Awhile back, I discussed methods of using coffee as an ingredient when cooking. When I discovered the many wonderful flavors of coffee that ROASTe had to offer, I wanted to go one step further and use it as an ingredient when I cook with beef or pork.
Coffee-Braised Pot Roast with Caramelized Onions
This recipe is reminiscent of a pot roast made with onion-soup mix, but the flavors are true and pure--and nobody misses the excess sodium. (For a slow-cooker variation, see below.)
Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
4 lb. beef chuck roast (see Ingredient note), trimmed of fat
½ tsp. salt, or to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
4 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 large onions, halved and thinly sliced (4 c.)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried thyme
¾ c. strong brewed coffee
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. cornstarch mixed with 2 tbsp. water
Ingredient Note: Although it is not the leanest cut of beef, chuck is still my choice for pot roast because it doesn't dry out during braising. You will find pockets of fat as you carve it, but they are easy to remove.
Preheat oven to 300.
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 ½ 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.