Rib Roast was on my short list to prepare on the Weber, and I finally got around to cooking one for dinner last Sunday. The approach was simple: rub the roast with salt, pepper and Herbs de Provence; cook in a pan over indirect heat on the kettle with some cherry wood chunks; and, make some us jus gravy from the drippings.
I had my butcher cut a three-rib USDA Choice roast (about 7 1/2 pounds). Yes, there was some measure of sticker shock involved.
I’d watched several videos and studied dozens of recipes and blog posts on how to cook the cut, briefly considering the rotisserie. In the end, though, I decided to stick to the basics, setting up the grill for indirect cooking with half a chimney of charcoal split between two baskets, a pan of water in the middle to help moderate the heat, and a few chunks of wood for flavor. Once I got the grill stable at around 350 F, I put the roast in the center of the grill, on top of some soup bones spread out in a foil pan. I took it out of the pan when the internal temp measured 125, and covered with a foil tent to rest and finish coming up to rare.
Now it was time to make the gravy. Again, it was about as basic as you’ll find. I removed the soup bones, cut some shallot into thin slices and added it to the pan (still on the grill), stirring up the drippings until the shallot got melty. Then I added some additional salt, pepper and herbs, a dash or two of Worcestershire Sauce, 2/3 cup of Cabernet Sauvignon and 1 1/3 cups of beef broth. I took this over to the gas grill and let it reduce over medium direct heat for awhile. I wouldn’t change anything about it.
The roast, on the other hand, was a little too rare for my taste. It had a wonderful flavor, and a nice crust, but the inside was just a bit chewy and red. If I ever cook this cut again, I’ll be tempted to take it up to 130. Although since I’m using an ancient analog meat thermometer, it’s possible that it was off a bit as well. I also think I would carve the roast a bit thinner next time, despite most recipes calling for half inch slices.
This wasn’t bad for a first attempt, and I wouldn’t change the overall approach next time. Maybe a little searing directly over the coals before placing the roast over indirect heat might have added something. In any case, it’ll be awhile before I feel like shelling out almost sixty bucks for a roast like this again – though it did serve five nicely, and there were leftovers for roast beef on our salads last night, plus a delicious soup made with the bones and unused broth.