Caffeinated Beef Roast (Recipe)
With fall full upon us and the glimpses of sun becoming shorter, it's time for more comfort food. And when the wind whips around the house and howls through the trees, it's lovely to walk into a house filled with the savory aroma of beef roast and know that dinner will be delicious.
This week we share one of our favorite twists on the classic pot roast - Caffeinated Beef. As happens so often with our family favorite recipes, there are just a few simple ingredients - and minimal preparation. Somehow rosemary, coffee, and a splash of balsamic vinegar combine with the rich flavor of beef and onions to make meal magic!
Chuck Roast is the classic choice for making roasted beef dishes, but Osso Buco will also cook up beautifully. Osso Buco, or sliced beef shank, comes with the added bonus of delicious marrow for spreading on toast. (Roasted marrow on toast is a nutrition packed old-world treat I learned to love from my grandmother, but I hear it is making a comeback in foodie circles. And for good reason - it is delicious!) Also feel free to use Short Ribs, Brisket, or any other beef cut that calls for braising.
The broth left after cooking the roast is fantastic! We like to serve it in a small bowl at each plate for dipping crusty bread or toast (as pictured). It also makes excellent gravy or can be poured directly over the meat (or potatoes) for added juiciness.
The coffee is an interesting and flavor-inducing addition to the typical roast beef recipe. Because I often decide to make this dish after we've finished off the last of the morning coffee, I like to keep some frozen ahead. Whenever there's cold coffee left in the pot, I freeze it in yogurt cups and keep it in the freezer to have on hand when the mood strikes to make this recipe. Of course I could just make another pot of coffee...hmmmm.... (Another great use for frozen saved coffee is in chocolate cake!)
Coffee & Vinegar Braised Beef Roast
2-3 lbs beef - Chuck Roast, Osso Buco, Brisket, Short Ribs, or Stew Meat
1 onion, sliced
1 tsp salt
fresh ground black pepper
1/2 C strong black coffee
1 T balsamic vinegar
2 sprigs rosemary or 3/4 tsp dry, crumbled
Place beef in the bottom of a slow cooker. Season with salt and a generous amount of black pepper to taste. Cover with the onion slices. Stir together the coffee and balsamic vinegar and pour over the meat and onions. Top with the rosemary. Cook on high about 6 hours or low about 8 hours. You can even put the beef in frozen if it will fit in the pot - just plan an extra hour or so for cooking time.
While this is a slow-cooker recipe, there's no reason you can't use these ingredients for slow roasting in the oven in a tightly sealed roasting dish or Dutch oven. A 3 lb roast needs about 3 hours at 300 degrees. However, remember that an oven uses up more liquid than a slow cooker so watch the liquid level if using the oven.
This recipe is adapted from Slow Cooker Dinners For Two by Cynthia Graubart.