Peppercorn crusted cross rib roast

In my last post I talked about the flavour of cuts from the chuck, or shoulder region. The cross rib roast is another cut from the chuck, so it has all that wonderful flavour as well. This cut is often de-boned and tied, and is quite lean compared to other chuck roasts. It does have a few strands of connective tissue, but these can be tolerated because the rest of the roast is so good. This cut, being fro the chuck, is also considerably cheaper than fancier cuts like prime rib.

We are going to do a reverse sear on this roast, cooking it indirectly for about an hour, and then putting over direct high heat to put a crust on it.


  • Cross rib roast, about 3 lb
  • steak spice, coarsely ground
  • fresh cracked black pepper

Take the meat out of the fridge at least an hour ahead of time. You want the meat to cook evenly, and if the centre of the meat is still cold, you will end up overcooking the outer portion to get the inner portion right. Pat the meat dry, and coat thoroughly with coarsely ground steak spice, plus extra black pepper (Or you could just mix up your steak spice with extra pepper!). You want to lay down a pretty a pretty thick coating so it’s thoroughly crusted up.

Set your grill or smoker for indirect cooking – I use my kamado with the heat deflector – and preheat it to 250-270F. I like to add a little wood to the fire, not a lot, because we aren’t smoking the roast, but a chunk of hardwood (maple, oak, apple or hickory all work well) gives it a little extra character. Put the meat on, and let it cook indirect for about an hour (exact time will depend on your setup, and size of roast). You want an internal temperature between 115 and 120F.

When it reaches the target temperature, the next step is to sear it on all sides with high temperature. If you are using a gas grill, especially one with a ceramic sear burner, just crank it up, and move the roast over the heat to sear. If, like me, you are cooking indirect over charcoal, it may be a bit trickier. I transferred the roast to a board. covered with tinfoil and a tea towel to keep it warm, then removed the heat deflector and opened it up. It only took a few minutes to get up to nice high sear temp, and then I replaced the roast.

Sear it for 1-2 minutes per side (and I mean in-the-thick-of-it, honest to goodness high temperature searing to crust it up). And, being a roast, that would probably be 5 sides (4 sides + one flat end). Remove from heat, tend with foil, and let rest for 10-30 minutes.

That’s pretty much it. Slice and enjoy!

(for some reason I didn’t take any pics this time. Next time.  I promise)



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