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
We have this recipe often – probably as often as most families have pot roast or roast beef.
If you don't have a dutch oven, this could definitely be accomplished in a slow cooker, crock pot or roasting pan. I love that this recipe is relatively hands-off and creates minimal dishes outside of the dutch oven and small bowl. Just preheat oven, prep ingredients, get it cooking and you're good to go! As you can see, I use coffee pods to make my coffee for this recipe but you could also use any old ground coffee. I like to use fresh garlic, but you could also sub garlic powder and I'm sure it would still be delicious.
Order in Bulk
I order my meat 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. We have two chest freezers in the laundry shed and plan all of our meals based on what's in there. It actually turns into a really fun challenge to go off of what we have, making smart shopping decisions based on what's on sale and turning basic ingredients into something fun and creative. I recently got chuck roast 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.
Use Good Coffee
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. Flash forward a year or two (or ten) and suddenly, this information is relevant in my own kitchen.
Let your Coffee Beef Simmer
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 coffee beef gravy.
Thick and dark and ready to be spooned over soft vegetables with tender, juicy meat. Nate likes his beef medium rare and while this is clearly a WHOLE different ballgame than a steak, it's still got that tender, melt-in-your-mouth feel that he's after.
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.
- 1 4- pound beef chuck roast
- 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
- 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.
For those of you who are wondering, caffeine does NOT cook out like alcohol does. So you may want to opt for decaf with your coffee beef unless you're looking for a dinnertime energy boost.
Depending on your family's personal tastes, you may want to add some brown sugar or salt and pepper to the beef broth leftover and briefly simmer it in a small saucepan over medium high heat for a deeper, darker, richer gravy. You could even add some onions and garlic at that point as well. Our family loves it just as it is after this recipe, and often spoons it over mashed potatoes!
Have you ever had coffee beef?