Beef, Dinner, Food, Recipes

Smokey Roast

A nice beef roast is something I crave in the fall or winter months but I had a big ol’ grass fed chuck roast that was asking to be made; so I made it.  I wanted to try something different then the standard roast in the oven or slow cooker so after being inspired by watching a recent Food Network show called Chopped, when one of the contestants rolled a giant elk tenderloin in a coffee spice mixture, I decided to make my own version and try it on our roast.  The results?  So good, beyond description really, you’ll just have to try it for yourself and let me know what you think!

Smokey Roast

Coffee Spice Rub

2 tablespoons coffee grounds

½ teaspoon ground chipotle

1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

½ tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon cumin

1 teaspoon sea salt

Mix all spice rub ingredients together and set aside.


½ tablespoon coconut oil (I tried out a new brand of coconut oil called Kelapo and it’s very tasty, mild, and down right delicious!)

2.5 lb beef chuck roast

1 red onion, halved and sliced

¾ cup water

Heat your coconut oil in a skillet over medium to medium high heat, make sure your pan is nice and hot!  Take the spice rub mixture and rub the entire amount into and all over the roast – really rub it in, do not just brush it on!.  Using tongs, place the roast into the hot skillet and sear for 3-4 minutes on each side.  If your pan is not hot enough you will lose your spices, but if it’s too hot, you will burn your roast.  You want it to make a nice crust on both sides of the meat.  Place your sliced onions in the bottom of a slow cooker. Once the roast has been seared, put the roast in the slow cooker on top of the onions. Add the water, cover and cook on high for 5-6 hours or on low for 7-8 hours.  Serves 6.


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Sarah Fragoso

Sarah Fragoso is an international best selling author of 6 books, co-owner of the Chico, CA based gym JS Strength and Conditioning, and founder of the Everyday Paleo franchise. Sarah is the co-host of the popular Sarah and Dr. Brooke Show podcast and she also conducts workshops and retreats on the subjects of nutrition, lifestyle and fitness.

Her message is from the heart and she carries a genuine desire to help other families looking for guidance. These attributes have contributed to her successes and provide the drive to keep the discoveries coming.

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  1. Adam Landry says:

    That looks delicious! Might have to give this one a try this week.

  2. I’ll let you know what I think just as soon as I make it! It looks so tender and flavorful. Good things I’m full right now or I couldn’t stand to look.

  3. Carmen says:

    I saw that episode! Sounds so yummy, will have to try! I was inspired by your curry meatballs the other day & made a different version.

  4. Ashley says:

    Does this have a coffee flavor after cooked or does it just add depth to the meat? I love coffee but my husband (very unfortunately) HATES it… so I wouldn’t want to cook our protein for the night in coffee and have him choke it down instead of enjoy it! 🙂

    1. Sarah says:

      The combo of the chipotle and the coffee give it depth of flavor and a yummy smokey taste, not at all like a cup of coffee would taste. My kids gobbled it up if that’s any consolation! LOL!!

      1. Paula Brown says:

        I can’t wait to try this. When I used to make baked beans, coffee was my secret ingredient, and I don’t like coffee, either.

  5. Tony says:

    This may be a stupid question, but here goes…when you say “coffee grounds” do you mean fresh ground coffee or the product after brewing (which is what I consider coffee grounds)?
    Thanks for a great website!

    1. Sarah says:

      Fresh ground coffee! Not a stupid question, I should be more clear! : )

      1. Tony says:

        Good! That what I hoped you meant!
        Cookbook is on the way…ready to enjoy.

        1. Tony…thanks so much for asking this question! I had it too and was searching first through the comments just in case I wasn’t alone in wondering.

          1. Laura says:


      2. Tony says:

        Used this recipe for a bison roast…outstanding! A new favorite.

        1. Banana says:

          That’s my plan tomorrow- thx!. Serving w/ garlic smashed cauliflower and greens (salad or smoothie/ juice)

      3. Christine says:

        Thank you!! I was wondering the same thing!! But went with fresh!! lol Whew!!

