Comfort Food With a Kiss of Smoke: Cherrywood-Smoked Chuck Roast
The triple-digit heat finally gave way to the welcome rains. But the people that danced for joy in the streets quickly realized that the rain wasn’t stopping and, in fact, would follow the record-breaking heat with dangerous, double-digit, flash floods that would also shatter records, all within a tight, 24-48 hour window. Shortly after, the sun returned, blanketing the yard with the otherwise, beautiful results of a summer’s rain. The gardens and wildlife drink in the moment, oblivious to the stress and physical damage that occurred around them within the past 48 hours. So it’s a good time for some comfort food. And that’s what’s on the menu today, albeit with a little twist. We’ll take a chuck roast and some raw veggies, head out to the smoker, and create a comforting cherrywood kissed pot roast with pan roasted vegetables that will nourish the body and soul.
We’re talkin’ beef, so we don’t need a lot of seasoning, do we? Do we? No, we don’t. This hunka, hunka was rubbed down with just a hint of the good ol’ yellow mustard, then generously sprinkled with salt, fresh cracked black pepper, and some black garlic, my new favorite flavor enhancer. After that, it was left to spend some quality time in the fridge overnight.
The roast was removed from the fridge the following day, about an hour before the smoker was ready. It was looking like a million bucks after the quality beauty sleep.
And on the smoker it went, roughly brought up to 225°, with a combination of hardwood coals, cherrywood chunks firing underneath a Guinness and onion infused water pan to get this smoke party rolling.
Other than spritzing this beauty with a concoction comprised mostly of beef broth and Worcestershire sauce every 30 minutes or so for the first couple of hours, your time will be well spent choosing and prepping your preferred veggies to go along with the roast. Tradition wins this time, with a lineup that included carrots, white onions, and a handful of whole garlic cloves. No potatoes were included in this mix, but they’re also a great option. What were they sprinkled with, you ask? More black garlic would be my answer.
When the roast registers around 160-165° internal, it’s time to remove it from the smoker and wrap. This is all personal choice, of course, and dependent on the outcome you’re looking for. With the veggies all prepped and in a foil pan, I’m expecting a traditional pot roast type finale, so the meat is laid on top of the veggies, currently bathing in beef broth and more Guinness with a couple of tabs of butter added in for that rich, deep, comforting flavor.
The foil pan is wrapped tight and placed back in the smoker until the magic temperature of 202° internal sounds the alarm. At this point, I removed the foil to let the liquid reduce and the meat form a little more bark.
When your belly starts rumbling like a Midwest thunderstorm, it’s time to pull the foil pan from the smoker and let it rest a little longer. Wipe your mouth from the pieces of beef and carrot that you’ve managed to sneak while no one was watching, and start the pulling process. It won’t take long to end up with a pan of pulled beef and deliciously tender veggies to help calm your thoughts and recenter your emotions.