Easter brings back memories of a big ol’ Easter Ham. You know the one. All glazed and dotted with whole cloves. Maybe you threw some pineapple slices and maraschino cherries on for old times sake. Yeah, that ham.
Traditionally hogs were slaughtered in the Fall and without refrigeration pork was cured for Spring. Voila, Easter Ham. Don’t ask me what 1950’s foodie added pineapple, Maraschino cherries, and cloves (did I mention Maraschino cherries smell like that starfish I dissected in 7th grade??). The process of turning fresh pork into ham is indeed magical, but I’m challenging you to give up the ghost and go for a standing rib-eye roast instead. Take it up a notch, enjoy the budding warmth, and bust out your grill. That’s right, pull out your outdoor speakers, blare some Winger (yes, Winger), pour yourself some wine, and drag the dog beds grill side. I’m a pork lover and I promise you I’m not looking back. That ham is gladly reserved for those cute little ham sandwiches your Grandma made on dinner rolls. This Easter I’m all about the beef!
Cooking a standing rib-eye roast might seem daunting, but trust me, with a few basic skills you’ll have this thing mastered. Better yet, you’ll impress the h-e-double-hockey sticks out of your friends and family!
Grilled Standing Rib-eye Roast
- 5 pound (usually 3 ribs) rib-eye roast, bones included.
- 2 TBSP cup kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
- 1/2 tsp dried fennel seeds
- 1/2 tsp black pepper corns
- 1/8 tsp dried sage
- 1/8 tsp garlic powder
- 1/8 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 dried bay leaf
- 1 TBSP oil
- kitchen twine
- 30 charcoal briquettes & your charcoal grill
- Lotsa time to kill, Girl’s Best Friends, Winger’s Greatest hits, bevvy of choice
Prepare your roast by rinsing and patting it dry with paper towels. Cut the bones away from the roast (save them!). Some say to trim the fat to 1/8th of an inch. Go ahead if you’d like, but if you trim fat in my house you will surely end up with broken fingers, a bloody nub, and a black eye. Seriously. Don’t. Do. It. You can cut fat off later if you want (I might very well look at you in disgust if you do), but cutting it off beforehand sacrifices flavor and juices in my opinion.
Coat roast in a thin layer of oil. Place all spices in a spice grinder. Or try your trusty, dusty $10 Mr. Coffee grinder saved just for spices and grind spices until powdery. Mix with your salt and spread on a rimmed cookie sheet.
Press the roast and bones into the salt until evenly coated.
Truss the roast and bones together. Hit up this video at 15:01 or so to see the best and quickest method for trussing your roast. It’s a bit ‘slight of hand’ but a good skill to learn for any large roast. Set your roast aside and cover with a clean tea or kitchen towel. Let rest 2-3 hours (don’t skimp on time people! This desiccates the outer layer to make a righteous crust). You want the roast to be room temp when you put it on the grill. And no, you won’t die from the roast sitting for 2-3 hours in a 68 degree house. Remember you’re going to cook it and you have stomach acid at about a pH of 0.8.
About 20 minutes before you’re ready to throw your Easter Hunk O’ Beef on the grill, light about 30 briquettes and let burn until they’ve formed a thin coating of white ash. Once covered in ash, make a dual layer pile of charcoal on one side of your grill. Let the grill heat 5 minutes and scrape clean. Place your roast fat side down and sear until all fat covered sides are brown, about 10-12 minutes (depending on your fire heat).
Once browned, insert a constant read thermometer (not touching the bones) and place the roast with the tips of the bones away from the fire. This puts the thickest part of the roast towards the heat so it cooks more evenly.
Be careful of flare ups in the beginning when the fat is rendering. Do you see that little spot o’ burn in the picture above…that’s a result of flare ups. Don’t cry for me Argentina, it’s a small spot and will work itself out in the end. Much more burn though and you’ve spent a lot of time and moo-la making a charcoal lump. Place your grill lid on, grab your bevvy and settle in. You’re going to cook your roast until about 125 degrees for medium rare. We went up to 135 for a medium-medium rare. This can take 1.5 to 3 hours depending on the size of your roast and the heat of your fire. The roast will ‘rest’ on the counter for about 15 minutes and the temp will raise 10-15 degrees so don’t fret about under cooking it a bit. No matter what temp you like, cook the roast 10-15 degrees cooler and let it rest.
Slice that awesome thang to desired thickness and serve with horseradish sauce, taters, and your choice of veggies (we had balsamic grilled asparagus and it was delightful!). I promise you won’t miss that pineapple-cherry-clove Easter Hamnanigans.