Chef Time!

Chef Time!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

At Last! A Pot Roast That Packs A Punch In Flavor

I like coffee. I like it hot, I like it cold. I like it black, I like it creamy and sweet. I like it in a mug, I like it in a paper cup. I like it with breakfast, I like it with my pot roast.
Wait. What?
Coffee? Pot roast? Yes, you read correctly. I’m not losing it. I like it with my pot roast. That is to say, I like my pot roast braised in it.
The more I think of the two together, the more normal it seems. I’ve heard of people getting very distinct ‘beefy’ tastes shortly after drinking a cup of coffee. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced that, but like cocoa, the bold flavor only seemed natural to pair with beef.
coffee braised beef with cinnamon and orange

This braise turned out incredibly well for my first coffee/meat experiment. It’s hard to describe a specific flavor from it since the addition of citrus and cinnamon really played in well with the beef. I didn’t serve the roast with potatoes like I normally would, but instead relied on some carrots and parsnips to beef (har har) up the meal.
If you’re opposed to incredibly tender, flavorful beef that can hardly hold itself together when you finally remove it from the oven… don’t make this. You won’t like it. Not one bit.
This pot roast packs a punch in the flavor department and is extremely easy to make. I would suggest, though, that you make it on a day when you’re home and can start it early in the afternoon. Otherwise you’ll be eating at 8:30pm, like me.
If you like a starch with your meat, serve with some egg noodles or potatoes of your choice.

Coffee Braised Beef with Cinnamon and Orange
1 large onion, chopped (1 ½ c.)
1 ½ tbsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 ¼ c. strong brewed coffee
3 (3 by 1 inch) strips fresh orange zest
1 (3 inch) cinnamon stick
2 tsp. packed brown sugar
1 (3 ½ lb.) boneless beef chuck roast
1 ½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. black pepper
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 325.
Cook onion in oil in a 4- to 5-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat, stirring, until golden, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in coffee, zest, cinnamon stick, and brown sugar, then bring to a simmer. Sprinkle beef all over with salt and pepper, then add to pot. Transfer pot to oven and braise, tightly covered, until meat is very tender, 3 ½ to 4 hours.
Skim fat from sauce and discard cinnamon stick.

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