Wood-fired Prime Rib with Shallot Rosemary Crust

The subtle smoke imparted by cooking over a live wood fire is complemented wonderfully by the sweetness of the caramelized shallot crust on this exceptional prime rib roast. I cooked this dish on the Kalamazoo Gaucho Grill, using the same offset fire setup as this video. You can also enjoy wood-fired rotisserie cooking in the Hybrid Fire Grill by following the method in this video.

By Russ Faulk, Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet
Serves 10 to 12
Image of Wood-fired Prime Rib with Shallot Rosemary Crust

  • 1 4-bone prime rib roast or Choice grade standing rib roast, about 11 pounds
  • For the shallot rosemary crust
  • 3 large shallots, minced
  • 2 tablespoons freshly-grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely-ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil.

Trim most of the external fat off the roast, leaving no more than 1/8 inch wherever possible. Use a knife to lightly score the exterior of the roast in a cross-hatch pattern. This increases the surface area available for browning and the amount of delicious Maillard reaction.

Combine all of the ingredients for the crust in a bowl, then massage into the roast to coat it thoroughly. Let the roast rest at room temperature for about an hour.

Prepare the grill for wood-fired rotisserie cooking using indirect heat. For the Gaucho Grill, start with 6 large splits of wood laid out on the fire grate with each split placed vertically over both starter burners. To create an indirect cooking fire use a pair of protective grilling gloves and long tongs to move the burning wood so that it lines the front and back of the firebox.  Raise it higher to slow down the cooking, or lower it for faster browning as needed.

Slide the roast onto the rotisserie spit, centering the meat as much as possible. Position the forks and tighten the thumbscrews using a pair of pliers. Mount the spit into the grill and adjust the height of the roast from the fire so that it’s approximately 11 inches below the top of the grill. Cook until an instant-read meat thermometer registers 125°F for medium-rare. This should take about 2 1/2 hours.

Once the roast has reached its target temperature, remove it from the grill. Let it rest on a carving board, rotisserie-spit-and-all, for 20 minutes before carving.

To carve the roast, carefully remove the meat from the spit, then begin by separating the rack of bones from the meat with a carving knife. I suggest leaving an inch of meat on the bones for serving. Slice the boneless meat to whatever thickness you desire, and cut the rack into individual bones for serving.