Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Cajun Pit Beef

Sam's Club had CAB whole beef eye of rounds for sale so I thought I'd make some lunch meat.  

Roast beef and caramelized onions

Beef eye of round is very lean so you only want to cook it to medium rare to keep it tender and a buttery injection can help matters.  The eye of round also doesn't bring a ton of flavor to the table, so you'll want to use some strong flavors.  This Cajun Pit Beef incorporates those two things to make lunch meat way better than anything you'll get at the deli.

Cajun Pit Beef

  • 4-6 lb beef eye of round
  • 1 recipe NMT Cajun Rub (see picture)
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
Equipment:  Injecting syringe, food safe spray bottle, roasting rack/pan (optional)

  1. In a small sauce pan over medium heat, add the stock, butter, and 1 teaspoon of the NMT Cajun Rub.  Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and then remove from heat.  Strain through a sieve while hot then allow to cool.  Pour half into your spray bottle.  Reserve the other half for injecting.
  2. Pre-heat your grill to 275°F.
  3. Prep the beef - Trim off any excess fat.  Put the reserved half of the liquid in the injecting syringe and inject the beef in several places every few inches.  Wipe off any injection that seeps out and then season the beef on all sides with the NMT Cajun Rub.
  4. Cook the beef until it reaches an internal temperature of 125-127°F.  I'll give specific steps for various cookers below.  Whenever you see the surface of the meat beginning to dry, spritz it with some of the stock/butter solution in the spray bottle.  At 275°F the roast should take about 90 minutes to 2 hours, 15 minutes - depending on a lot of factors.  Use your thermometer.
  5. Allow the beef to rest for 15 minutes.  Then wrap it in foil and refrigerate it overnight or at least 8 hours.  
  6. Slice thinly with a sharp carving knife and store refrigerated.

cajun pit beef, injecting beef, grilled cajun beef, beef sandwiches
Using the bold flavors in the rub and injection add to the eye of round but don't cover anything up.

trimming beef,
If you get your beef from a butcher, it will probably already be trimmed.  But if you buy it from a wholesale club, it is likely going to require a good bit of trimming.

cajun rub for beef, homemade cajun rub, cajun bbq rub

seasoned beef roast, cajun beef roast,
Just season the roast until it is covered heavily on all sides.  It may seem like a lot but that flavor is going to be in small doses once sliced.

Pit Barrel Cooker, Kingsford blue bag,
This particular time, I cooked the roast on the new design of the Pit Barrel Cooker.  I have a follow up post covering the changes of this popular drum cooker.

Just hang the roast from one of the hooks.

Regardless of the cooker you are using, this is a good example of when to spritz with the stock and butter solution. It keeps the surface moist and builds additional layers of flavor.

ChefAlarm, roast beef,
Resting after the cook.  Note the 149 max temp in the upper left of the ChefAlarm - that occurred when the probe was out of the meat, this roast never got above 135°F even after resting.  150 would be dry, dry, dry.  You can see that it took right at 1 hour, 26 minutes took cook on the Pit Barrel Cooker.

For other cookers, a roasting rack and pan combo works the best.  Save the drippings and you can use that to make a Cajun gravy.  Just mix 2 Tbsp flour and 2 Tbsp butter in a medium skillet then stir in the pan drippings plus extra beef stock as needed to make your gravy.  Season with salt and pepper or salt and more Cajun rub.

Here's a Cajun Pit Beef that I did on the Big Green Egg a long while back.  I seared it at the beginning and then slow roasted it for a little over an hour.  I kept the au jus and made the Cajun gravy noted above.

Char-Broil, Kettleman indirect, kettle grill indirect,
If cooking this on a kettle grill like my Char-Broil Kettleman, I'd put the roast rack combination to one side as noted above and only put coals on the opposite side, then cook at 275-300°F for about 90 minutes.  45 minutes in to the cook, I'd flip the towel err "roast" and rotate the pan 180 degrees for even cooking.  

If cooking on a 3 burner gas grill, you would set the grill up like this with the roast/rack/pan on the right and the only burner on is the one of the left side.  Of course, the lid would be closed and the towel would be replaced by an eye of round.  Don't grill towels kids....(No, You're a towel)

Waiting until the meat has chilled makes it easier to slice thinly for sandwiches.  I wouldn't waste your money on electric slicers made for the home, even if they say "professional" in their name.  They are under powered, too slow, and their plastic bodies are too flimsy.  You're better off with a good slicing knife.  Sorry about the too short field of focus, it was dim light and I was trying speed up my shutter.

When I don't have au jus to make the gravy, I like to make a quick horseradish sauce with 1 cup sour cream, 1 heaping tablespoon of horseradish, a pinch or two of dill weed, a tablespoon of white wine vinegar, and salt/pepper to taste.  

[Standard FTC Disclaimer]  I received no cash compensation for this post.  I received the Char-Broil grills as a member of their All-Star team and I got the Pit Barrel Cooker for review.