Monday, June 25, 2007

Fortuna Dutch Oven Society Cookout

The Fortuna Dutch Oven Society hosted its Lost Coast D.O.G. Campout at A.W. Way Campground near Petrolia, California from June 22 to 24, 2007. Dean Hubbard, pictured below, graciously permitted me to post his photos of the prime rib roast and Hawaiian braided bread from the event.

Dean roasted an 18-pound rib roast in his Corbelas 20-inch (24-quart) Dutch oven. This signature Camp Chef oven has a notch in the upper oven wall to insert a thermometer probe. A two- to three-inch layer of rock salt goes in the oven first. After you place the roast on the salt, be ready to completely bury it in rock salt.

The key to a evenly roasted prime rib roast is to completely cover it with rock salt. Dean used a 40-pound bag of rock salt to cover the roast in the 24-quart oven.

The licence plate wind shield lends a colorful touch to the meal. Deal cooks the roast with 30 coals on the lib and 10 underneath. You have to add fresh coals each hour for the 2-1/2 to 3-hour baking time.

Dean kneads his Hawaiian braided bread. I find that it takes about 250 strokes to completely develop the gluten in a field bread. That's about 10 minutes of muscle-building work on a lazy day.

Here's Dean's Hawaiian braided bread. Dean is involved with International Redwood Gathering, a biannual gathering of teardrop trailer enthusiasts in the California Redwoods. The inaugural event was help at Pamplin Grove in Humboldt County, California, in July 2006. IRG 2.0 is being held in July 2008. Watch the website for more information.

The goal is a perfectly rare rib roast. The thermometer takes the guess work out of determining the internal temperature of the meat. Remove the coals and break the meat from its salt cocoon when the dial reaches 130-degrees F for rare and 140-degrees for medium.

Place the roast in a pan and let stand for 30 minutes before carving. Protect the roast from the elements with an aluminum foil cover. Dean pulled this roast at 140-degrees, but said he'll stop cooking at 135-degrees next time. Remember to allow for residual cooking when pulling the meat from the oven. The internal temperature of a roast will rise 5 to 10 degrees as it continues to cook.

This is what a cook likes to see -- empty pots and pans. That means no leftovers to consider in camp. Now the important question is: Who's going to do the dishes?

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