling, I remove the meat from the oven and cover it with aluminum foil.  Once covered, put the roast back in the oven and cook for 15 minutes per pound.  I like to rotate the pan in the oven about every five minutes to allow for even cooking.

1004151814f (1)

After the meat has cooked for the required 15 minutes per pound, I remove it from the oven and check the temperature with a electronic meat thermometer.  Always check the temperature in the thickest part of the roast.  For medium rare you want the temperature to be about 125-128 degrees.  Allow the meat to rest covered for at least 20 minutes.


Serve with horseradish and a nice glass of red wine.


7 pound prime rib with a good fat cap.

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil.

Montreal Steak Seasoning.

Horseradish for sauce.

unnamed (1)



Wood Grilled Utah Lamb

IMG_0425 (4)

I love lamb.  I especially love Utah Lamb.  Some people complain that lamb has a gamey taste and that they don’t like the flavor.  To these people I say, you have not eaten a good piece of lamb! People also complain the price of lamb is too expensive. While legs of lamb, rib chops and racks of lamb can be expensive, there are other cheaper cuts that are just as delicious as the more expensive cuts.

It is becoming more important to people to know where their food comes from.  In Utah, I know where the lamb comes from. It comes from the same place I hunt deer and elk. From the pristine mountain forests and meadows of Northern and Central Utah.  In the spring and summer, Utah sheep are raised on the same grasses and forbs that deer and elk eat and they drink from the same crystal cold springs and waterholes.  In the fall, the animals are herded out of the mountains and the lambs are then slaughtered.  In the past, I have bought whole lambs directly from the rancher.  This is the best way to enjoy Utah lamb, however if you do not have access to a Utah sheep rancher then the next best thing to do is to look for Utah lamb in your grocery store.  You can also find Utah lamb Purveyors on the internet,  Below are two excellent Utah lamb produces and their website addresses.  Contact them and see if they can provide you with fresh Utah lamb.




The following is one of my favorite ways to cook a lamb shoulder chop.  This recipe brings out the flavor of the lamb and combines it with the fresh flavors of the herbs and vegetables from my back yard garden.  The recipe calls for the lamb to be grilled over oak wood and charcoal.   If you can’t cook with wood over an open fire, this recipe is also good when you broil the chop in your oven.

Ingredients For Lamb

4 lamb shoulder chops.

Garlic powder.

6 sprigs of fresh Rosemary.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Salt and pepper.

Directions for cooking lamb.

  • Bring the lamb chops to room temperature.
  • Rub the chops liberally with the olive oil.
  • Sprinkle with the garlic powder.
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Take 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary and strip the leaves from the stem.  Sprinkle leaves evenly over the chops and press into the lamb chops.
  • Marinate the lamb chops for 2-4 hours or over night in the refrigerator


  • Remove the lamb chops from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature.
  • While the chops are coming to room temperature, fill a charcoal chimney with charcoal briquettes and lite.


  • Once the charcoal briquettes on the top are white, pour the coals into your grill and pile to one side. Place a small piece of oak on the coals.  Allow the wood to burn down a few minutes before you grill the lamb.
  • Let the grill rack heat up.
  • Once the grill rack is very hot, place the lamb chop on the grill and sear both sides.  About 2 minutes per side.


  • Move the chop to the side of the grill that has no coals.
  • Now, lift the charcoal grill and place 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary on the hot coals.


  • Place the chops on the rack directly over the rosemary sprigs on the coals and cover the grill.  Allow, the rosemary to smoke and infuse the meat.  This should take about 3 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and turn the chops several times over a 5 minute time span.  I prefer my lamb medium rare.  If you want it cooked more leave it on the grill for longer.  Remember that the thickness of the chop will effect the total time needed to cook your chop.


Ingredients for Vegetables

4 fresh green zucchinis from the garden, sliced into 1/4 inch rings.  For best flavor, the zucchinis should be no larger then 12 inches long.

2 Japanese eggplant, sliced in rings.

4 sweet Hungarian wax peppers, sliced.

2 green bell peppers, sliced.

4 garlic cloves, chopped.

6 fresh basil leaves, chopped.

1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves.

1/2 tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves, no stems.

1/2 cup of fresh chives, chopped.

3 tablespoons of olive oil.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Directions for cooking the Vegetables

  • Heat the oil in a frying pan until hot.
  • Add cut vegetables and garlic to the pan.
  • Stir vegetables and cook until they begin to soften.
  • Add all of the herds, salt and pepper to the pan. (Salt and pepper to taste.)
  • Cook until  the vegetables are tender and soft.
  • Place the vegetables on a plate and place the lamb shoulder chop on the center of the vegetables.
  • Garnish the lamb chop with a few fresh basil leaves and serve immediately with a nice red wine..

