Slow Cooker Mocha-Rubbed Pot Roast Recipe

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Slow cooker mocha-rubbed pot roast is on the menu with this recipe. What’s not to love already?

Slow Cooker Mocha-Rubbed Pot Roast is dusted with a delicious spice mixture, then cooked slowly so it's fall-apart tender. | StupidEasyPaleo.com

You’re probably thinking, “Coffee? Pot roast? What?!” but rest assured that it’s not like downing a cup of joe. The coffee adds a subtle depth of flavor to this Slow Cooker Mocha-Rubbed Pot Roast that the spices alone can’t achieve.

The end result was very tender meat and a flavorful sauce.

All About This Coffee-Rubbed Beef Roast

Coffee is well-loved as an ingredient for steak rubs because it complements the beef’s flavor without overwhelming it. I decided to apply that concept to this recipe and include coffee in two places: the rub for the roast and the braising liquid.

If you can’t have caffeine, you can certainly substitute a decaf coffee instead.

The result is a depth of flavor that’s hard to achieve without the earthy notes of the coffee. I took it up one level by adding cocoa powder to complement the coffee.

Of course, cocoa and coffee are known for their bitter undertones, so I added the figs for a hint of sweetness and the balsamic vinegar for a touch of acidity. (A great tasting dish is all about balancing flavors, you see.)

What is the Difference Between Cacao and Cocoa Powder?

You can also use cacao instead of cocoa. What’s the difference? Cacao is cold-pressed from the cocoa bean and so is a raw product. That means it retains its antioxidants and enzymes. Cocoa is what you get once the bean has been roasted.

If you do opt for cocoa, see if you can find a Dutch-process cocoa powder. It should have a deeper, richer chocolate flavor than other types of cocoa powder.

I’ve made this recipe with both cacao and cocoa. Both yield a good result, and cocoa powder is usually much easier to find in traditional supermarkets.

The Best Cut of Meat for Slow Cooking

For best results, be sure to select a roast that’s not too lean. You want some fat marbled through the meat to keep it from drying out. If you’re not sure, talk to your butcher and get some advice for choosing the right roast for this dish.

Chuck roast should do the trick, and it’s widely available. Plus, it tends to be more affordable than other roasts.

Slow Cooker Mocha-Rubbed Pot Roast is dusted with a delicious spice mixture, then cooked slowly so it's fall-apart tender. | StupidEasyPaleo.com

If you have time, I highly recommend taking the liquid from the crock pot and reducing it down by boiling until it becomes thicker. It’s nice to drizzle on top of the Slow Cooker Mocha-Rubbed Pot Roast, almost like a gravy.

Of course, if you’re in a rush, you can skip that step. If you need to feed a crowd, this recipe can be easily doubled.

Don’t stress if you can’t find black figs; any type of dried figs will work. Or, try dried dates. They have a caramel flavor that would pair well with the beef.

What Can You Serve This Slow Cooker Mocha-Rubbed Pot Roast With?

How about:

Of course, these are just a few suggestions. Dive over to the Recipe Index to see more options if none of those suits you!

Slow Cooker Mocha-Rubbed Pot Roast is dusted with a delicious spice mixture, then cooked slowly so it's fall-apart tender. | StupidEasyPaleo.com

Slow Cooker Mocha-Rubbed Pot Roast Recipe

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Beef, Crock Pot, Gluten-Free, Paleo, Whole30
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 316 kcal
Author: Steph Gaudreau

Slow Cooker Mocha-Rubbed Pot Roast is dusted with a delicious spice mixture, then cooked slowly so it's fall-apart tender.

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Ingredients

For the Mocha Rub (you will have extra)

  • 2 tbsp finely ground coffee beans
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp Aleppo pepper or sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp sea salt

For the Roast

  • 2 lb beef roast I used grass-fed chuck
  • 1 cup brewed coffee
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 an onion chopped
  • 6 dried figs chopped
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Instructions

  1. Prepare the mocha rub by mixing together the finely ground coffee, smoked paprika, black pepper, cocoa powder, Aleppo pepper (sub: sweet paprika), chili powder, ground ginger and salt in a small bowl. You won’t use the entire batch if you’re making a 2-pound roast. It stores well in an airtight container.
  2. Pat the beef roast dry with a paper towel. Spoon 3 to 4 tablespoons of the mocha rub mixture over the roast and rub it in well with your hands.
  3. Combine the brewed coffee, beef broth, onion, figs, and balsamic vinegar in a blender. Puree until liquified.
  4. Pour the liquid into the crock pot and place the roast gently on top.
  5. Cook for 5 to 6 hours on low.
  6. Remove the meat and shred with two forks. You can then boil the liquid until it reduces and thickens or simply serve as is. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe Notes

For an Instant Pot adaptation, click here.

Nutrition Facts
Slow Cooker Mocha-Rubbed Pot Roast Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 316 Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 28%
Saturated Fat 7g 35%
Cholesterol 104mg 35%
Sodium 677mg 28%
Potassium 701mg 20%
Total Carbohydrates 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 5g
Protein 30g 60%
Vitamin A 28%
Calcium 5.3%
Iron 24.1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Slow Cooker Mocha-Rubbed Pot Roast is dusted with a delicious spice mixture, then cooked slowly so it's fall-apart tender. | StupidEasyPaleo.com

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