Bear with me, here. I know that “coffee beef” sounds bizarre, but it is actually a match made in heaven.
That's my nickname for my dutch oven, by the way.
Coffee Beef: My Favorite Chuck Roast Variation
- 1 4-pound beef chuck roast (we get ours from Zaycon Fresh)
- ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 6 red potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 5 large carrots, unpeeled, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup strong brewed coffee
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup arrowroot powder or cornstarch
- Preheat oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Season the chuck roast with salt and pepper
- Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
- Add the onions, carrots and chuck roast and toss gently, browning for about a minute on all sides.
- Remove from heat and add potatoes.
- Combine garlic, coffee, soy sauce and arrowroot powder or cornstarch and pour over beef.
- Cover and cook until fork-tender, approximately 3 hours.
- Cover beef with a foil tent for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
I order my meat from Zaycon Fresh in bulk and freeze it so I don't have to constantly be running thirty minutes or more each way into town. Welcome to life in the boondocks, where meal-planning is a way of life. I recently got chuck roast from Zaycon for the first time and was impressed to find that – unlike a lot of store packages – these were crazy fresh pieces of meat with minimal fat. Perfect for braising.
Starbucks makes this rich specialty coffee from Guatemala called Laguna de Ayarza. I actually met a woman from Guatemala when I was studying in Mexico City. She made the most divine mole with her own special ingredient: fresh-brewed coffee. She swore that it tenderized meat better than anything else on the planet, but at the time I was a vegetarian and frankly could NOT care less.
I'm just glad I was paying attention enough for it to ring a bell when both of these ingredients made their way side-by-side into my kitchen. After a few hours at low heat, this deep roast combines with the arrowroot powder to form a luscious gravy.
Thick and dark and ready to be spooned over soft vegetables with tender, juicy meat.
Have you struggled with how to get those more solid cuts of meat into a soft, savory, family-friendly meal? Pin this for later! I guarantee your kids will be asking for “coffee beef” regularly once they've tried it, and slow-cooking will save you from firing up the grill on a busy day.
For those of you who are wondering, caffeine does NOT cook out like alcohol does. So you may want to opt for decaf unless you're looking for a dinnertime energy boost.