My journey through a world of flavors for my pot roast continue today as I share with you this recipe for an Asian inspired pot roast. I have already enjoyed a Moroccan and Greek inspired dishes. For the Asian one my first thought was of course incorporating soy sauce and ginger, two things I think of when I think of Asian cuisine. Also for the startch I settled on using soba (buckwheat) noodles. They have more to offer nutritionally speaking that most noodles we eat in this country. Finally for the vegetable portion of the dish I wanted to use broccoli. Beef and broccoli is a classic combo you find in American Asian cuisine. The broccoli is pre-cooked and added when serving up the meal.

Ingredients
3-4 lb chuck roast
2 cups beef stock or broth
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 oz freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
canola or olive oil
1 lb broccoli, stemmed
9-10 oz soba (buckwheat noddles)

Instructions
The first thing you will want to do is brown the pot roast in a stainless skillet. You don’t want to use non-stick because you want some brown bites to be stuck to the bottom of the pan. Heat the pan up over medium-high heat with a bit of canola oil or olive oil in the bottom. In the mean time, liberally salt both sides of the chuck roast. When the pan just starts to smoke, place the beef in. Cook until you get a nice brown sear on one side, then flip and repeat. Remove the beef to a slow cooker. Add the chopped garlic, cook just to soften, don’t burn it. Then add the garlic to slow cooker. Now pour in about 1/2 cup of the beef stock and scrab all the brown bites off the bottom of the pan. I like using my tongs that have tongs with silicione edges. Add the liquid from the pan as well as the remaining stock to the slow cooker.

Add in the soy sauce, ginger, and cinnamon. It’s important to taste your cooking liquid. It needs to be really flavorful. So test it first and then add any salt, soy sauce, ginger, and/or pepper. Cook in your slow cooker for at least 4 hours.

Prepare the soba noodles
Bring a gallon of water to boil in a large pot. Salt the water so that is taste like the sea. Then add the soba, cooking until it’s no longer chewy in the middle about 3-5 minutes.

Final Prep
Once the soba is ready, it’s time to bring the whole dish together. Put some soba on a plate, put the meat on top, and stir in some broccoli. Add any additional (if you like) soy sauce or rice wine vinegar on top. Enjoy!

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In case you haven’t heard I am on a kick now with making internationally theme pot roasts. I am taking an American classic and infusing it with flavors from around the globe. My first attempt was a Moroccan style pot roast with chickpeas and couscous. That was a huge success. So I decided it was time to try another. This time I travel east down the Mediterranean to the country of Greece. A traditional dish in Greece is Youvetsi (pronounced yoo-VEH-tsee). It is a stew featuring either beef or lamb. The meat is cooked in a tomato sauce along with some orzo. I took that dish as my inspiration for my Greek pot roast.

For the tomato portion of this dish you have options. I used tomato paste the first time around. But next time I will try mixing in some leftover tomato sauce (I usually make it in large batches and freeze the leftovers). You could use diced tomatoes if you like. I just have never like chunks of tomatoes.

For the Orzo pasta, I used a whole wheat orzo. I know some people are put off by the whole wheat flavor, however in this dish it just compliments the beef flavor. So while I don’t use whole wheat pasta of any kind in mac & cheese, I perfectly fine with it here.

Ingredients
3-4 lb chuck roast
2 cups beef stock or broth
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic, chopped
canola or olive oil
3 medium carrots, peeled and cut on the bias
6 oz tomato paste, sauce, or diced tomatoes (whatever you have on hand)
1 teaspoon fresh Greek oregano, chopped
10 oz whole wheat Orzo pasta
feta cheese for serving

Instructions
The first thing you will want to do is brown the pot roast in a stainless skillet. You don’t want to use non-stick because you want some brown bites to be stuck to the bottom of the pan. Heat the pan up over medium-high heat with a bit of canola oil or olive oil in the bottom. In the mean time, liberally salt both sides of the chuck roast. When the pan just starts to smoke, place the beef in. Cook until you get a nice brown sear on one side, then flip and repeat. Remove the beef to a slow cooker. Add the chopped garlic, cook just to soften, don’t burn it. Then add the garlic to slow cooker. Now pour in about 1/2 cup of the beef stock and scrab all the brown bites off the bottom of the pan. I like using my tongs that have tongs with silicione edges. Add the liquid from the pan as well as the remaining stock to the slow cooker.

Add in the tomato sauce or paste, along with the chopped oregano. It’s important to taste your cooking liquid. It needs to be really flavorful. So test it first and then add any salt and/or pepper. Cook in your slow cooker for at least 4 hours.

I wait to about the last hour or hour and a half to add in my carrots. I want them to be cooked, but with more texture to them than baby food.

Prepare the orzo
Bring a gallon of water to boil in a large pot. Salt the water so that is taste like the sea. Then add the orzo, cooking until it’s no longer chewy in the middle about 7-9 minutes.

Final Prep
Once the orzo is ready, it’s time to bring the whole dish together. Put some orzo on a plate, put the meat on top. Sprinkle some feta cheese and a little bit more freshly chopped oregano. Enjoy!

