Regular readers here know I’m from Texas. What you may not know is that I am part of the seventh generation of Texans on both sides of my family. Mom’s side is from San Antonio; Dad’s is from Austin. Dad used to joke that we were there before Texas was a republic, much less a state! So… Texican fits pretty well.
Now, all over the country, pot roast qualifies as Comfort Food. But of course, in the Southwest, we just have to do things differently. Real, honest-to-God Northerners are the same way, and we’ll get to Yankee Pot Roast soon, I promise. But first, let’s drawl, y’all!
The big difference here is that we’re going to use some tomatoes and some chili peppers. And some corn. And maybe even some beans. And depending on how you do it, it’s going to be anywhere from a little kick to surprise your friends to some serious spice that may well break a sweat on your forehead. Either way, you’re in for a treat that just might make you want to buy some boots and a big ol’ Manny Gamage hat.
2.5 to 3 lb. eye of round (or other) roast
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes with green chiles
1 can (10 oz.) diced green chiles
1 fairly large onion, very coarsely chopped
2 red bell peppers, coarsely chopped (optional)
1 – 2 tablespoons chili powder
1 to 3 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 can (15-16 oz.) pinto beans (drained)
1 can (15 oz.) black beans (drained)
1 can (15 oz.) corn (drained)
Jalapeno slices – as many as you can stand
2 beef bullion cubes
1/2 cup of water
Salt (to taste)
The roast in this recipe is a bottom round roast. As long as you carefully remove it from the slow cooker, you should be able to slice it similar to a “regular” roast beast… er, beef. Here in California and some other areas, tri-tip roast is a favorite. In Texas, a favorite is brisket, but honestly, we’ll use almost any excuse to cook up a brisket. Really, you can use pretty much any roast or other large cut of beef, but this recipe was originally a way to tenderize tougher (cheaper) cuts of meat. If you’re new at this, I’d suggest a bottom round roast, as called for in the recipe, but feel free to experiment over time to see which one you like best. Now, let’s go have some fun.
Trim fat from roast.
Heat large frying pan or skillet over medium heat. Add a bit of oil and heat until it shimmers.
Sear meat on ALL sides, starting with the larger ones. Use tongs to hold meat while searing the thinner/smaller sides. But sear them all! You’ll be glad you did.
When meat is done, place in slow cooker and turn cooker to LOW.
Chop the onion, then add to cooker. And I do mean COARSELY chop it. Some folks just cut the onion into six to eight wedges. I chop mine smaller, but not much!
If using the bell pepper, cut top off, then slice in half top to bottom. Remove seeds and ribs, then coarsely chop to match size of chopped onions. Add to the cooker.
In a medium bowl, combine tomatoes and green chiles, chili powder, cumin and garlic powder. Add to cooker.
Dissolve bullion cubes in 1/2 cup of hot water and add to cooker.
Add jalapeno slices (or other peppers)
Let the slow cooker do it’s magic for eight to ten hours. About a half an hour before serving, taste and adjust spices as necessary. Add salt and pepper if desired.
Now, go make some cornbread and set the table. This time around, go ahead and make a salad, since you don’t have any green vegetables in the recipe.
If you’re in a hurry, you can set the slow cooker to HIGH, in which case the roast will be done in about half the time.
As I’ve pointed out in other pot roast recipes, searing the roast before cooking seems to really add to the flavor. Especially if you want to slice this roast, instead of tearing into larger pieces, searing will not only keep the meat a bit juicier, it will make it easier to slice, which is a Very Good Thing.
Most of the time, I’ll use Ro*Tel® brand tomatoes and green chiles. One great thing is that they have at least three varieties: mild, original and habanero. Guess which one I picked. Use the ones that best fit your palette. Or your lady’s. If your ability to withstand heat is different from hers, go with her level. And if she likes it hotter than you, we really need to have a talk.
Feel free to try different beans in this recipe. However, the true Southwestern choices are pinto and black beans. Using others may be all right, but it’s also sort of like wearing sandals with a cowboy outfit. It just isn’t done in places where the law requires a good hat and pair of boots. Like, oh, I don’t know… Texas, perhaps? Also some parts of New Mexico and Arizona.
Cornbread is a must. Seriously. Don’t skip this, even if you do a box variety. Don’t make me deduct Manly Points on you, OK?
Grab your cowboy boots, and put on some jeans and a work shirt. Then, git to gittin’, as some of my Texican friends would say. And, of course:
Play with your food!
Did you like this recipe? What recipes would you like to learn? Leave me a comment and tell me your thoughts! (And don’t forget to LIKE this post!) Share it using the tiles below.