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Coffee-Braised Pot Roast with Caramelized Onions

April 1, 2011

 It’s Friday!  That means it is time to share my last crock-pot recipe of the week.  I wish I could say I saved the best for last, but I was somewhat disappointed with how this recipe turned out.  It’s possible that I am just being picky because I don’t really care for pot roast, but the recipe seemed so promising.

What I CAN say is that it did pack a lot of flavor and it smelled absolutely amazing during the cooking process!  If you like pot roast, I think this recipe is for you.  I recommend a few tweaks in my tip section that I think can improve the final product.

Coffee-Braised Pot Roast with Caramelized Onions
Yields: 10 Servings

1 4-pound Beef chuck roast
1/2 teaspoon Salt (or to taste)
Freshly ground pepper
4 teaspoon Olive oil (divided)
2 large Onion (halved and thinly sliced, 4 cups)
4 Garlic clove (minced)
1 teaspoon Dried thyme
1/2 cup Strong brewed coffee
2 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoon Cornstarch (mixed with 2 tablespoon water)

1. Season beef with salt and pepper. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat. Add beef and cook, turning from time to time, until well browned on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a slow cooker.
2. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil to the pot. Add onions, reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring often, until softened and golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic and thyme; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in 1/2 cup coffee and vinegar; bring to a simmer. Add the mixture to the slow cooker and spoon some onions over the beef.
3. Cover and cook until beef is tender, 4 1/2 to 5 hours on High or 7 to 8 hours on Low.
4. Remove beef from slow cover and allow to rest. Meanwhile, pour the liquid from slow cooker into medium saucepan and skim fat from the braising liquid; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the cornstarch mixture and cook, whisking, until the gravy thickens slightly, about 1 minute. Season with pepper. Carve the beef and serve with gravy.

Kate’s Tips:

The roast was perfectly tender and fell apart with just a fork, but it was a little on the dry side for me.  I think I would add more coffee to amp up the coffee flavor and hopefully increase the moisture of the meat.  I would absolutely recommend using the strongest coffee you have on hand.  The coffee flavor was very mild and left me wanting more.

I would also recommend choosing to cook on LOW to allow the meat to cook slowly.  Our roast was around 2 1/2 pounds and I should have decreased the cooking time by an hour (to 6 hours).

You can also choose to make the gravy directly in the crock-pot at the end, although moving it to a sauce pan on the stove is much faster.

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