Baltimore Pit Beef

Baltimore Pit Beef

Last week, I was wracking my brain trying to come up with something to cook for the Superbowl. Somehow, I wanted to tie the cook into the game. I started thinking “What is Baltimore famous for?” I thought about crabs and crab cakes but I really wasn’t feeling it. Then I remembered an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and Man vs. Food where they had a sandwich. A Baltimore Pit Beef Sandwich to be exact from a place called Chaps. A quick check on YouTube of those two shows and I knew what I was going to make. (BTW, I also tried thinking of something for San Francisco, but couldn’t come up with anything BBQ or grilled. I thought about New Orleans as well and almost did a crawfish boil, but either I waited one day to late to order or I had to commit to either a 15lb bag or a 30lb bag. Kinda too much food for Mrs. G and I alone)

The star of the show - a 4lb beef round roast.

The star of the show – a 4lb beef round roast.

Having never done one before, and knowing that I couldn’t duplicate exactly what I saw on the videos, I turned to the guys at The Egghead Forum. I knew that if anybody knew how to do one on the Egg, these would be the guys and they did not disappoint. I got plenty of tips and pointers. I finally settled on Steven Raichlen’s recipe that was published by the New York Times HERE.

While normally pit beef is made from top round roast, I was told bottom round and eye of round would work as well. Someday, I am actually going to become better organized and plan ahead. When I went to the grocery store, the only top round they had was sliced for London Broil. I figured that was not going to work and after talking to the butcher and discussing what I was going to do, he suggested this beef round roast.

Beginning the sear at 450F

Beginning the sear at 450F

Ingredients

For the rub

  • 2 tbsp of season salt
  • 1 tbsp of paprika
  • 1 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1 tsp of dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

For the sandwich

  • 3 to 4 lb top round roast (or bottom round, eye of round or rump roast)
  • 8 Kaiser rolls or 16 slices of rye bread
  • Tiger Sauce (see recipe)
  • 1 onion, sliced thin
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, sliced thin (optional)
  • iceberg lettuce (optional)

For the Tiger Sauce

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup prepared horseradish
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
I use this cast iron bacon press to hold odd shaped meats up so that I can get a sear on all sides.

I use this cast iron bacon press to hold odd shaped meats up so that I can get a sear on all sides.

Directions

  1. Combine ingredients of the rub in a bowl. Apply liberally to the beef, patting it in. Place in a baking dish and cover. You can cover the beef with the rub for a few hours, but for maximum flavor, leave it for 3 days in the refrigerator, turning once a day. (I applied mine about 6 hours ahead)
  2. Remove meat from the refrigerator about an hour before you plan on cooking and allow to begin to come to room temperature.
  3. Preheat your grill to 450F. If using a grill other than a Kamado style grill, set it up with a direct and indirect zone.
  4. Sear your beef on all sides. I did mine for about 6 minutes a side taking about 30 minutes total.
  5. Remove beef from the grill. If using a Kamado style grill, set it up for an indirect cook at this point and return beef to grill. If using another types of grill, move the meat to the indirect heat portion of the grill.
  6. Continue cooking until you reach an internal temp of 120 for rare and 125 for medium rare. You do not want to take it past this point or it will be tough. This will take approximately another 30 minutes or so, give or take depending on the size of your cut of beef.
  7. Allow meat to rest for 25 minutes,
  8. Slice beef as thinly as you can across the grain. A good, sharp knife works well, but an electric slicer would be better.
  9. Pile beef high on a roll slathered with Tiger Sauce and top with raw onions. You can top with lettuce and tomatoes is desired.
Cooking indirect at 450F

Cooking indirect at 450F

     If you watched the videos of Chaps, you will notice we didn’t follow their method exactly. They cook the beef over direct the whole time. You can try this method if you want, but you will be manning the grill the entire time. By searing and then moving to an indirect cook, you give yourself a bit of a break and can sit back and relax while the beef is finishing up.

Quality Control

Quality Control

Had to take just a bit while it was resting. You know…quality control and all that.

Ready to slice

Ready to slice

Breaking out the meat slicer that I got for Christmas. You do have a meat slicer, right?

Maiden Voyage

Maiden Voyage

The meat slicer worked great and made quick work of the beef. While not as heavy duty or as fast as the ones you would find in a deli, this one will work pretty good for home use. Just don’t rush it and force the meat. Allow the slicer to do the work for you.

Pile of meaty goodness!

Pile of meaty goodness!

Will you look at that? What a beautiful site! A pile of meaty goodness, nice and pink and tender.

Baltimore Pit Beef

Baltimore Pit Beef

     We ate ours just as they serve them at Chaps (I’m assuming), meat piled high, topped with a thinly sliced raw onion and the Tiger Sauce. Truth be told, I totally forgot about getting the lettuce out and slicing the tomatoes. Honestly, this sandwich doesn’t need it. The sharp, pungent flavor of the onion and the creaminess (yeah, I know, that’s not a word, but it should be) and heat from the Tiger Sauce paired perfectly with the beef. Slicing the beef thinly transformed what can often be a tough, lean cut of beef into a tender cut. Overall, a great sandwich and one we will be doing again. While it isn’t traditional BBQ, what with it being grilled directly and the lack of any smoke used, it is down right good eats.

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