Coffee Braised Pot Roast with Caramelized Onion

Everybody knows I’m a confirmed javaholic. Although I’ve cut down my intake, I still enjoy a cup or two a day. Thanks to a friend who supplies me “Million Dollar Brew” coffee beans.

Imagine my surprise when I got this recipe from Eating Well Magazine October 1998. Coffee…pot roast…caramelized onion…all my favorites. I just had to try it and I did.

I must say this is one of the best pot roast I’ve done and tasted. (chucking humility out the window)

So here’s the recipe:

2 kg beef chuck roast 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
8 oz strong brewed coffee (I used Starbuck’s Christmas Blend)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water

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, about 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 braise over very very low fire until fork-tender but not falling apart.

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.

I found the pot roast richer and more flavorful the day after, served with rice, pasta or bread. Delicious.

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