      4. Wish I’d looked through the comment first..I went with coffee grounds, not ground coffee. Oh well…hope it taste good! Ha!

      5. I’m glad you said that. I was just about to go and measure the leftover grounds from our breakfast coffee.

      6. Tonya says:

        Ha ha ha still not clear or I’m really tired…. Liquid as freshly brewed or freshly grinded. Was considering using a k-cup, but unsure if it’s dry or wet.

        1. Use freshly ground coffee – not yet used, just the grounds like you would use before you actually brew the coffee! 🙂

  6. Dang, I wasn’t really looking forward to the chuck roast I took out of the freezer this morning, but this recipe has completely changed my outlook. I’m suddenly excited about pot roast!

  7. Laura says:

    Bring on the slow cooker recipes for the summer! Can’t wait to try this one. Thanks.

  8. Kirk says:

    I have what isn’t probably a unique problem, but it sure is for me!!
    Paying $14.99 per 1 lb. bag of almond meal/flour, which IMHO is highway robbery.
    Is flaxseed meal considered paleo? It’s a whole lot cheaper!

    1. Make your own by buying some raw almonds and grinding them.

    2. Sarah says:

      You can also order online: I have never bought this brand but less expensive. I also make my own with raw almonds like Dain suggested in the food processor or if you have a Trader Joe’s it’s only 3.99 a bag.

      1. nikki Nelson says:

        I miss having a Trader Joe’s around, 3.99 would be great, I pay about 12 for 10 oz i believe, its rough 🙂 but worth it in the long run. When we finish school I hope we end up somewhere with cheaper health food stores!

        1. Tiffany says:

          Go to the Honeyville Grain website, sign up for the email, and wait for the 10% off coupon to come in your email. You can get it for as cheap as $4.80 a pound in bulk.

  9. Yvette says:

    Are the coffee grounds ground really fine? Like expresso consistency?

    1. Sarah says:

      Nope, just regular grind.

  10. Barbara says:

    This looks fabulous! I thought I had the perfect coffee/roast recipe but I’m giving yours a try next time. The coffee just adds a savory flavor–not coffee tasting at all. I think it must also tenderize the meat somewhat. I included the link for the one I usually make although I’m not sure how the cornstarch fits into Paleo. What else would you use to thicken the gravy? Thanks for another great recipe!

  11. James Orr says:

    That sounds great! I just smoked a pork tenderloin with coffee rub this past Tuesday. It left some to be desired. I’d like to try this rub next time.

  12. Jen Sanchez says:

    I can’t wait to try this out when I get my beef in a couple of weeks!!

  13. Jeannette says:

    Couldn’t figure out where else to post this comment so am posting here. The pork tenderloin with dried cherries from your “Everyday Paleo Cookbook” is fantastic. I am almost 63 yrs old & have never eaten pork with cherries before. I have been missing out! This recipe was so simple, yet so delicious! Thanks, Sarah!

    1. Sarah says:

      So glad you liked the pork tenderloin! : )

  14. Alison W. says:

    I made this recipie yesterday with an Eye of the Round roast. I substituted chili powder for the chipoltle seasoning and used yellow onions. This one is a keeper! We love it!

    1. Nancy says:

      Good to know, as mine has been cooking overnight in the slow cooker and I subbed in smoked paprika and a bit of cayenne as my kiddo can’t handle the heat of chipotle. Nice to know that minor recipe substitutions work well.

  15. Becky says:

    I am eager to try this as well. I live in Fl and am fortunate enough to have a solar oven that acts like a slow cooker which I use as often as I can. This looks like it will be my next recipe! Yeah!

    Do you think this rub would be good on grilled hamburgers as well?

    I already am enjoying my Everyday Paleo book so was super happy to find your book stocked in our local Barnes and Noble! It felt like a personal victory!!! LOL At least we are on your team.


    1. Sarah says:

      I think this rub would be GREAT on hamburgers! If you try it, let me know what you think!