IMG_0425 (4)


WoodFire Baked Pork And Bean Stew


There is nothing fancy about this recipe but it sure tasted great!  The other day I picked up a slow roasted/smoked pork knuckle at a local deli for lunch.  It weighed a pound and I only ate about half of the meat. I took the rest home for later. The knuckle had the skin and fat on it and it reminded me of a smoked ham hock.  The difference was in the amount of meat that was on the knuckle compared with a ham hock.  There was a lot more meat on the knuckle and it did not have as harsh a smoke flavor as some ham hocks can have.

I decided that I would make a pork and bean stew with the left over meat and bone. I added 3 pork loin chops, Italian beans, cabbage, carrots, onion, celery and chicken broth to the meat and cooked it in my wood oven.  I had never cooked a stew in this oven and I was a little concerned that due to the intense heat of the oven the liquid in the stew would evaporate before it was finished cooking.  My concern turned out to be unfounded.

I had cooked in the wood oven the night before and the oven was still hot.  However, I wanted the temperature to be a little hotter.  I added a few pieces of hardwood and lit a new fire.  The oven was to temperature (600 degrees) in about 30 minutes.  I like to cook as much as possible outside in the wood oven during the summer because it allows the house to stay cool by not turning on the range in the kitchen. I also just like the flavors of the foods that are cooked over wood better then anything you can cook in an electric oven.


I pushed the coals to the back of the oven and inserted the cast iron pot into the middle of the oven.  I left the pot in the middle until the liquid started boiling.  Once the liquid was boiling, I pulled the pot to the front of the oven where the temperature was closer to 375-400 degrees.  I turned the pot around every fifteen minutes to allow both sides to heat evenly.  I let the pot cook for about 1.5 hours.  I removed the pot from the oven 3 times to stir the stew to make sure it did not singe on the bottom.


The stew was perfectly cooked and the beans and vegetables were just right, not too soft or too firm.  The stew had a slight smokiness from the pork knuckle and from the wood fire.  I was pleasantly surprised with how this stew turn out.  I will definitely make this recipe again this fall when the weather turns cooler.


IMG_2304 (1) - Copy - Copy

1 head of cabbage.  You can use kale, spinach or any leafy vegetable you prefer in your stew.

1 onion, sliced

3 large carrots, chopped

1 heart of celery with the leaves, chopped.

3 cans of Borlotti Haricots Beans.  Do not discard the liquid from the beans, include in the stew.

IMG_2295 (1)

2 tsp of dried basil

1 quart chicken broth

1 quart water

1 smoked pork knuckle 1/2 – 1 pound, diced.  Include the fat and skin.

3 boneless loin pork chops, diced

Salt and pepper to taste

IMG_2310 (1) - Copy

Directions – Feeds about 5 people

In a heavy cast iron pot, combine the prepared vegetables, basil and diced meat, fat and skin.  Add the chicken stock and water.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Cover the pot with a lid and place in the middle of the wood oven.  Let the stew cook until it is boiling.  Once the stew is boiling, remove from the center of the oven and bring the pot to the edge of the oven.  Let the stew cook for 1.5 hours.  Rotate the pot every fifteen minutes so both sides cook evenly.  Serve with fresh baked bread and a nice glass of your favorite wine.


Woodfire Grilled Ribeye


There is nothing better then a summer meal of grilled steak, corn and arugula salad. Okay, maybe you don’t like corn and arugula but it is highly unlikely that you do not like a grilled steak unless you are a vegan.  I am not a vegan and I love steak. My favorite cut of steak is the Rib-Eye.  For me, the Rib-Eye has the best flavor and marbling.  A Rib-Eye is a beef steak sliced from the rib primal of a beef animal, with rib bone attached. In the United States, the term rib eye steak is used for a rib steak with the bone removed.  The Rib-Eye cut is both flavorful and tender, coming from the lightly worked upper rib cage area. Its marbling of fat makes it very good for slow oven roasting and grilling.


I prefer to grill my steak over real wood coals.  Charcoal and Lump Charcoal just don’t impart the same flavor to the meat as real wood does.  I use oak, cherry, apple or a combination of all three when I grill my beef steaks.  I believe that these woods do not mask the flavor of the meat and instead enhance it by not overpowering it with the flavor of smoke.


It is important that your meat be of good quality.  I recommend that your steak be at least of USDA Choice Grade.  I get my meat at Costco.  Costco has the highest quality Choice steaks that I have been able to find.  The flavor and marbling in their Rib-Eye is excellent.  Costco also carries USDA Prime beef and this meat is absolutely delicious and tender.  If you can afford the Prime cut, then you are in for a special treat.


