Pot Roast with Coffee and Whiskey

August 17, 2016
4 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • Serves 6 to 8
Author Notes

This low-and-slow oven braise results in an ultra tender roast. Serve with crusty bread, if you like, for soaking up all those aromatic juices. —Paula Disbrowe

What You'll Need
  • 1 1 bone-in Chuck Roast (about 4 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 1 head garlic, cloves peeled
  • 1-3 serrano chiles (as desired for heat)
  • 1-2 cups beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups canned San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup whiskey
  • 2-4 fresh bay leaves, torn
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and sliced into 4-inch lengths
  • 1 pound potatoes (Yukon gold or fingerling), sliced into 2-inch chunks or halved
  1. An hour before you plan to cook, take the beef out of the fridge. Combine the salt, pepper, cumin, thyme and rosemary in a bowl; massage the spicy mixture evenly over the roast.
  2. While the meat comes to room temperature, assemble the other ingredients. Slice each onion into 8 wedges and peel and crush the garlic cloves. Slice each Serrano from just below the stem to the tip (so it is split but stays intact). In a large measuring cup, whisk together the beef broth, instant espresso, and paprika until blended.
  3. Preheat oven to 325°F. When you’re ready to cook, heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When the pan is very hot but not smoking, add the roast and cook until it is crusty and rich, deep brown on all sides. Transfer meat to a plate, lower the heat to medium and add the onions, garlic, and chiles. Cook, stirring, until coated with the beef fat and the onions has softened. Add the broth mixture, tomatoes, whiskey, and bay leaves, stirring up any browned bits. Return the roast to the pan and nestle into the liquid. Cover the pot and place in the oven. Roast for 1 hour, then carefully turn roast over and return to oven for another hour.
  4. Remove pot from oven, tuck the carrots around the meat, cover, and cook for a final hour, or until the vegetables are tender. Remove the pot from the oven and allow the meat to rest, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes or up to one hour.
  5. To serve, use a fork and tongs to remove pieces of the meat (it will be very tender) to plates. Surround with vegetables and a generous portion of the juice.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • arhoad
  • Paula Disbrowe
    Paula Disbrowe
  • Fran McGinty
    Fran McGinty
  • chef lew
    chef lew
Paula Disbrowe writes frequently about Food and Travel. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her bread baker husband David Norman, two children, and menagerie of retired ranch animals.

11 Reviews

arhoad February 5, 2021
This was amazing! Couple of things - ingredients do not mention thyme, but it is referenced in the directions - I used a heaping tsp or so. Also - it does not direct you to salt the onion mixture or the carrots and potato. If you don't - you will have to add at the end. I also added a cornstarch slurry immediately after the 3 hours to thicken up the sauce - would highly recommend. Next time I make this - I will skip the cut potatoes and make mashed. I had some leftover mashed and this was so good on that!
Paula D. February 5, 2021
Hello! I'm so glad you enjoyed this recipe. You made the right call on the thyme - sometimes I also add 2-3 fresh sprigs with the onions and then remove stems at the end of cooking (the leaves fall off during the braise). Onions stay in the pot when you add the beef etc. Carrots and potatoes are added during the last hour of cooking.

Mashed potatoes would be great with the flavorful juices!
chef L. September 15, 2019
Made this last night and it's certainly good enough to enter my roast beef rotation. I used five peppers and extra black pepper, because we like our dishes spice laden. Regardless, all the flavors come together very nicely and the kitchen smells wonderful. Just make sure to brown the roast well so there's a thick dark bark on it.
Fantastic recipe.
Sarah September 11, 2017
Made this last night, and it was delicious!!
Paula D. September 11, 2017
That's great!
Andreas June 6, 2017
How can this be cooked in a crock pot all day instead of an oven?
lynx60489 September 29, 2016
Writing as I dig into the pot roast I made last night. Delicious and the recipe was very easy to follow!

I didn't have instant espresso, but instant coffee worked well. I also subbed chicken for beef broth as that is what I had on hand. The meat is really tender and flavorful as are the broth and vegetables.

I am glad that I made this last night as there was a good amount of hardened fat that I skimmed off before eating. I will definitely be making this one again!
Paula D. September 29, 2016
So glad you enjoyed the recipe, leftovers are the best!
Paula D. September 20, 2016
Hi there and thanks for checking--the oven should be 325 degrees. I hope you enjoy the roast!
Fran M. September 19, 2016
Is the oven temp about 200* ?
margaret G. September 19, 2016
What temp on the oven?