  16. I love it! I would like to see this done over a slow flame one day. Not everyday, but for a special occasion, this would be the sh*t!

    1. Sarah says:


  17. Janet NZ says:

    This looks and sounds delicious. We’ve just bought a quarter of a beef beastie – the freezer is packed solid with beef! I will certainly be making this – thanks!

  18. Courtney says:

    I made this for dinner tonight! Oh My!! It was so good. Im adding this one to my collection. Been paleo for 2 months now and your website has really helped me find and make great delicious meals. Thank you!!!

  19. This looks so good! Can’t wait to make it next week 🙂

  20. Laura Howell says:

    Sometimes? The Paleo food that I cook (and 90% of the stuff I cook comes from Everyday Paleo, web and book)? Leaves me speechless. This roast was one of them. It was amazing. By hour 5, I was drooling over the smell. Loved it.

  21. Gail says:

    Looks delicious. I’ll have to try this one out too! I tried your rubbed chicken recipe from your book — and it was awesome. I did not have 5/6 hours so I just cooked it for 1/2 hours in oven and it was still awesome.

    1. Thanks for the no-crockpot version. I don’t have time for the recipe above and was worried about cooking it “normally”. I’m off to prepare the rub.

  22. Lindsay says:

    Is searing the meat first a must? I don’t have any cast iron cookware….I know I know I need to get one.

    1. Sarah says:

      It’s not a must but you can sear your meat in any sort of pan that you have, it doesn’t have to be cast iron! Searing it is great because it really locks in the flavors. : )

  23. Becky says:

    We made this tonight for a late dinner after finishing up a Crossfit workout. It was yummy! We paired it with your roasted root veggie recipe, it was a super delicious combo! We all ate it up! Thanks again for the wonderful dinner ideas! Have you by chance every tried to make a paleo carrot cake? Just wondering. 🙂

    1. Sarah says:

      Not yet! But I have made my apple muffins with shredded carrots and raisins instead of apple and they were really good…

  24. Pam Walters says:

    I made this for dinner last night. In a word: fantastic! The coffee and cocoa give it a wonderful depth of flavor without being overpowering. I cannot wait until lunchtime to indulge in some leftovers. This one gets filed in the category of “Make again. Often.”

  25. Ok. That looks amazing… Just read about your probiotic pot and I am glad this was up next in my reader.

    1. Sarah says:

      “Probiotic Pot” made me laugh…. : )

  26. KLNobles says:

    I had a buffalo chuck roast to use for this. I put vidalia onions in instead of red, but followed the recipe the rest of the way. However, I used the pressure cooker, as I didn’t start until after work, and 8 hours was way too long to wait! The house smells wonderful. Served with spaghetti squash and a big salad!

  27. Jessica says:

    Any advice on how to modify the cooking time for a cast iron Dutch oven?

  28. Elizabeth says:

    Yum! I have this cooking in the crock pot right now–with ELK! I was looking for something to do with this elk meat that I bought from a natural meat store, and I was happy to see this, as Sarah said that she was inspired by a recipe where this rub was used on Elk tenderloin.

  29. Jennifer says:

    Glad to see you highlight Penzeys Spices. They are awesome! I use all their spices.

  30. Nice recipe! I’ve actually been using a coffee/cinnamon based rub similar to yours for a couple months now and only use it on beef roasts in the crock pot and when I roast a whole chicken in the oven, which I just started trying a few weeks ago (w/ the chicken). Talk about a pretty amazing flavor that it gives to the meat! Id say the most important part of this recipe is the searing of the meat before you put it in the slow cooker. I usually just throw some garlic cloves in with the roast and didnt even think of using onions!

  31. lalabomba says:

    I am going to try this with beef heart 🙂

    1. lalabomba says:

      I made it! Though I keep wanting to add diced tomatoes to it, or an organic salsa. It tasted amazing but I guess my personal preferrance calls for some sort of acid (hence the tomatoes).

  32. Shaun K says:

    I’ve done pulled pork with a similar rub, and it has always turned out great. I’ve never thought to do it with beef.

