PEPPER RUBBED EYE OF ROUND
See also Interview with Glenn & Caryl Elzinga of Alderspring Ranch Grass Fed Beef.
• 3 -4 lb eye of round roast
• 2-4 T whole peppercorns, depending on roast size and how much you like peppery crust
• 1 T finely minced fresh garlic
• 2-3 T olive oil
• Coconut oil for searing (vegetable or canola oil is also fine)
• 1/3 cup maple syrup; Grade B is preferable.
• ½ cup dried black currants (optional—see the end of recipe)
• Cast iron skillet or dutch oven big enough to accommodate the roast with no plastic or wood handles that could melt or burn in the oven
Fire up the grill. Charcoal is preferable, with some soaked applewood chips on the surface for smoke flavor. A pan of mesquite or applewood on the grill can achieve similar smoky results. Hold it at medium heat.
Rinse off the eye of round and pat dry. Grind peppercorns to a coarse grind (we use a coffee grinder). Mix in a shallow bowl with the minced garlic and olive oil, making a sticky paste (start with 2T oil and add more until the consistency is sticky but not dry; it has to adhere to the roast). Press firmly onto the roast with the back of a spoon until covered on all sides.
Melt coconut oil in the skillet on the stovetop, heating to just under smoking. It is important to have a little depth on the oil, around 1/8 inch. Turn the hood exhaust fan on high. This will be smoky.
Place roast in pan. Sear on all sides by rolling around in pan. I use a large stainless spoon as a chock block in the bottom of the pan to keep the roast from uncontrollably rolling as I sear all sides slowly. As you turn the roast, some of the pepper crust will fall off. Spoon it back on and press into an unseared side. No material in the pan should burn. If it is, your heat is too high or your oil is too minimal.
When all sides are seared, carefully place on the grill on low heat with a probe thermometer in the center of the roast. Turn once at 105 degrees.
While roast is grilling, make glaze. Carefully pour off most of the oil from the skillet. Heat remaining pan drippings on low in the skillet. Add maple syrup. Cook at a low boil, stirring frequently, until the glaze reaches the thickness of honey. Reduce heat to the lowest setting. Preheat oven to 350.
Pull the roast off the grill when interior temp is 130 and transfer back to the skillet. Tilt pan, collect glaze with a spoon and drizzle over the roast. Roll roast once and drizzle the other side. When the roast is glazed, place pan in the oven and put the thermometer probe back in.
Carefully turn roast once when temp is at 135, redistributing glaze with spoon as above. Remove from oven when roast reaches 140 interior temperature. Let rest for 10-20 minutes, transfer to cutting board, and slice thin. Wow.
Add currants to leftover glaze with ¼ cup water. Bring to low simmer and cook about 5 minutes until currants are soft. Thicken if you wish with your favorite thickener (e.g., cornstarch, arrowroot powder).