I heard the news that Floyd Cardoz had passed away from the Coronavirus this past week. He was the chef of Tabla in New York City, an expansive restaurant with modern American food with Indian flavors, no longer in business. I didn’t know Chef Cardoz personally, but I felt like I knew him through his cooking, and enjoying his two cookbooks – One Spice, Two Spice and Flavorwalla. His mad skills in the kitchen and expertise in combining some of the most fragrant spices, made me a better cook.
I created this recipe in his memory mostly, and because it’s just a great way to prepare a pot roast. Most of the spices used are probably things you already have in your pantry, but are sometimes forgotten, or underutilized. Turmeric, cardamon, cumin, cinnamon and black pepper make a delightful rub that turns beef into a masterpiece. However, Tamarind Paste, which you can find in some specialty stores and online, gives this spice combination personality, a taste that makes basic meat stand out.
Using your slow-cooker to prepare a pot roast is just simple, it will turn out perfectly without much work. Chuck Roasts are inexpensive and fatty in all the right areas, giving this cut of meat a tenderness that most expensive cuts endure. The trick to a good roast is to sear it all over, before you slow roast it, because the caramelization means flavor. Then, it’s just about adding spices and a handful of other pantry ingredients to the pot, and cooking low and slow for a few hours before slicing.
I like to serve my Pot Roast over potatoes, rice or polenta – all of which absorb the juices and meaty richness. You’ll probably have a few leftovers to either warm up for another meal, or transform them into a new creation – stay tuned for a leftover recipe. RIP Chef Cardoz.
3-4 pound chuck roast
2 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoons salt + more for roast
1 teaspoon black pepper + more for roast
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon cardamon
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon allspice
14 ounce diced tomatoes
2 cups beef or chicken broth
1 white onion, sliced
1/2 jalapeno or other chili pepper
2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled
1 cinnamon stick or 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons Tamarind paste
- Place Slow-Cooker insert or large pot on stove over medium-high heat. Sprinkle roast heavily on all sides with salt and pepper. Add 2 teaspoons oil to pot, after 2 minutes, add meat. Sear on all sides, until deep golden brown, about 8 minutes.
- In a small bowl, mix together onion powder, salt, pepper, cumin, cardamon, turmeric and allspice. Add spice mix to pot around edges of meat and stir for 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and broth, stir to combine with spices.
- Add onion, jalapeno, ginger, cinnamon stick and both pastes, stir to combine. Place insert into cooker, or pour contents of pot into slow-cooker.
- Cook on high for 4 1/2-5 hours, or until fork tender. Remove meat from pot and slice or shred. Ladle a few tablespoons of broth over meat. Enjoy!