  33. Shannah says:

    Made this yesterday and my 5 year old could NOT get enough. His response while eating was, “Mmmmm. MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM. Mommy, this is AWESOME! Can you put it in my lunch for tomorrow?” He was annoyed and when I told him I couldn’t pack it in his lunch because I couldn’t keep it cold. Will definitely stay in my repertoire.

    1. lauriegsmith says:

      Cornstarch is NOT paleo, but there are a few great thickners around…arrowroot works but cannot be over cooked or re cooked to much or it loses its thickening power, cauliflower well steamed and put in the blender with the roast juices, and or meat oils, and or chix or beef broths can be adjusted to any consistancy except extra thick ( the blender wont blend)…corn as youknow, is sugar and 90% is genetically modified but you knew that Im sure. Lots of these paleo recipies have you blend the onions and veggies you added in the slowcooker with the meat juices…and that in itself is thick n gravy like as opposed to just the juices from the meat…AND delicious beyond belief if seasoned…Yummmy! L.

    2. lauriegsmith says:

      Wow… I would not hesitate to put the meat in the lunchbox for a few hours till lunchtime…and if its a concern (like Phoenix) one can add a frozen waterbottle or the like (commercial cooler paks) to keep cool. Humans have been leaving food out for a bit of time without dying for centuries…they used their noses and their memories of the history of that particular meats “out” time and many …too many!…of us survived….As a busdriver I am appalled to see what kids bring (and forget) on the bus each day….wheat, corn, dairy and sugar all day long….It is a rare day thatI find a box with carrot/celery/cucumber stix in it…like never….. and rarely meats….the only meats are the processed types that people feel are “safe”….Our roomie from Germany left his food out all night every night to avoid doin those dishes and he ate the left overs for a day or two often throwing out on the third day….Its a european thing we were told….I would never be as casual as he was but I am always surprised that USA peops are so concerned with a couple hours or a day on the countertop….There was a time…when people did not have refridgeration or even an “ice box”……good sense prevailed and food was too valuable to just throw out carelessly…..just some thought to ponder….L.

      1. Nancy says:

        We’ve been on GAPS diet for about 23 months and ate organically before that. We also used to live in Phoenix and still had no problems with bringing our food in an insulated lunch bag with ice packs. My elementary school aged daughter always took her lunch and it was always healthy with lots of veggies. And now that we have been eating more traditionally, instead of organic “lunch meats” she gets all this lovely home made, grass fed, free range meats. We have lots of different sized containers, ice packs, and for warm meals, a thermos. It boggles my mind when I hear of parents who say that they have no way to keep food warm or cold for a few hours. Invest in ice packs, small lunch coolers, and a thermos or two.

  34. Anna says:


    How would I convert this recipe to a pressure cooker (vs. the slow cooker method described)? Any help would be appreciated, such a fan of your cookbook I ordered 3 to share!

    1. Sarah says:

      I would still sear it and depending on the size of your roast, it could take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour in the pressure cooker. Check out this website for cooking times!

  35. Cindi says:

    For those of you paying retail for almond meal…the internet is your friend! I am buying it for $4.50/lb. I am however buying it in a 25 lb box, but I have been splitting it with my paleo friends.

    Sarah-Can’t wait to give this a try!!! You never disappoint!!!! XOXOX

  36. Shelly Good says:

    I am making this now! Can’t wait to surprise my husband with it tonight.

  37. Louis Simpson says:

    I have made this twice now. Both times the meat is dry. I thought I might have overcooked it the first time, (1.0hr on high then 8.0 on low), I did this because my slow cooker was new and I read a report that it doesn’t get up to temperature quick enough which could open it up for bacteria. So I ramped it up to temperature quicker by doing the hour on high first. The second time, 7.5hrs on low. I like the flavor and all, I just can’t figure out what I am doing wrong. My wife thinks maybe I didn’t cook it long enough…. Maybe, it is just normal for Chuck Roast to be dry?? Any suggestions?

