There are days when you just feel like good old-fashioned comfort food, especially right before summer starts when the weather has not quite turned into outdoor grilling season. A seared roast that becomes fork tender over the course of several hours seems to be a heart-warming favorite, and the tangy sauce the meat cooks in, makes it stand-out from any other food you may crave.
The word barbecue has several special meanings to Americans. For starters, it’s either chicken, beef or pork, produced on an outdoor grill or smoker, or it could be a tomato based sauce with a slightly smoky tang. In this recipe, I am talking about the latter, an incredible sauce that is fragrant with the right balance of flavor, but still slightly makes your mouth water.
Chuck Roasts are not expensive and they are the perfect candidate for barbecue beef. The marbled meat breaks down beautifully in a handful of hours, and enriches the sauce into a fragrant deep burgundy. After cooking, the roast beef become meaty shredded strands that easily pile high on a soft buttery bun, or can be served on top of polenta, mashed potatoes or sauteed spinach. I opted for the bun route for my family, but the leftovers are going to be enjoyed in one of the other ways.
3 1/2 pound Chuck Roast
1 large onion, diced
4 ounces Pancetta, diced
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup brewed coffee
1 cup ketchup
2 tablespoon ground mustard
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
salt & pepper
- Sprinkle beef roast heavily with salt and pepper on all sides. In a slow-cooker insert or large pot, add 1 tablespoon oil and place over medium-high heat. Add beef and sear on all sides, about 10 minutes. Remove from pot and set aside.
- Add onions and pancetta to pot and saute for 4 minutes. Add chili powder, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, brown sugar, 1 tablespoon salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper, stir. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Deglaze or add coffee and stir to incorporate any bits from bottom of pan. Add ketchup, mustard and vinegar, stir to combine. Cook until lightly bubbling and add beef back into pot. Turn off heat and place insert inside slow-cooker, or pour into slow-cooker. Spoon sauce over top of beef and set to high for 7 hours.
- When beef is done, shred with tongs and stir into sauce. Spoon inside soft-buns or over your favorite side dish. Enjoy!