This pot roast brings together two good friends: beef and coffee. If you leave them together in a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven to hang out for a few hours along with a few of the usual suspects (and possibly an unusual suspect or two), you'll find they meld together to make a melt-in-your-mouth fall-apart-tender roast and a rich, dark gravy that's got nothing in common with your morning cup of joe.
Coffee-Braised Pot Roast
2 tbsp very finely ground coffee
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp ground ancho chili (or regular chili powder)
½ tbsp kosher salt
1 boneless rump roast (~3 ½ lbs)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 ½ cups brewed espresso or strong coffee
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 wide strips orange peel
1 tbsp chipotle-based hot sauce (optional)
In a small bowl, combine ground coffee, brown sugar, pepper, cinnamon, ancho chili and salt.
Using paper towels, pat roast dry. Rub on all sides with a generous amount of the coffee mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
Preheat oven to 275F.
In a large heavy-bottomed pot with a tight-fitting lid, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Sear the roast on all sides, ensuring you get a nice browned crust. Remove roast from pot and set aside.
Pour brewed coffee into the pot and bring to a simmer, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits left on the bottom. Return the roast to the pot, along with any accumulated juices. Add onions, garlic and orange peel.
Cover and transfer pot to preheated oven. Braise for about 4 hours, or until meat is very tender, turning the roast over every half-hour or so to ensure it cooks evenly.
Once done, transfer the roast to a serving platter, tenting with foil to keep warm. Remove and discard the orange peels.
Return pot to the stovetop. Using an immersion blender, puree the liquid that was left behind in the pot. Stir in chipotle sauce, if using.
Working over high heat, bring the sauce to a boil and reduce until it reaches desired thickness. How much you reduce is really up to you - if you're a thin sauce type of person, it may not need any reducing at all, while thick gravy types will probably want to reduce by about half. Check the seasoning, and add more salt and pepper as needed.
To serve, cut the roast into thin slices across the grain and top with a generous amount of gravy, making sure you save a little sauce to pour onto the mash if you're serving any.