    1. Sarah says:

      Did you remember to add the liquid? Ours was fall apart tender and not dry at all… Not sure what went wrong, but maybe add more liquid then what I suggested if you did add it the first time.

      1. Louis Simpson says:

        I did add the liquid but maybe I can try a little more. I appreciate you caring enough to respond. Keep up your good work!!

  38. Allison says:

    This is in the crock pot right now… I can’t wait. Can’t. Wait.

    Now I just need to find a side to serve with it 🙂

    Thank you already!

  39. Samantha Moore says:

    Making this again for the second time. This is a FABULOUS recipe. Thank you so much!

  40. Jenn L. says:

    LOVE this recipe! I randomly bought a roast the other night, which surprised my husband and he wanted to make this THAT night. So, we did. And it was AMAZING! We didn’t use a slow cooker, just a big pot with a lid, put it in the over at 250 degrees fahrenheit, for 5 hours. PERFECT.

    1. Jenn L. says:


  41. John Frazer says:

    I loved this roast. I cooked it more like 10-12 hours on low.

    I also borrowed the same cooking method for a cut of pork that Polyface Farms calls a “ham roast” — basically a 2″ slice of uncured ham. I used the “Garlic Lovers’ Rub” from Mark Sisson’s “Primal Blueprint Quick and Easy Meals” (garlic powder, black pepper, ground cumin, onion powder) and it was fantastic.

  42. Beverly says:

    You posted this on the day our 7th little one arrived (which also happened to be our oldest 13th birthday!)
    So, I am now a nursing mommy of 7 little ones and would really LOVE to lose this weight – remember I have had 5 babies in six years, so I had extra with each pregnancy putting me about 50 pounds over where I want to be. What are the best foods for me to eat right now for nursing AND weight loss?
    I bought your book but loaned it out to a lady whose daughter was just put on a “nothing but meat, veggies and fruit” diet, so I dont know if you address this in your book!

  43. Beverly says:

    BTW – this was great – we had it tonight!

  44. Will r says:

    I made this today and I got to say it is great!!

  45. Michael says:

    Looks fantastic. I’m kinda drooling.

  46. Made this last night and LOVED it!!!!! Our dinner guests arrived and the first thing they asked me was,,,”Do you know about the Paleo diet?” I had to laugh as I pointed at your Everday Paleo book on display in my kitchen and then told them that we would be eating Paleo tonight. They just saw Robb Wolf speak in Coronado and heard all about your success story. I think they are on track to start the challenge. I’m so excited to see that you guys are teaching the Navy SEALS… I was working with all the Navy spouses in Germany before my husband got out and there is such a need for awareness! Many of the girls I trained and workout with over there are using your book everyday as well and love it.
    We all just hope that we can get our kids to eat Paleo like yours. I’m so impressed that your boys are so on board. Mine are still so young and eating anything is such a challenge. I will continue to work on my boys and someday they will get it.
    Thanks again for what you do!

  47. Robbin Napier says:

    This was delicious, especially when eating with lots of the juices from the meat and spices. The only spice I didn’t have on hand was the ground chipotle, but I was able to find at the grocery store. I’m sure it wouldn’t have been the same without it. I am definately saving this recipe to make again (and again).

  48. Sara says:

    Making this tonight, it is sitting in the crock pot right now!! I was excited to see all the rave reviews!!

  49. Veronica says:

    Just put this in the crock pot – can’t wait!!!

  50. Carol Anne says:

    This was wonderful! Hubby loved it and he generally won’t eat roast without some type of gravy on it. I’m so excited to have a roast recipe that everyone will eat that
    does not consist of onion soup mix! Thanks so much for this recipe!

    1. Sarah says:

      So glad you liked it and thank you!!

  51. Jeff Harlan says:

    Could you cook this in a pressure cooker and if so how long would you cook it?

