Come Into My Kitchen

Flavorful roast beef highlights this dad’s skill with the grill

Jim McDonald’s Dad’s Roast is marinated, grilled and then braised. He serves it with rice and gravy.
Jim McDonald’s Dad’s Roast is marinated, grilled and then braised. He serves it with rice and gravy. Special to The Star

Jim McDonald enjoys grilling and smoking meat while his wife, Jeanne, prepares the salads, sides and appetizers. Together, this team creates delicious dinners for family and friends and entertain frequently. He is a sales professional and they live in Olathe. They have three adult daughters and enjoy spending time with their five grandchildren.

Q: Why did you select this recipe?

A: I asked my daughters and siblings which recipe I should share and they all suggested this one. It is a marinated roast that is grilled until well browned, then braised and served with a gravy.

Both my mom and dad were good cooks, but I got this recipe from my dad. It is a family favorite and is requested often, especially for birthday dinners.

Q: Do you cherish family recipes?

A: Yes, and as a Christmas present in 2007, Jeanne and I assembled a cookbook of family favorite recipes. This roast recipe was in that collection. We also included our favorite recipes for appetizers, sides, salads and other meat dishes.

For example, we included our recipe for Suzitzi, an Italian dish in which peppers, onions and sausages are grilled, then made into a stew.

I am from Nebraska, and while I have lived in the Kansas City area for 24 years, we had to include a recipe for Runza, a pastry pocket filled with meat that is especially popular in Nebraska.

Q: Do you enjoy grilling or smoking?

A: I am an avid griller and smoker and really enjoy both cooking methods. I admit I enjoy grilling a little more than smoking, and I often grill when we entertain. Grilling is faster, so I grill more frequently during the week, and leave the smoking to the weekends.

When grilling during the week, when time is short, I often use a gas grill, but I like the flavor of charcoal grilling more. On the weekends, I smoke a variety of meats, and I enjoy smoking baby back ribs.

There are several people in my neighborhood who are great grillers and smokers, and I enjoy the camaraderie. I am on a barbecue team with several of these friends, and we compete in the occasional barbecue competition and do private parties.

Another neighbor and I have competed in a grilling contest and won six trophies, three of which stay here and three at his house. I also am an active volunteer for the American Royal Barbecue.

Q: Do you have some tips for those who want to learn to grill?

A: First, follow your passion and just grill more often.

Always begin with a good quality meat. I like to purchase meat at a meat market instead of the supermarket.

To insure the correct doneness, get and use a good quality meat thermometer. It is the best way to check for doneness and you can avoid under- or over-cooking.

Marinating is a great way to add flavor. Even if you don’t want to make a marinade, you can use a packaged marinade mix. The mixes make it fast and easy to marinate meat on a busy weekday.

Roxanne Wyss and Kathy Moore are cookbook authors and food consultants that make up The Electrified Cooks. They have published 11 cookbooks and thousands of recipes. They are members of Les Dames d’Escoffier and blog at Email them at

Dad’s Roast

Makes 6 to 8 servings

1 7-bone beef roast or chuck roast


3/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 (12-ounce) bottle beer, preferably Guinness Stout

1 teaspoon steak season salt

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, optional

1/4 teaspoon pepper


1 large onion, sliced thick (about 4 cups sliced)

4 cups sliced celery (sliced about 1/2-inch thick)

Celery leaves, chopped

1 packet dry onion soup mix (1 packet from a 1.9 ounce box)

1/2 cup ketchup

1/4 cup red wine

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, cut into 1-tablespoon pieces


3 tablespoons cornstarch

Hot cooked brown or white rice

Pierce roast all over with a large fork. Place meat in an extra-large zip-top bag or nonreactive roasting pan. Combine marinade ingredients and pour over meat. Seal bag or cover pan and refrigerate 4 to 24 hours.

Drain and discard the marinade and pat meat dry so it browns nicely. Preheat the grill to high heat (about 500 degrees) or allow coals to burn down to a hot ash. Grill the meat over direct heat until browned, about 15 minutes, turning to brown evenly. Avoid flare-ups and do not allow the meat to char. Remove the meat from the grill and place it in a large, oven-safe Dutch oven or roasting pan.

Add onions, celery, celery leaves, onion soup mix and ketchup to the pan with the meat. Pour the red wine over the meat. Pour water into the pan until it reaches about the top edge of the meat. Cut butter into pieces and place over the roast.

Cover the pan with aluminum foil, place in the grill and cover the grill. Reduce the grill temperature to about 400 degrees or as needed to let the meat braise and the liquids simmer. Braise for 3 hours or until the meat is well done and falling off the bone. Turn the meat midway through cooking time. Add additional liquid as needed. (If desired, place the uncovered pan in a 325 degree oven and braise for 3 hours or until done.)

Remove the meat to a cutting board and let cool slightly. Reserve the liquid. Pull the meat into cubes. Place the meat in a pan, cover and place in the oven to keep warm.

Strain the liquid and skim the fat from the liquid. Reserve the cooked vegetables. In a small bowl, blend together cornstarch and enough cold water to make a slurry. Pour the reserved liquid into a saucepan and heat over medium high heat until the liquid is almost boiling. Slowly pour the slurry into the hot liquid, stirring continuously. Cook, stirring constantly until the gravy thickens. Taste and adjust the seasoning, as desired. If desired, stir the cooked vegetables into the gravy.

Serve the meat and gravy with hot cooked rice.

Tip: Prepared horseradish is a great condiment with this.