Take 10 minutes to throw this recipe for Coffee-Spiked Slow Cooker Beef Carnitas in the slow cooker in the morning and come home to endless possibilities for dinner.
We all have certain meals that we turn to time after time. Chicken soup when we’re sick or chocolate cake for a birthday celebration. A favorite meatless meal on Mondays or pizza on Fridays. A slow-cooked roast or hearty stew in winter.
So often I forget what a huge help my slow cooker can be when it comes to putting dinner on the table. This is particularly true in cooler months that call for hearty, comforting, and healthy fare that do so well in the slow cooker. It’s like having a kitchen assistant handling the bulk of the work for you!
I’m a big fan of braised beef and with this recipe I took a very liberal inspiration from Mexican Carnitas. I went with beef instead of pork, used a non-traditional spice mix (including a generous amount of smoked sweet paprika), and sent it over the top with a spike of coffee. I used coconut sugar (light brown sugar will also work) to balance out any bitterness from the coffee, and Swanson® Beef Cooking Stock provides a rich, full-bodied base with no artificial ingredients and no added MSG (and it’s also gluten-free!).
One of the great things about this recipe is that once the meat is braised, you can take dinner in any number of directions. You could go the classic route with tacos, or do a salad bowl (which is my preference), or a rice bowl. There are plenty of non-conventional things to do with this meat too; use it as an omelet filling, toss it with cooked pasta and cheese sauce for a Tex-Mex take on mac and cheese, stir it into fried or roasted cubed potato and onion for hash (serve with fried eggs!), or serve it on toasted buns with your favorite coleslaw and a drizzle of BBQ sauce.
I’d even go as far to say that you could eat this every night for a week and have a different meal each night. With so many uses, what better to become a slow cooker staple in your kitchen, right?
I love new inspiration, so share with us! How would you serve up this dish?
- 2 teaspoons smoked sweet paprika
- 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
- 1½ teaspoons ground coriander
- 1½ teaspoons coarse kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon paprika (use sweet if you like a mild spice level or hot for a spicy kick)
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons organic ground coffee
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar (or light brown sugar, lightly packed)
- 1 (2½ lbs/1.13 kg) beef chuck roast
- 2 medium-large yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced
- 1¼ cups (300 ml) Swanson® Beef Cooking Stock
- Greens (I used baby kale)
- Chopped tomato
- Sliced avocado
- Chopped red onion
- Fresh cilantro leaves
- Mix together the smoked sweet paprika, cumin, coriander, salt, thyme, paprika, black pepper, coffee, and coconut sugar in a medium bowl.
- Place the roast in the bottom of the slow cooker and sprinkle the spice mix on top (use the entire amount of the spice mixture). Add the onions on the top and sides of the meat, and then pour in the Swanson® Beef Cooking Stock.
- Cover the slow cooker and cook on LOW for 8 hours, or until the meat is tender enough to pull apart easily with 2 forks. (Avoid the temptation to open the slow cooker while it cooks.)
- Pull the meat apart with 2 forks and serve any way you like (such as tacos, salad bowls, rice bowls, etc.).
Disclosure: I’m thrilled to partner with Swanson® as a brand ambassador. I received the Swanson® products that I used in this recipe for free, and I also received compensation for this post. I am happy for the opportunity to share brands that I believe in with my readers, and I hope you enjoy my recipe. As always, opinions stated are my own.