Monday, September 22, 2014

Slow Cooked Beef Pot Roast with Tomatoes and Green Chiles

Slow Cooked Beef Pot Roast with Tomatoes and Green Chiles

As I mentioned in this post, I recently read the Real Food Planning Challenge, which inspired me to clean out my pantry, fridge, and freezer to make room for a new batch of seasonal ingredients. One of my goals in the coming months (thanks to this book) is to keep better track of all the food in my home. 

Doing this will help prevent food waste and allow me to plan ahead for times when I don't feel like cooking. Yes, it happens quite frequently to us food bloggers! 

My idea of planning ahead often involves cooking large batches of specific dishes, then freezing any leftovers so I can use them to build an impromptu meal. For example, having quart-sized bags of cooked beans and homemade stock in the freezer allows me to throw together a quick chili or soup on the fly. 

To be honest, cooked meat doesn't generally make it to my freezer. When I make a big batch of pulled pork (a.k.a. carnitas) or whole roasted chicken, I usually re-purpose the leftovers into several lunches and easy dinners throughout the week. If I were really motivated, I'd roast three chickens at once and have tons of shredded meat to store in the freezer, but I'm not quite there yet! Baby steps...

In the meantime, I'm focusing more on slow cooked meals that involve little prep work and have a bigger that I'm in the kitchen less. Less time in the kitchen = fewer dishes to wash. Ugh, dishes. The bane of my existence. I know, first world problems, right? I should be thankful that I have enough food to create so many dirty dishes. Still, I hate doing them.

I've been making the "pot roast to die for" recipe from this cookbook for the past year. I love it. It's easy to fix and I usually craft the leftovers (if there are any) into a simple beef stew recipe.

Slow Cooked Beef Pot Roast with Tomatoes and Green Chiles closer

However, I wanted to try something different this time around. I ate shredded beef tacos recently and felt a hankering to replicate them at home. Chuck roasts have quite a bit of fat throughout the cut, which make them perfect for slow cooking and shredding. 

I had a pile of Hatch green chiles and a pint of heirloom cherry tomatoes on the counter, which led to this Southwestern variation on beef pot roast. 

I'm happy to report that when you shred the beef and put it back into the cooking liquid, it soaks up all the spices. The longer it sets, the better it tastes. If you decide to cut off a hunk of meat to eat it in a traditional "roast style", make sure to shred the leftovers and stick 'em back into the liquid for later.

Slow Cooked Beef Pot Roast with Tomatoes and Green Chiles shredded

Slow Cooked Beef Pot Roast with Tomatoes and Green Chiles
A beef chuck roast simply seasoned and seared, then combined and slow cooked with homemade beef stock, tomatoes, green chiles, onion, garlic, and spices. This results in a super tender pot roast with a hint of heat that's tasty in a variety of meals. 

1 tablespoon of cooking oil (I used grass-fed butter)
2 yellow onions, peeled and quartered
1 beef chuck roast (3-4 lbs) 
1 can (14 oz) of diced tomatoes OR 1 pint of fresh cherry tomatoes, quartered
2 (4 oz) cans of fire roasted green chiles OR 1 cup of freshly roasted Hatch chiles
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and diced
1 lime, juiced
2 teaspoons of chili powder
2 teaspoons of cumin powder
2 teaspoons of onion powder
2 teaspoons of garlic powder
Sea salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar (to finish, optional)

Recommended Equipment

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Stove Top Method
Heat up the cooking oil on medium heat in a heavy bottomed pan (like an enameled cast-iron French oven). Peel the onions and cut into quarters. Brown them in the pot for 5 minutes or so. Meanwhile, pull out the chuck roast and season all sides with sea salt and cracked black pepper (I used garlic powder, too). 

When the onions are golden and have started to brown a bit, pull them out of the pot, and add the chuck roast. Sear each side for 30 seconds to a minute, then remove from the pan. Pour in the beef stock and scrap the bottom of the pan to remove any beef bits. Peel and dice the garlic and cut the onions or chiles if using fresh ingredients. 

Stir the onions, tomatoes (including the juices), green chiles, and spices into the beef stock. Sea to taste with sea salt and black pepper. If you're using low sodium or unsalted beef stock you may need to add more. Cut a lime in half, squeeze in the juices, then place the chuck roast back in the pan. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer, cover with a lid and cook on low until the beef is extremely tender (falls apart easily with a fork). 

When it's ready, you can either leave the beef intact and serve it that way with the juices/broth or (this is what I did), remove it from the pan, shred it with two forks, then add it back to the juices. I let it sit for a few hours to absorb more of the flavor and stirred in a tablespoon of white wine vinegar so that it had a slight tang. 

Crock-Pot or Slow Cooker Method 
If you're using a crock-pot or slow cooker for this recipe, follow all browning instructions list above, then transfer the liquid/veggies/spices to the slow cooker and place the chuck roast on top. Cook on low for 8 hours, or until it is fall apart tender.  

Note & Tips
  • My three pound chuck roast took about six and half hours to cook on the stove top, but yours may take more or less time. If you're using the Dutch oven method, check it after 3-4 hours and go from there.

More Recipes From The Rising Spoon:

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I'd like to hear from YOU!

What's your favorite way to season and serve a slow cooked pot roast? 

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