Saturday, October 7, 2017

Smoked Ribeye Roast

While the prime rib roast -- or standing rib roast -- is the king of cuts (in my humble opinion), that roast can be very difficult to find in grocery stores, especially outside of certain major holidays.  The roast is cut from the rib section of the cow, from the sixth bone to the twelfth bone.  The entire cut, from the bones, to the eye and the layers of fat, give rise to a cut of meat that is amazing delicious and expensive.  I love prime rib roasts, which are often my go-to recipe when I entertain.  (I almost never buy the entire seven bones of the roast, which is a lot of meat and very expensive.  I usually go with a roast that is about 3 bones or, at most, 4 bones).

Take away the bones, you have a large central muscle that runs through the roast, which is the ribeye roast.  For some reason, it is easier to find ribeye roasts than it is to find standing rib roasts.  My beautiful Angel recently bought a ribeye roast for me to cook or smoke.  I have been wanting to smoke a standing rib or ribeye roast for quite a while, so this presented an opportunity for a little experimentation and education.

A few months ago, I bought a book called Prime: The Complete Prime Rib Cookbook.  I have been wanting to use this cookbook and the ribeye roast presented the perfect opportunity.  The cookbook has a recipe for a smoked prime rib.  The recipe calls for the use of a standing rib roast.  While I did not have that roast, I decided to adapt the recipe for a ribeye roast.  I jettisoned the instructions for handling the bones and tying the roast with fresh herbs.   I also modified the instructions for the rubs, developing a two part rub based upon what I had in my spice drawer.  The first rub part is just freshly grounded black pepper and kosher salt.  The second part is a mixture of ground and dried herbs, with some ground onion and minced garlic.  

Recipe adapted from John Whalen, 
Prime: The Complete Prime Rib Cookbook, pg. 108-109
Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients (for the rib roast):
1 ribeye roast (about 4 pounds)
1/8 cup of extra olive oil (plus more if necessary)
2 tablespoons of freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons of sea salt or Kosher salt
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1/2 tablespoon granulated onion powder
1/2 tablespoon onion powder
3 chunks of hickory, oak or mesquite chunks

Ingredients (for the au jus):
1 cup dry red wine
2 cups beef broth
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Coarsely ground black pepper
Fresh sea salt.

1.  Prepare the rib roast.  About two days before the smoke, combine the salt and black pepper in a small bowl.  Apply the rub to the roast, making sure that the rub covers the entire roast.  Cover and refrigerate overnight. 

2.  Continue to prepare the rib roast.  In a small bowl, combine the minced garlic, dried thyme, dried rosemary and onion powders with the olive oil.  Add a little more oil to get the desired consistency if necessary.  Generously massage the meat with the garlic and herb rub so that it clings to the cap of the rib roast.

3.  Prepare the grill.  Prepare the fire to feature both direct and indirect heat with an average low temperature of about 300 degrees.  You'll wan tot make sure that you have a strong foundational layer of coals so that you can easily maintain the heat and smoke as you grill your prime rib.  While you prepare the grill, add the hickory or maple wood chips or chunks. 

5.  Smoke the roast.  When the fire is ready, at about 300 degrees with the coals lightly covered with ash, place the rib roast over the direct heat of the grill and sear each side, including the ends, for about 2 to 3 minutes each.  Transfer the rib roast over the direct heat and flip the rib roast to meat side up.  Take a handful of wood chips and throw them over the flame.  Cover the grill, aligning the air vent away from the fame so that the smoke pillows around the rib roast, and begin slowly roasting about 3 to 4 hours until the rib roast is charred and an instant thermometer reads 125 degrees.  For the first 3 hours of the grilling process, distribute handfuls of the hickory or maple wood chips about every 30 minutes or so.

6.  Prepare the au jus.  Combine the wine and broth and heat over medium low heat.  Whisk the butter.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

7.  Finish the dish.  Remove the rib roast from the grill and transfer to a large carving board.  Let stand for 10 minutes before carving, allowing the meat to properly store its juices.  


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