    1. Sarah says:

      Yes you could! It depends on the size of your roast but probably between 45 min to 1 hour for a 3.5 – 4 lb roast. : )

  52. Can’t wait to try this. Penzey spices are my favorite. They have some great items!!

  53. SOOOOOO GOOOOOOD! We served it over pureed cauliflower and it was everything we hoped and dreamed it would be. Definitely making this part of our regular rotation. Even my toddler chowed down, and he normally doesn’t care for beef.

  54. nikki Nelson says:

    I am making this tonight, ever since we got married over 6 years ago my husband has forbidden roast in our home, he hates even the smell of them cooking. When my parents have made one it is hard for him to be in the house he hates the smell so much. This is before we went Paleo and they had gravy, carrots, and potatoes, I think more traditional. I saw this and thought “I am sneaking this into our shopping list” he didn’t notice me buying the roast and when he comes home later I hope he loves what he smells, I think this just might change his mind:) I am very excited to find a non traditional crock-pot roast 🙂 🙂

    1. Tonya says:

      Did he like it!? I’m going to cook it tonight! 😉

  55. nikki says:

    update, my husband LOVED IT! my kids ate it with no fuss and i made broccoli to go on the side, only one of the three ever eats it but this time I used at little of the juice from the roast and cooked it in that, my son who used to gag eating it, ate two servings, in fact a ate only a few pieces because my kids wanted to eat so much of it. I am so excited!

  56. Charlie says:

    I have a stoneware covered baker I’d like to try this in, what is the cooking temp and time for the oven?

    1. Is it a Romertoph? If so, for a 3-4 pound pot roast (which I assume would be close to A 3-4 pound chuck roast for cooking time) it is 70 minutes at 480 degrees for a medium roast. I would stick a thermometer in there if you have a digital one you can check from outside the pot. Don’t forget to soak the pot for at least 15 minutes and put the pot in a cold oven. I think this would be excellent in a clay cooker.

  57. Cathy says:

    More rave reviews from my clan! My 11 year old son has two buddies sleeping over tonight and everyone LOVED the roast. Only my 7 year old wasn’t fond of it, but he did eat an entire plate of broccoli (which I made using the juice from the roast as recommended above). Everyday Paleo comes through again! Thanks!

  58. Jonathan says:

    Just set in in the slow cooker 10 minutes ago. I was tempted to skip the searing step till I read how you want to have a nice crust before you set it in the cooker. Glad I followed through. Can’t wait to taste this tonight.
    BTW, your cookbook rocks!

    1. Thank you Jonathan! I hope you enjoy the roast!

  59. Ali B. says:

    Thank you so much for posting this recipe! I just made this, but with a pork shoulder instead of the beef. It is honestly one of the best things I’ve ever put in my mouth. This is going to become a staple in my house!

  60. I’m confused about the coffee grounds. Is this dry coffee grounds? Already used coffee grounds? Or instant coffee? THis sounds so good, I can’t wait to try it. Thanks

    1. Dry coffee grounds – not used!

      1. From the way it was worded in the ingredient list I did this with used coffee grounds . . . we’ll see how it comes out. I should have read the comments FIRST! My guess is that it will be OK still. At least I used them immediately after brewing a pot of coffee so the grounds were still fresh. I have it in the slow cooker and will report back this evening on the taste!

        1. Here to report that using spent coffee grounds for the rub worked just fine. I caution that my used grounds were very fresh. I had literally just brewed a pot of coffee and then grounds were still hot and really wet. It was delicious!! I would not save used grounds and use later though. Next time I’ll try with un-used grounds and compare. Really awesome roast!!!

          1. Sarah says:

            So glad it worked out and was delicious!

          2. Amanda says:

            I’m giggling because I misunderstood and used “used” coffee grounds as well. They were fresh, but already brewed. Glad to read that it’ll turn out fine.

      2. Oh no, just put in crock pot, and I used used grounds, lol…am I a moron or what???

  61. Gaby A. says:

    Just got a slow cooker for Christmas (being that I can’t cook, but I had dropped enough hints so wasn’t too offended when I received it). This will be the official first recipe to cook in it and ring in the new year.

