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Smokey, Spicy Chuck Roast

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After eating the pork roast I made last weekend, I felt inspired to make another roast.  Yes, it's summer time and really hot like the dickens.  Actually, this past week wasn't as bad as all the days remained under 110° F.  I was really praising God for cooler days and even one even got cool enough that I actually felt cold.  Brrrr.  But, this weekend is supposed to be in the 110° F range.  Boo hoo, but praise God for A/C.

This recipe comes from Sarah Fragoso of Everyday Paleo.

The Cleaner Plate Club: Raising Healthy Eaters One Meal at a Time is a book I borrowed from the library that has a lot of great recipes and one of them was making a chicken chili (can't remember the recipe, but I may have my version here in my blog somewhere where they used cocoa powder (unsweetened) in the chili.  Frankly, I thought this was an insane idea to put this in with chili.  Who wants to eat chocolate chili?  NOT ME!

The chicken chili turned out to be really the best chicken chili I ever made and ever since then, when I make ANY chili, whether beef, pork, chicken, I ALWAYS now add unsweetened cocoa powder.  In Sarah's recipe from Everyday Paleo, she also uses cocoa.  So, yay for her.  Though I did not follow the recipe exactly as she put down, I used nearly the same ingredients.  However, my roast was a 5.5 lb roast and I had to cut it twice to get it to fit into my large crockpot.  We are going to have us some serious beef for the week.

Okay, I did not take pictures of me browning the huge roast (cut into 3 pieces) nor did I take pictures of me rubbing, giving the chuck roast a massage. I'm in need of a deep tissue massage and her this roast gets a massage.  Hmmmph!

If you want to reduce the cooking time, you could half the time by setting your crockpot on high.  This roast could've cooked on high for about 5 hrs.  Crockpot recipes with huge pieces of meat are pretty forgiving if you even cook for a little too long (on low) and make sure you have enough liquid so it doesn't burn.  The beef is sooo tender and yummy, rich with flavor.  It's a huge hit with my kids.  Next time I want to make spicier so I will add some cayenne and jalapeño.  Love that my kids are loving spicier foods, which they did not when they were younger.

  • 1 chipotle pepper, ground (You can get whole dried chipotle peppers in some grocery stories and grind in a coffee grinder.  I get my peppers from a Latin supermarket.)
  • 2 Tbspns cinnamon
  • 2 Tbspns unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbspns garlic powder
  • 2 Tbspns oregano
  • 3 Tbspns ground cumin
  • 2 Tbspn sea salt
  • 5 1/2 lb chuck roast, cut so it can fit into crockpot
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 yellow onions, thick slices
  • 2 1/2 Tbspns bacon grease
  • 1 - 14 oz cans coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 lb red potatoes, diced
  • In a small bowl, mix all the spices together.
  • Heat large skillet to medium high heat.  
  • Add 1/2 Tbspn bacon grease.
  • Saute onions for a couple minutes to carmelize.  Remove and place in bottom of crockpot.
  • Add 1 Tbspn bacon grease to skillet and turn up heat to high.  Grease should almost be smoking.
  • Rub spice mixture with hands into roast on both sides.  Coat every part of the roast.
  • Add one piece of the roast at a time to the skillet.  Cooking on each side for 3-4 min. until seered brown.  Use tongs to turn meat.
  • Place each piece of meat into the crockpot when browned on both sides on top of the onions.  I had to cut my roast into 3 sections in order for it to fit into the crockpot.
  • Add the water.  It should NOT cover the roast, but maybe 3/4ths of the way.
  • Cover and cook for 12 hrs on low.
This is after 3-4 hrs of cooking.  See how the bone is strongly attached still?
This is after about 12 hrs of cooking on low - see how the bones is now detached?
Look how clean the bones are.  Wished I had some dogs to give these bones to.
The beef is now pulled apart
I added some red potatoes and coconut milk to cook for another 3 hrs on low
You can use the the shredded beef on flat bread, tortillas, in a salad, to stuff veggies . . . 
  • Most of, if not all the liquid should be gone.  Pull apart meat until it's all flaky.  It should be really tender and if you want to stop here, you can, but I wanted a bit more to this.
  • Add coconut milk.
  • Top with red potatoes.  If you want to make this paleo friendly, do not add the potatoes and use cauliflower instead.
  • Cover and cook for another 3-4 hrs on low.
  • This will make great shredded beef tacos this week!

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