Kent Rosenblum was one of the men who made zinfandel popular in California, espousing a rich, ripe style from the time he started in the wine industry in 1978.
Along with Ridge and Ravenswood, Rosenblum was one of the original "3 R's" of quality zinfandel. In 2008, he sold his eponymous winery, Rosenblum Cellars, to Diageo, but he has since gone back into the business with his daughter Shauna at Rock Wall Wine Company, where ripe red wines are still the specialty.
Rosenblum says he has made this beef recipe about 50 times in the last 20 years. "This isn't a gourmet kitchen thing," he explains. "You got a fire, you can do it."
He likes to make it at the family's vineyard in Russian River Valley. They'll also throw some foil-wrapped potatoes and corn on the hot coals and have a rather macho feast.
As for the wine, unsurprisingly, "a good zinfandel would be a winner," Rosenblum says. "I suppose you could jump in with a nice rich pinot noir. But it calls for something bigger than that. A petite sirah would work well."
- 3-1/2-inch-thick, grass-fed, boneless chuck roast (should weigh about 5 pounds) "You've got to have a fatty cut of meat," Rosenblum says. "You can't use lean steak."
- An entire bottle of yellow mustard
- 2 pounds rock salt
For the meat rub:
- 1 tbsp Frank’s Red Hot or other red pepper/cayenne sauce
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp coarse black pepper
Build a charcoal fire and let it burn until it is a bed of red hot coals. Next, mix the meat rub ingredients together in a small prep bowl. Rub them into the meat. Coat the roast with an entire bottle of yellow mustard. Pound the rock salt into the mustard so that it forms a layer
Blow off the coals and throw the roast directly onto the fire. "The rock salt forms an effective barrier on the meat," Rosenblum says.
Cook for 25 minutes on one side. Turn it over, and cook 25 minutes on the other side. "The whole crust falls off" of the top side after it is turned over. Remove meat from fire, brush off remaining coating. Slice diagonally. "The meat is so tender, you can eat it with a fork," Rosenblum adds.