vegetarians & meat-eaters CAN live together. deliciously!

Slow-Cooker Coffee-Braised Pot Roast

I’m convinced the reason why my guy’s so happy to eat so many purely vegetarian meals is because I throw him a bone now and then. Kind of literally – sometimes, dinner is centered around a dish that’s alllll meat. I’m content with a couple of yummy side dishes, my guy feels spoiled, all is right with the world.

I always say the Crock Pot is ideal for the vegetarian who occasionally cooks meat, because generally you have to do very little with the meat. Sometimes a quick browning, then plop it in the slow cooker and a few hours later, it’s done, delicious, and the carnivores are content, and most of the process was nice and hands-off.

This incredibly easy recipe was inspired by this one for coffee-braised short ribs. Coffee and beef, you ask? You bet! The coffee adds a rich, deep flavor that goes perfectly with the tender, moist chuck roast. Chili powder and cayenne pepper add some nice heat; onion, garlic, oregano, and white wine add dimension and even the whole thing out. Note: I asked my guy to describe the flavor exactly and he responded, “It’s tasty? And I wanted more?”

I guess that’s a hearty enough endorsement.

It’s perfect served over creamy polenta, but it would be equally delicious over mashed potatoes, alongside some new red potatoes, or with a pile of buttered egg noodles.


[box type="info"] Tip for the vegetarians: If you’re serving this over polenta, make some extra for yourself. Then saute some simple white mushrooms to pour over the top and, I swear, it’s satisfying, hearty vegetarian nirvana. Mushrooms and polenta are a match made in heaven.

Print Recipe

Slow-Cooker Coffee-Braised Pot Roast

Coffee adds a rich, deep flavor that goes perfectly with the tender, moist chuck roast. Chili powder and cayenne pepper add some nice heat; onion, garlic, oregano, and white wine add delicious dimension and even the whole thing out. Serve over creamy polenta for a satisfying meal.

Yield: 4-6 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours 30 mins

Total Time: 8 hours 50 minutes


  • 1 3-pound beef chuck roast
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine (I like Sauvignon Blanc or Semillon for this recipe)
  • 3/4 cup strong brewed coffee
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano


  1. Warm the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the roast with plenty of salt and freshly ground black pepper, then add the roast to the pan, searing each side for a couple of minutes until it's nice and browned on every side. Transfer the roast to the Crock Pot.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium, and add the white wine and coffee. Stir with a whisk, getting all of the brown bits up off of the bottom, and bring to a boil, then simmer until the sauce is reduced by about one fourth.
  3. Sprinkle the onion, garlic, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and oregano over the roast, then pour the coffee and wine mixture over the top.
  4. Cook on low for 8 hours.
  5. Skim the fat off of the top of the sauce with a spoon and discard.
  6. Leave the roast in the pot and using two forks, shred the meat and stir. Cook on low for another 30 minutes and serve with creamy polenta, potatoes, or buttered noodles.

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5 Responses to “Slow-Cooker Coffee-Braised Pot Roast”

  1. meghan boyd posted on June 19, 2012 at 10:42 am

    I made this last weekend and it was delicious! It was super easy and the house smelled great. We had it with cheese grits and sauteed kale. I will definitely make this again. Thanks for sharing the recipe – look forward to more yummy meals.

  2. Pingback: Creamy Parmesan Sour Cream Polenta | Kitchen Treaty

  3. Jeff posted on November 20, 2012 at 10:09 am

    Best Pot Roast ever!

    • Kare replied on November 20th, 2012 on 10:12 am

      Glad you like it!

    • Kare replied on November 20th, 2012 on 10:46 am

      Really glad you like it!

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