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Baltimore Pit Beef

Baltimore Pit Beef 6.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Smoke Signals Jun 19, 2013

Michael Shores, whose family has been cooking pit beef at the Baltimore Farmers' Market & Bazaar for some 30 years under the name Beef Barons, recommends that home cooks use an eye round. The cut is very lean, so there is not a lot of fat to make it juicy. On the upside, the straight-ahead flavor makes for a poor man's prime rib.

Hardwood lump charcoal works better than typical briquettes because it burns hotter, giving a better char. But briquettes work fine if you can't find lump or don’t want spend the additional money.

This recipe includes a basic rub, but if you have one that you like for beef, feel free to use it.

Make Ahead: The seasoned meat needs to rest in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or up to overnight.


Servings: 6 - 8
Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • One 3-pound eye round cut of beef
  • 8 kaiser rolls, potato rolls or 16 slices of regular white sandwich bread, for serving
  • 1/2 cup homemade or store-bought horseradish sauce (see related recipe)
  • 1 large sweet onion, sliced thin into rings and halves

Related Recipes

Directions

Combine the salt, black pepper, garlic powder and chili powder in a small bowl and mix well. Rub the beef all over with all the spice mixture, then cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours or up to overnight.

Bring the beef to room temperature; this should take about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare a fire for direct and indirect heat. If using a gas grill, preheat to medium-high (450 degrees). If using a charcoal grill, light the charcoal or wood briquettes; when the briquettes just turn ashen, distribute them on one side of the cooking area. For a hot fire, you should be able to hold your hand about 5 inches above the coals for 3 or 4 seconds. Have ready a spray water bottle for taming any flames. Lightly coat the grill rack with oil and place it on the grill.

Place the meat on the direct-heat side of the grill. Cook (uncovered) for 2 to 3 minutes on each side of the meat, turning as needed, so the exterior becomes evenly crusty.

Move the meat to the indirect-heat side of the grill. Close the lid. (In Baltimore, the pit beef is cooked over an open pit. But that’s because the pitmen distribute the coals in a way that creates hot and cool spots and also because they constantly monitor the cooking process. Cooking the beef with the lid closed reduces both the grill-hovering and the challenges of cooking to tenderness over a live fire.)

Grill for 30 minutes to 45 minutes (for medium-rare). A meat thermometer inserted into the center should register 130 degrees. Transfer to a cutting board; rest the meat for no more than 5 minutes, then slice it against the grain as thinly as possible. Don’t worry about full slices; you’re only heaping the meat onto a sandwich. The key is thinness.

Pile the meat onto buns or bread. Top with horseradish sauce or Tiger Sauce and a few onion slices.


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Recipe Source

From Smoke Signals columnist Jim Shahin.

Tested by Jeff Donald.

E-mail questions to the Food Section.

E-mail questions to the Food Section at food@washpost.com.

Avg. Rating (2)

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (based on 8, meat only): 220


% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 6g 9%

Saturated Fat: 2g 10%

Cholesterol: 80mg 27%

Sodium: 340mg 14%

Total Carbohydrates: 0g 0%

Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%

Sugar: 0g

Protein: 39g


*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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