Bear with me, here. I know that “coffee beef” sounds bizarre, but it is actually a match made in heaven.

Coffee can make any cut of beef absolutely fall-apart tender

That's my nickname for my dutch oven, by the way.

Heaven.

Coffee Beef: My Favorite Chuck Roast Variation

Coffee can make any cut of beef absolutely fall-apart tender

Coffee Beef: Braised Chuck Roast

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time3 hrs
Total Time3 hrs 10 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 4- pound beef chuck roast (we get ours from Zaycon Fresh)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 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
  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot powder or cornstarch

Instructions

  • 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.

Coffee can make any cut of beef absolutely fall-apart tender

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.

Coffee can make any cut of beef absolutely fall-apart tender

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.

Coffee can make any cut of beef absolutely fall-apart tender

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.

Coffee can make any cut of beef absolutely fall-apart tender

Thick and dark and ready to be spooned over soft vegetables with tender, juicy meat.

Coffee can make any cut of beef absolutely fall-apart tender

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.

Yeehaw!