Seasoning The Steak

There are as many ways to season a steak as there are seasonings.  Seasoning is a very personal choice and everyone thinks theirs is the best.  I usually prefer my steak rubbed with olive oil and seasoned with just salt and pepper.  Recently, I discovered a seasoning named Spade L Ranch.  I just love this seasoning on my steak.  In fact, it is my new favorite way to season steaks before I throw them on the grill.


When I use the Spade L Ranch Seasoning, I take the steaks out of the refrigerator and remove them from the packaging.  I place the steaks in a tray and then liberally season both sides of the steaks with the Spade L and then let them sit until they reach room temperature.  The seasoning also acts as a marinade and penetrates the meat.  After about 30-45 minutes the steaks are ready for the grill.


Preparing The Wood Oven And Coals

I usually start the fire in my wood oven about 2 hours before I am ready to cook the steaks.  While the Rib-Eyes are marinating and coming up to room temperature, I am tending to the wood oven.  The coals are ready when most of the flame has subsided and the wood coals are white hot.  Once the coals reach this stage, I push half the coals to the side or rear of the oven and place another small log onto those coals.  The log should ignite fairly quickly.  I bring the remaining coals to the front of the oven and spread them evenly over the floor.  If you need more coals feel free to add some from the pile in the back.  Once the coals are evenly dispersed on the front floor of the oven, place the cast iron Tuscan grill over the coals. Allow the grill to heat up.  The hotter the grill the better the sear and crust on the steak will be.

It is important to keep the coals hot.  If there is a breeze it should keep the coals glowing and hot.  If you have no breeze just blow on the coals to keep them white hot.  If you do not have a wood oven you can use a charcoal grill like a Weber Kettle Grill. Light the wood in the kettle and when the coals are white hot and the flame has subsided, cook the steaks.  Cover the kettle grill for maximum effect and flavor.

photo 2 (3)

Grilling The Steaks

Once the Tuscan grill is hot, slide the grill out of the oven and place the steaks on the grill.  Slide the grill back over the coals.  The steaks will immediately begin to sear when they touch the grill.  Inside the oven the steaks will cook very fast. The temperature of the oven will probably be close to 1000 degrees.  It is very important that you do not get distracted during this phase of the grilling.  The thickness of the steak and the heat of the oven will determine the time it takes to cook the steaks.  I like my steaks medium rare.  It usually takes about 6-8 minutes total time.  Make sure you test for the proper doneness a couple times while the steaks grill. Once the steaks are done, remove from the oven and cover with foil.  Allow the steaks to rest for about 10-15 minutes.

Rib eye steak

Roasting Corn On The Coals.

While the steaks are resting, take your shucked and cleaned ears of corn and season each ear with butter, salt and pepper or any mixture of seasonings you prefer.  Roll each ear of corn individually in a sheet of foil. Make sure the corn is wrapped tight. Add some more coals from the pile to the front of the oven.  Now, place each ear of corn directly on the hot coals and allow to cook. Turn the ears over several times. The corn is done once the kernels have a nice char on them.  This should take about 4-5 minutes.


Arugula Salad

I love a nice arugula salad with my steak dinner.  It adds a nice bit of peppery freshness to the meal.  My salad is very simple to make.  I just dress it with olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.  That is all you need.  If you would like, you can add some salt to taste.


I like to serve the steak and corn on the the Tuscan grill in the center of the table. Be careful the grill will still be hot!  I hope you get a chance to try this meal this summer.  Enjoy this meal with a nice bottle of Zinfandel Red wine from Sonoma California!


Woodfire Roasted Chicken And Game Birds


Do you have a fat duck, goose, pheasant or wild turkey in the freezer.  This recipe is designed for the wood oven but you can also use it in for your birds in the regular oven.  This recipe is meant for birds that have been plucked and have a layer of fat under their skin.  The fat is important as it will melt and help baste the bird as it cooks. A wood burning oven tends to have hotter and drier heat then a regular oven. In addition to any fat you add to the bird, the birds own fat will keep the meat moist while it roasts.

Since I have no wild birds in my freezer, I chose to use a free range organic chicken to illustrate this recipe.  Of course, the best chicken flavor and meat is going to come from a backyard chicken or a chicken from a family farm that has led its life chasing bugs and pecking seeds and weeds.  If you live in farm country, these kinds of chickens are easy to find.  If you live in a big city or metropolitan area, it will take some research to find a purveyor of these types of chickens.


