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FOOD: Grilled chuck roast as good as steak

by AIMEE BLUME Scripps Howard News Service on September 04, 2013 11:00 AM

The only bad thing about grilling and devouring thick, juicy steaks, is the price of the steak.

So it’s great to find a way to get the flavor and tenderness of steak using a less-expensive cut.

For example, chuck roast.

Chuck is cut from the shoulder of the beef, so it contains a good bit of fat and lots of connective tissue. It needs long, slow, moist heat to become tender. This is why it’s usually used for pot roast or soup and not for grilling.

However, if you marinate a chuck roast overnight, sear the outside to a dark crust on the grill, then seal it up tightly in foil and finish at a low heat for an hour or more, you get the terrific smoky-grilled taste of steak in a fall-apart-tender roast. Consider this for your next weekend get-together.

My mom, Libby Blume, has an old recipe for the perfect paste marinade to use with this technique. She clipped it from a grocery-store ad years ago, and she and my father, Tom, have tweaked it to make it their own special dish.

Mustard and lemon juice contain just enough acid to begin to tenderize the meat without “pickling” it. These are mixed with a pinch of ground cloves, plenty of black pepper and a touch of dried oregano for flavor. Then the roast is rubbed with the mixture and refrigerated for 24 hours.

The original recipe calls for the meat to be grilled to your preferred doneness and sliced and served immediately; the long, slow finish was Dad’s idea and gives the steak its wonderful tenderness.

I add one more step. If you have time, carefully reserve the meat juices collected in the foil packet when you open it, and cool the meat and juices separately. Remove the fat from the juices if you wish (there shouldn’t be much; most of the fat drips into the grill during the searing stage), slice the cooled meat thinly, pour the juices back over and refrigerate overnight. Heat slowly before serving the next day. This is a technique used often with brisket to ensure succulent meat, and it does wonders.

Served with homemade Horseradish Sauce, this inexpensive beef dish might become one of your favorites for summer or winter.



1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/12 teaspoon ground cloves

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons pepper

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1 3-pound chuck roast

Horseradish Sauce:

8 ounces sour cream

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons prepared horseradish

Mix the lemon juice, cloves, mustard, pepper and oregano in a small bowl. Rub evenly over the chuck roast, place in a large plastic baggie or wrap well with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.

Heat a grill to medium-high, and grill the roast until brown and crusty on both sides, about 15 to 20 minutes altogether. Remove from grill and wrap tightly in two layers of heavy-duty foil, and return to one side of grill. Turn off the burner under the roast, close cover and cook over medium-low indirect heat for one hour. Alternatively, finish roast in the preheated oven or toaster oven for one hour at 350. If your roast is very thick, this step might take more time.

Make the Horseradish Sauce: Combine sour cream, lemon juice, Dijon mustard and horseradish.

Slice the roast thinly and serve with the Horseradish Sauce. If you have time, make the roast a day ahead, cool, slice thinly and pour any juices accumulated in the foil packet back over the meat, then chill overnight. Reheat gently. Serves 4-5.

Aimee Blume writes for The Evansville Courier & Press in Indiana.

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