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I am open to trying different things in my kitchen. I have wanted to give couscous a try for while now. In doing some research on it, I came across the idea of serving it with pot roast. Since couscous is popular in Morocco, I though it would be appropriate to create a Moroccan inspired pot roast, using ingredients found in Moroccan cooking. This idea spawn the idea of creating a series of international pot roasts, each representing a specific country. So of course I am starting with the nation that gave me the idea in the first place – Morocco.

The start point is with the couscous. It would serve as the starch for this meal (no potatoes needed!). I steamed the couscous following my favorite cook Alton Brown’s recipe. Next, I wanted to add another popular ingredient in Morocco – chickpeas (garbanzo beans). These I would cook by themselves and then add to the beef when ready. This would provide a nice creamy textural element along with some added nutrition. Next up to consider is the spices. Cinnamon, paprika, and cumin are all spices used commonly in Moroccan cuisine. I have never used cinnamon in a savory dish before, but I found that it really brought out the beefy flavor and you might not have known it was there, except for the cinnamon smell coming out of my kitchen. Finally to top it all of, I looked into what herbs are popular in Morocco, which lead me to choosing parsley.

Ingredients
3 lb chuck roast
2 cups beef stock or broth
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic, chopped
canola or olive oil
3 medium carrots, peeled and cut on the bias
chopped parsley

For the chickpeas
8 ounces chickpeas
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
water

For the couscous
2 cups couscous
kosher salt
1/2 cup cold water
cooking spray (canola or olive oil)

Instructions
The first thing you will want to do is brown the pot roast in a stainless skillet. You don’t want to use non-stick because you want some brown bites to be stuck to the bottom of the pan. Heat the pan up over medium-high heat with a bit of canola oil or olive oil in the bottom. In the mean time, liberally salt both sides of the chuck roast. When the pan just starts to smoke, place the beef in. Cook until you get a nice brown sear on one side, then flip and repeat. Remove the beef to a slow cooker. Add the chopped garlic, cook just to soften, don’t burn it. Then add the garlic to slow cooker. Now pour in about 1/2 cup of the beef stock and scrab all the brown bites off the bottom of the pan. I like using my tongs that have tongs with silicione edges. Add the liquid from the pan as well as the remaining stock to the slow cooker.

Now it’s time to add in your spices : cinnamon, cumin, and paprika, along with some grinds of black pepper. I like using whole cumin seeds that I grind in a spice/coffee grinder. I also like to taste a bit of the liquid at this point, to see if it needs any additional salt. I then set my slow cooker to the 4 hour setting.

As for adding the carrots, I like to add them about an hour before the meat is done, so they aren’t complete mush. But if you are going to be out and about feel free to add them now.

To prepare the chickpeas
Repeat after me, I will not buy canned chickpeas. They will never have the creamy, melt in your mouth texture that slow cooked dry chickpeas will have. If you have two slow cookers, you can cook the chickpeas at the same time you do the meat, as they take the exact same time – 4 hours. If not you can prepare them at an earlier time and refrigerate them.

To prepare them I use 8 ounces of dried chickpeas. I put them in the slow cooker and added plenty of water (somewhere around 5-6 cups. The chickpeas will need plenty of room to expand, so you want to keep them fully submerged. I also add in a little bit of baking soda about a 1/4 teaspoon. The alkaline that the baking soda will provide to the water will have soften the outer skin of the chickpea.

To prepare the couscous
For a fluffy couscous that isn’t gummy, trying steaming it, according to Alton Brown’s instructions.

To prepare the final dish
Once the meat and chickpeas are done, drain the chickpeas and add them to the slow cooker with the meat. You might not use all of them it’s up to your judgment, you can save any leftovers for another use later. The chickpeas will absorb a bit of the cooking liquid when added to the meat, enhancing their flavor. Break the meat up with a fork inside the slow cooker and scoop everything out and serve over couscous. Chop up some parsley to add some freshness and another little dimension of flavor.

Final thoughts
This pot roast is one of the best I ever made. The spices just really enhanced the flavor of the beef. The various texture in the dish were amazing. Overall, I seem to produce a lighter, more fresh tasting meal. I can’t wait to try the leftovers and to make this dish for some friends. I am definitely happy with what came out of my kitchen last night and am excited about trying other internationally themed pot roasts.

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I have made a lot of pot roasts over the years, but none like the one I made on Father’s Day. When I make pot roast I always buy a chuck roast (a 7 bone one if I can find one). And this time was no different, except the roast did not come from a cow, but from a bison. Bison cuts are pretty similar to beef. You have your ribeye, tenderloin, New York Strip, etc. Bison meat is leaner than beef. A chuck roast has a pretty decent amount of fat in it. This bison one didn’t have very many big pieces of fat in it and the roast was just as juicy, tender, and flavorful as any beef pot roast.