  1. Whole, chicken or large game bird cleaned and plucked.
  2. Juice of 1 1/2 lemons.
  3. Herbs De Provence
  4. 2 cloves of Garlic cut in half
  5. 1 small onion quartered
  6. Olive Oil
  7. Garlic powder
  8. Onion powder
  9. Salt and pepper
  10. Chopped parsley for garnish
  11. 6 Yukon Gold potatoes cut in quarters


Build a fire in the wood oven using oak, apple or cherry wood.  When the wood has burned to mostly white hot coals with a little bit of flame, move the coals to one side of the oven.  Add a piece of wood to the fire to keep the temperature in the oven steady.  Add wood as needed during the roasting process.

IMG_0408 P1090317

Rinse the bird and pat dry.  Make sure you rinse the birds cavity and pat dry as well. Take some olive oil and coat the cavity. Salt and pepper the cavity and add the 4 garlic halves.  Squeeze half of the lemon on the inside of the bird and place the squeezed half into the cavity.  Seal the cavity with the other half of the lemon.

Place the bird into a roasting pan. Cover the whole bird with a generous amount of olive oil.  Squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the skin of the bird. Season the bird with the garlic powder, onion powder and Herbs De Provence. Take the potato quarters and place around the bird.  Season the potatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper.  The potatoes will also be seasoned by the fat and drippings from the bird.

Place the bird into the wood oven for about 5-8 minutes to brown the skin. Make sure you watch the bird to ensure the skin does not burn.


Once you have a nice brown color on the skin take the bird out of the oven and cover the whole pan and bird with aluminum foil.  Place the bird back on the deck of the oven with the pan slightly protruding into the oven. The temperature in this area should be about 350-375 degrees. The side facing the interior of the oven will be hotter then the side facing out.  It is important to rotate the bird about every 8-10 minutes to make sure it cooks evenly.  Remove the aluminum foil and baste the bird at least 3 times or every twenty minutes.  Put the foil back over the bird and continue to cook.

IMG_0425 (1)

A 4 to 5 pound chicken should take about 40- 60 minutes to cook.  The timing depends on your ability to keep the heat in the oven fairly constant, size of the bird and the bird type. After 60 minutes, check the internal temperature of the bird for desired doneness.  The following internal temperatures are recommended for different game birds in degrees Fahrenheit.

Chicken – 165 degrees

Duck – 165 degrees

Goose – 165 – degrees

Grouse – 150 – degrees

Pheasant – 160 degrees

Wild Turkey – 180

The potatoes should be done when the bird is finished cooking.  If not, remove the bird, set aside and cover.  Place potatoes back into the oven until done.

Cut up the bird into its different parts.  Pour juices from the cutting board over the bird and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve immediately with the potatoes, a salad and a glass of Sauvignon Blanc. Enjoy!

IMG_0427 (1)

Wood Oven Roasted Clams


In my mind there is nothing more satisfying then wood roasted shellfish on a perfect summer evening!  Lobster, mussels, crab, clams and shrimp all served hot and fresh from the wood oven as they simmer in a bath of butter, wine and their own delicious juices.  Fresh shellfish will infuse the dish with the salinity and flavor of the ocean and make the meal more memorable!  The smoke from the hardwood also adds a slight smokiness that elevates the dish to the next level.

The best shellfish for this recipe are those that have been harvested just minutes or a few hours from their briny homes.  I live in Utah so the best I can do is shellfish that is a day old.  While they are still good to eat, they are not as heavenly on the tongue as fresh ones straight from the ocean to your plate!

The following recipe works great with clams or mussels.  If you are lucky enough to live by a beach or bay that has a population of edible clams and mussels then it is easy and inexpensive to gather your own shellfish for this recipe.  In most states, it is necessary to have a fishing license to collect clams and mussels.  Certain states may also have seasons for the collection of clams and mussels.  It is very important that you have the proper licenses and know the season dates before you gather your shellfish. Check your states fish and wildlife website for regulations and license requirements.


Oak or Cherry Wood.

Cast Iron Skillet.

1 stick of butter.

2 pounds clams or mussels.

5 cloves of garlic.

1 cup of a good white wine like Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil.

3/4 cup chopped Italian parsley.

Salt and Pepper to taste.


Place oak or cherry wood in oven and start fire.  Heat oven until temperature on the floor is between 750 – 850 degrees. Push coals and wood to one side of the oven.

photo 1 (6)p1090317

Scrub clams or mussels until clean.


Place shellfish in cast iron skillet and add the olive oil, wine and butter to the skillet.

Place the skillet into the wood oven and cook until clams open.  If the wood oven is at the prescribed temperature, this should only take about 3-5 minutes. The juices will also cook rapidly.

Remove the skillet from the oven and sprinkle with parsley.  Stir gently to incorporate the parsley into the sauce and clams.

Taste broth and add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with a good crusty bread to sop up all the juices!


The New Wild Forage Cookbook

This is the new Wild Forage Cookbook!  Check it out, I think you will like it.  Available in both Kindlel and paperback.