  62. Gretchen says:

    How much water do you have to put into the slowcooker? Thanks! I love your website and bought your book!

    Thanks for all your hard work!

    1. Sarah says:

      Hi Gretchen, thank you so much for your kind comments! The water amount is in the ingredient list – 3/4 cup. Hope you enjoy the roast! : )

  63. Stefanie says:

    Is it really a big deal to leave out the cocoa powder? I don’t have time to run out to get any, but I do have everything else.

    Also, I would like to cook this in a dutch oven on the stovetop, how long do you recommend for a 3# beef chuck tender roast?

  64. Erika S. says:

    I made a version of this dish over the weekend and it turned out delicious! I used decaf coffee grounds and I didn’t have ground chipotle so I ground up a dried ancho chile and used a bit of that with some smoked paprika instead. The only thing I wish I had a bit more of was salt, but that’s definitely a personal preference. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful recipe. I will definitely be making it again!

  65. Heidi says:

    Made this tonight and the only ones disappointed were the dogs because they couldn’t have any since there was cocoa in the rub, plus the onions at the bottom. So two thumbs up from the humans and four paws down from the pups.

    1. Sarah says:

      That’s too funny Heidi, well, I’m glad at least that the humans approved!

  66. Mandy says:

    Oh Sarah, this was AMAZING!!!! I think it’s the best roast I have ever made. THANK YOU!!!

    1. Sarah says:

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it Mandy, thank you!

  67. Jennifer says:

    Oh my! I used this rub on an elk roast … My very first elk roast mind you … It came out heavenly … I had my parents over for dinner and was hoping to wow them with paleo cuisine … And it was a huge success! Served it with some mashed cauliflower and sautéed carrots with parsley and tarragon. I also added several garlic cloves In with the roast and had used some beef broth I needed to use up in replacement of the water. super delish! Will definitely be making this one of my regular staples! Was thinking the left overs might be good shredded up with some onion and bell pepper in romaine leaves as a taco … :). Thanks for the recipe!

  68. Karen says:

    Oh no!! I used coffee grounds (in my world “ground coffee” is dry and “coffee grounds” are used) I’m a wierdo… but my roast is in the crock anyway and I will lt you know how it comes out with used coffee grounds… lol
    It smells good! Love your book btw…

    1. I did the same thing — it came out awesome despite!! Good luck!

    2. I did the same thing…I agree with ur coffee terminology, lol!

  69. Hi Sarah, interested in making this our first Paleo meal and was wondering about the coffee grounds… there much caffeine to effect kids 3 and 5 who will also be eating? Thanks Chino

    1. Sarah says:

      Nope, the kids will be fine but if you’re worried, use decaf!

  70. Janis says:

    Hi Sarah,

    Thank you so much for the delicious recipe! I do not have a crock pot, but do have a wonder Le Creuset pot. For the others out there who needed time and temp differences, I braised the meat for 2 1/2 hours at 325 degrees. At the last 1/2 hour I put in chopped cauliflower (instead of having mashed potatoes to soak up the gravy!) It came out very flavorful, moist and tender. Oh yeah, and I added about 1Tbls of tomato paste to the water, because I had to get rid of it! Yum. Thank you again for the inspiration!


  71. I, too, am wondering about the coffee part of this recipe. It looks like it would be delicious but neither myself or my husband like coffee. Does it really have a coffee taste or is the coffee act as some sort of tenderizer?
    I have made so, so many roasts over the years and I’m always very disapointed by the lack of, well, taste. I just can’t seem to get it right for some reason.

    1. Sarah says:

      It does not taste strongly of coffee. The coffee mixed with the other spices gives the roast a nice smokey flavor, hence the name. Hope you enjoy and let me know how it goes! This roast is full of flavor. : )

  72. This sounds so good, but I don’t usually keep coffee around as I am a tea drinker, is there a substitute I could use for the coffee grounds?

  73. Natalie says:

    I am making it in the oven it smells soooo good. Can’t wait. