July 5, 2020


It’s Grilling time! Actually, for this brunch we did two dishes, a rosemary focaccia and a Prime Rib on the rotisserie. The focaccia’s biga was actually started last night so it had enough time to develop a good, complex flavor. We use, as you’d expect Cook’s Illustrated’s Rosemary Focaccia recipe (subscription required).


The prime rib recipe started out with Cook’s Illustrated’s, but their completely dry rub just didn’t work that well! We had to add some olive oil to get the rub to adhere properly.

The rise en place for the rosemary focaccia. The all purpose flour is weighed out, the biga (or pre-ferment) is in the small square container, the yeast is in the black ceramic container and the water is measured out in the fancy cup that Katie or Eileen gave us for Christmas long ago.

Cook’s Illustrated calls for the rosemary to just be sprinkled on top before baking. If you do that, it’ll just burn, the oven starts out at 500°F! So, we mix it in right at the start. The dark green rosemary also lets us see when it and the salt (which is impossible to see) are completely mixed in.

The prime rib roast has been refrigerated over night in the rosemary, garlic salt, pepper and olive oil rub and is now ready. It’s in the Weber’s neat rotisserie basket, which is a lot easier to use than the old forks. You never have a problem with the meat slipping on the forks with this system!

Here it is on the grill! Since this is a gas grill, we just put chunks of wood on the Weber’s flavorizer bars. In this case we use apple wood because it’s going to be on the grill for over two hours and mesquite gets bitter on these long grills.

The focaccia in the 8” cake pans and two tablespoons of olive oil in each pan. You can’t see it, but about 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt went into the oil before the risen dough went in.

And they’re done!

Here’s what the focaccia look like when cut open. This very open “peasant” bread is what happens when you have an extremely hydrated dough. This is about 90% hydrated, which means almost as much water as flour.

The prime rib is done and the Au Jus is made. We cheat a bit and use Minor’s Au Jus. It’s so good that we just can’t do enough better to justify the 12 hour+ prep that a good Au Jus takes.

Here’s the hardest part of the brunch! You have to be a Chandon club member to ever see this sparkling red.

The start of brunch! The prime rib is sliced and we each have a bowl of Au Jus. We’ve also made a very different sweet and sour coleslaw that uses a french style sugar, oil and vinegar. The black plate in the middle is olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping the focaccia in. The small chocolate cookie half to the right of the focaccia dip is Livingston’s favorite, he loves just the chocolate cream filling.

The sweet and sour coleslaw is parrot approved!

Yes, he likes prime rib! Say, when was the last time his ancestors took down a cow…??