Ingredients
3-4 lb bison chuck roast
3 cups mushroom broth (3 teaspoons Better than Bouillon mushroom base dissolved in 3 cups of warm water) or 3 cups beef stock
2 stalks celery, cut into halves
1-2 carrots, peeled, cut into halves
1 medium onion (Vidalia if they are in season)
1-2 sprigs fresh rosemary
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
canola oil

Notes on Veggies
When I make pot roast, I don’t like to include potatoes at the start. I feel they just become water logged. I served some boiled small potatoes with the meal. I only include a couple carrots to add flavor. The onion was meant to add flavor as well so I just quartered it, halved those quarters, and toss them in.

Instructions
1. To start, sprinkle the roast liberally with kosher salt on both sides. This will help bring moisture and protein to the surface to help brown the meat. Before you place your roast in your slow cooker, take out a large frying pan. I recommend you not use a non-stick pan (more on that in a second)

2. Pour a little bit of canola oil (or vegetable) into the bottom of your pan, enough to coat it. Heat your pan up over high heat. Then place the roast into the pan. Cook until the meat is nicely browned, flip to do the other side. Remove the roast from the pan and into your slow cooker.

3. Now the reason I wanted you to use a pan that wasn’t non-stick, is I want to have some brown stuff stuck to the pan. I then take my mushroom broth and de-glaze then pan, by pouring a little bit of the broth in and scrabbing all of the brown stuff off the bottom. The brown stuff will add great flavor to your roast. I then pour the liquid from the pan and the rest of my broth into my slow cooker.

4. Now I add my celery, onion, carrots, and black pepper. Slap the lid on and set to cook anywhere from 6-10 hours. I choose 10, since I was going to be at the zoo all day.

You know your roast is done when it’s fork tender. If you wish you can make a gravy with the leftover liquid or just spoon it over your meat and potatoes or place it into some small bowls to dip in.

Check out these other pot roast related posts
5 Days with My Slow Cooker: Pot Roast
How To Make a Flavorful Pot Roast
Mushroom Base Pot Roast

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MushroomBasePotRoast

Before you begin I recommend you read my post on “How to Cook a Flavorful Pot Roast“.

For this recipe you will need the following ingredients:

7-bone chuck roast

canola oil

Better then Bouillon Mushroom Base (or any other mushroom soup base)

3-4 cloves of garlic

1 onion (your choice of type)

kosher salt

freshly ground cumin

flour, corn starch, or arrowroot (if you wish to make gravy)

A couple notes about these ingredients.

1.Better than Bouillon makes a wide range of soup bases. I use them all of time whenever a recipe calls for a broth. For this pot roast, I am using their mushroom base. You can use another brand if you want, but I think Better than Bouillon is better than the rest.

2. Buying whole cumin and grinding it yourself (check out my post on spice grinders) will provide you with the best flavor possible. Spices lose flavor over time, so who knows how long ago that pre-ground cumin was ground.

3. You may be wonder where are the carrots? Well I think if you cook the carrots along with the roast you just end up with carrot mush. But if you have to have the carrots, feel free to add as much as you want. I will cook my carrots separately.

To begin, I recommend using a 4-5 quart cast iron dutch oven. The best part about the dutch oven is that you will be able to brown the meat in it, cook the meat in it, and prepare gravy in it. That will save you some time doing dishes afterward.

First, you will want to season your meat. Liberally season your meat with kosher salt and cumin on both sides. Second, place a small amount of oil in the bottom of the dutch oven, just enough to cover the surface. Third, set your burner to it’s highest setting. Once it has heated up, place the roast in the dutch oven and let it cook for 4-5 minutes. Then flip over and let that side cook 4-5 minutes. Take your roast out and set it aside. You should have some nice brown color on each side.

BrownPotRoast

Now you will want to soften up your onion and garlic. Chop up your onion and garlic cloves and place them in the dutch oven (turn the burner down to medium) and cook them for a couple minutes, just to soften and bring out some flavor. Be very careful not to burn them as burning will only add bad flavors to your final dish. Remove them from the pot and set aside.

Set your oven to 200 degrees. Place the meat back in the dutch oven. Add enough water to come about half way up the pot roast and then add in your mushroom base (if you use an already made mushroom broth, then just pour that it until your half way up the roast). Add the garlic and onion on top of the roast.

CoveredPotRoast

Place the lid on your dutch oven and set it in the center of your oven. Let is cook for about 3 1/2 – 4 1/2 hours. You will know it’s done when it is fork tender.

Now if you wish to make a gravy, take your meat out of your dutch oven, set the dutch oven on a burner that is set to  high heat. In order to help the liquid thicken, you can use either corn starch, flour, or arrowroot. Just make sure you mix whatever you are using with some water first, so that you don’t end up with lumpy gravy. Cook your liquid until it thickens to your desire consistency.

For a side dish, mashed potatoes are the obvious choice (you have gravy ready to make for them). Read my post on how to make mashed potatoes.

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I'm Eric. I live in Ann Arbor, MI with my wife, 3 kids, and a flock of ducks. I love grocery shopping, trying new fruits, farmer's market, and traveling.
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