Every year for baseball opening day, we have some friends over and watch at least one inning of every game through the MLB Extra Innings package. To go along with this, we usually make a pile of food that we bring out throughout the day. Unfortunately this year, opening day was the day after Easter and we had gone to visit my parents in New Jersey for the holiday. Since we were getting back just as the first games were starting, we needed to buy some food in advance that we could quickly prepare and serve during the day. I decided to grab a beef roast and prepare it in my smoker, since I figured we could slice it thin for sandwiches if we got a bunch of people to come over, or slice it thicker and serve on its own if we only got a few. This is also a very low effort dish, which allowed me to watch the games while it cooked.
I bought the roast before we left on Saturday, but since we wouldn't be home till Monday afternoon, that was too long to leave it marinating or sitting in a salty rub, so I determined I would need to do something quick the day of cooking it. I decided to brush the outside with a new pomegranate vinegar I recently picked up, then put on a simple spice rub. I roasted it in the smoker for a while, then switched to direct cooking, and over medium heat seared each side until the roast was cooked to medium-rare. I then let it rest under a foil tent for a few minutes, sliced it on a cutting board flavored with more pomegranate vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper, and served. I wanted to chop some herbs, such as fresh parsley or cilantro onto the cutting board as well, but when I looked in the fridge, the cilantro had gone bad and we didn't have anything else, so I left it out. I'd suggest adding this if you try this recipe. Note that while I used a boneless ribeye roast for this cook, just about any decent beef roast would work with this preparation.
One new thing I tried on this cook was using green wood for smoking. There has been some debate on this on some of the barbeque forums I read, with some people saying only to use dry wood, some saying green wood works great, and some who say it doesn't matter. I recently acquired a bunch of fresh white oak from a tree that was just cut down, and I decided to use several chunks of this wood in my smoker to see how it would come out. Luckily, the green wood experiment turned out well. The meat took on a great smoky flavor and showed a nice smoke ring. There were no bitter or acrid flavors from the heavy smoke the green wood produced. In fact this dish turned out great, as the simple preparation really allowed the smoky beef flavor to come through, but provided just a hint of sour pomegranate from the vinegar. Even one of our guests who is a professional chef loved it.
Smoked Ribeye Roast (Serves 4-6)
- Big Green Egg or other smoker
- Meat thermometer
4 lb boneless ribeye roast
1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon kosher salt
Additional vinegar, salt, and pepper for cutting board
- Prepare your smoker for indirect cooking at 300 degrees Fahrenheit. In my large Big Green Egg, I put my plate setter legs up, with a drip pan in the plate setter. Once the temperature stabilized, I added 3 chunks of freshly cut white oak. You can substitute hickory if you don't have oak handy.
- While the smoker is coming up to temperature, brush the meat with the vinegar, then mix the rub ingredients together and spread evenly over all sides of the meat.
- Cook the roast until the internal temperature hits 105 degrees Fahrenheit. For my 4 pound roast this took a bit less than an hour.
- If you are using a ceramic smoker like a Big Green Egg, carefully take out the roast, remove the grid and plate setter, return the grid and roast to the smoker, now cooking over direct heat, and adjust your settings to cook at 450 degrees.
- Cook for about 3 minutes per side, or until the meat is at your desired level of doneness. I pulled ours at 120 degrees internal.
- Cover the meat with an aluminum foil 'tent' and allow to rest for at least 5-10 minutes.
- Pour some pomegranate vinegar and olive oil on the cutting board, along with some kosher salt and pepper. Slice the meat on the cutting board, and be sure to dredge each piece with the flavorings. Transfer to a serving dish, pour the juices from the board over the meat, and season with additional salt and pepper to taste.