This August has been one of the most spectacular months for grilling...ever. Temperatures in the 70's and dew points down in the middle 50's. And it's been like that every single day this month. (Thank you, Cody!)
This recipe was published last May in Cook's Illustrated. I kept it because it is a great reminder that grills are not just for grilling. They are also great for roasting. This recipe uses 2 little tricks to great advantage. First, baking soda is used in the rub. This alters the pH of the meat and makes it brown better.
The second trick is bacon. Beef tenderloin is extremely lean and therefore has little to contribute by way of drippings. By placing bacon over the hot coals, you will get those wonderful fat drippings that really go the distance to flavor the meat. This recipe serves six.
2-1/4 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon baking soda
1, 3-pound center cut beef tenderloin roast, trimmed and tied at 1-1/2" intervals
3 slices bacon threaded onto a metal skewer
- Combine salt, pepper, oil and baking soda in small bowl. Rub mixture evenly over roast and let stand while preparing grill.
- Prepare your grill for both direct and indirect cooking. Open bottom vent halfway. Light large chimney starter two-thirds filled with charcoal briquettes (4 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over half of grill. Set cooking grate in place, cover and open lid vent halfway. Heat grill until hot, about 5 minutes.
- Clean and oil cooking grate. Place roast on hotter side of grill and cook (covered ) until lightly browned on all sides, about 12 minutes. Slide roast to cooler side of grill, arranging so roast is about 7 inches from heat source. Place skewered bacon near center of grill, above edge of coals. Bacon should be 4 to 6 inches from roast and drippings should fall on coals and produce steady stream of smoke and minimal flare-ups. If flare-ups are large or frequent, slide bacon skewer 1 inch toward roast.
- Cover and cook for 1 hour. Transfer roast to a carving board, tent with foil and let rest for 10 minutes. Discard twine and cut slices from roast 1/2" thick.
Wine pairing: A big Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. A Ramey, if you are really lucky.