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Chilied Pot Roast

Recipe for pot roast enhanced with chile powder, cumin and other spices

You can find this recipe at El Restaurante

Recipe adapted from James Beard's original recipe, courtesy of James Beard Foundation. Recipe photo and food styling by Judy Kim.

One 5-pound beef chuck roast, tied

3 cloves garlic, sliced

Kosher salt

Freshly cracked black pepper

3 T. all-purpose flour

3 T. beef suet or olive oil, divided

4 medium onions, sliced into ¼-in. thick half-moons

2 T. chile powder, or more, to taste

1 t. oregano

½ t. ground cumin

½ t. ground coriander

½ t. Tabasco

2 c. low-sodium beef broth

1 c. tomato sauce

¼ c. chopped cilantro or parsley

Polenta, hominy, or tortillas, for serving

 Preheat oven to 325°F.

     Cut several incisions in the meat and insert the sliced garlic. Season with 3 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper; rub evenly all over. Sprinkle and rub flour into meat, dusting off any excess.

     Melt 2 tablespoons beef suet or olive oil in a large braising pan over high heat and brown the meat well on all sides. Take care not to use a fork, but turn with the aid of two wooden spoons, a pair of spatulas, or tongs. When the meat is nicely colored, about 3 minutes per side, transfer to a plate. Wipe out any burnt bits from the pan and reduce heat to medium. Add 1 tablespoon beef suet or olive oil and the onions and sauté until they are just softened, about 5 minutes.

     Add chile powder, oregano, coriander, cumin, Tabasco, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon black pepper, sprinkling evenly about the pot, and cook in the fat until toasted and aromatic, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the broth, tomato sauce, and return meat with collected juices back to the pan; bring to a boil. Cover the pot and roast in oven until fork-tender or until the meat registers about 160°F internally, 2½  to 3 hours.

     When meat is tender and starting to fall apart, remove the butcher twine and place roast on a warm platter. Taste and correct the seasoning of the sauce, if needed. Spoon sauce over the roast. Garnish with cilantro or parsley. Serve with polenta, hominy, and tortillas.


El Restaurante

El Restaurante magazine was founded in 1997, and is read by over 25,000 owners and managers of Mexican and Latin restaurants in the United States. The magazine is published five times per year by Maiden Name Press, LLC in Chicago, Illinois.

El Restaurante also publishes a monthly e-newsletter, eMex, and maintains the popular website

El Restaurante is edited by Kathleen Furore, a veteran journalist. She has been the editor since the magazine was founded. Kathleen can be reached at 708-267-0023 or

For advertising information, please contact publisher Ed Avis at or 708-218-7755.


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