Chef's Recipes

Wood-roasted rib-eye of beef with piquillo peppers

Australian Gourmet Traveller Spanish main recipe for wood-roasted rib-eye of beef with piquillo peppers by Dan Hunter from The Royal Mail Hotel.

By Dan Hunter
  • Serves 4
  • 10 mins preparation
  • 1 hr cooking plus preparing embers
Wood-roasted rib-eye of beef with piquillo peppers
Wood-roasted rib-eye of beef with piquillo peppers

It’s preferable to use a small wood or charcoal-fuelled barbecue for this recipe but you can also use a gas barbecue or chargrill plate (see note). The optimum temperature for grilling beef is 80C. You can measure this by holding a thermometer above the barbecue. Piquillo peppers are a small, sweet, almost cone-shaped variety of pepper from Navarra. They have amazing flavour because they are chargrilled over vines and peeled before being preserved.


  • 1 kg red gum or other dense woodchips
  • 1 beef rib-eye (about 800gm), at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 6-8 dry grapevine trimmings (optional)
Piquillo peppers
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 400 gm canned piquillo peppers, drained (see note)


  • 1
    Preheat a coal-bedded barbecue to very high. Make a fire in the barbecue, using woodchips, about 45 minutes before cooking the meat (see note). Once flames have died down to a bed of embers and the grill is hot, season beef with sea salt, rub olive oil over and cook, turning every 5 minutes, until it reaches 50C on a meat thermometer and is cooked rare (30-45 minutes). Add grapevines to embers in the last 10 minutes of cooking (add fresh wood to fire if embers burn out).
  • 2
    Meanwhile, for piquillo peppers, warm olive oil in a saucepan over low-medium heat, add garlic and stir until oil is infused (1-2 minutes), then add peppers and stir until peppers bleed into oil (10-15 minutes), and season to taste with sea salt.
  • 3
    Thickly slice meat, season to taste with sea salt and serve with piquillo peppers and <a href="silverbeet_with_potato.htm">silverbeet with potato</a>.


If using a gas barbecue or chargrill, skip step 1 and do not use woodchips or grapevines in cooking. Sear meat 2 minutes each side, then roast, turning occasionally, at 130C until rare (30 minutes). Piquillo peppers are wood-fired Spanish peppers available from Spanish delicatessens.
Drink Suggestion: The 2005 Mount Langi Ghiran Shiraz, Ararat, Victoria or, better yet, an older vintage such as the 1997 or 2000. Drink suggestion by Lok Thornton

  • Author: Dan Hunter