Coffee-Braised Pot Roast with Caramelized Onions

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Coffee-Braised Pot Roast with Caramelized Onions adapted from Eating Well
1 4-pound beef chuck roast, (see Ingredient note), trimmed of fat
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 large onions, halved and thinly sliced (4 cups)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3/4 cup strong brewed coffee
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water


Preheat oven to 300°F.  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 plate.

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 coffee and vinegar; bring to a simmer. Return the beef to the pot and spoon some onions over it. Cover and transfer to the oven.

Braise the beef in the oven until fork-tender but not falling apart, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Transfer beef to a cutting board, tent with foil and let rest for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, 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.

Here's what you'll need:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Slice up an onion.

Mince up garlic cloves.

Season with salt and pepper and sear in a stockpot.

Pull the beef out of the pan and lay it on a plate.
 Once you take the meat out, put the onions in.  Let them caramelize.

Once the onions are soft and brown, add the garlic and thyme.

Add the coffee and balsamic vinegar.

Add the meat back to the pot.

Pile the onions onto the meat.

Cover the pot and put in the oven for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

Once the meat is fork-tender, remove the pot from the oven.  Mix the corn starch solution.

Pull the meat out of the pot and add the cornstarch mixture.

Let this simmer for a minute or so until the sauce thickens.

Pour the sauce back over the meat.

Here's what you'll end up with:

Our Thoughts:
My family loves pot roast.  This dish was a simple and easy way to make pot roast.  The onions did have a sweet, tangy flavor from the coffee and the vinegar and they had a good caramelization on them.

I couldn't tell that the coffee really "braised" the pot roast as it didn't have a particularly distinct flavor other than the base of onion.  The meat was tender but didn't shred apart.

As good as the dish was, we all agreed that we still preferred my Mom's Roast.

I served this with a Potato Cauliflower Mash.

Hope you enjoy!


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