I’m always looking for ways to infuse flavor into basic recipes. Pot roast is one of those traditional things that most of us have made several times over the years, but could use a transformational spin from time to time. I do like a classic version of pot roast, but sometimes it’s just nice to change things up with ingredients that you may have not paired with beef before.
Coconut water, lemongrass and anise seed are the infusers of flavor in this recipe, giving the broth a slight Vietnamese style. When I was a child, my Vietnamese girlfriend had me over her house often for dinner, and to spend the night. I remember how wonderful her grandmother’s cooking tasted, and that they were always trying to get me to eat with my right hand, but I was left-handed. Funny how some things stick with you from childhood, and this roast reminds me of some of the cooking I enjoyed as a kid.
This lovely chuck roast cooks up slowly in the juices and drinks up some of that goodness, and becomes a different beef roast than you’re probably used to, but not so different that you wouldn’t crave the preparation. The aromatics are outstanding, and keep the beef extra moist during cooking, leaving you a sliceable meat that is both tender and robust.
The slow-cooker makes a great vessel for this beef dish to cook in half a day’s time, and makes it super simple for cleanup. I served this roast with skin-on mashed red potatoes, but steamed rice or noodles would also go nicely. The leftovers are a whole different thing, so stay tuned for an easy preparation of a new recipe using shredded beef this week.
2 1/2-3 pound boneless chuck roast
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 heaping tablespoon chili paste, or hot sauce
1 lemongrass stalk, trimmed to 6-inches and cut in half
1 teaspoon anise seed
1 cinnamon stick
33 ounces coconut water, no sugar added
2 cups beef broth
4 carrots peeled and cut into thirds
2 tablespoons fish sauce
juice of 1 lime + more for serving
fresh cilantro, optional
oil for cooking
salt & pepper
- In a slow cooker insert, or large pot, add 2 teaspoons oil and place over medium-high heat. Sprinkle all sides of roast with salt and pepper. After 2 minutes, add roast to pot and brown on all sides, about 10 minutes. Remove and set aside.
- In same pot, add onions, garlic, and ginger over medium heat. Cook for 2 minutes, add tomato paste, chili paste, lemongrass stalk, anise seed and cinnamon stick, stir. Cook for 1 minute.
- Add coconut water, and beef broth, stir. Add roast back into pot and add carrots. Place in slow-cooker and set to low for 5 hours.
- When roast is done, remove from pot. Skim fat off top of broth, and place over medium heat on stove top to reduce for 5 minutes. Remove lemongrass stalks and add fish sauce and lime juice, stir.
- Slice meat and place on large serving platter or bowl, ladle hot broth over top of meat with carrots. Top with cilantro. Serve with lime wedges. Enjoy!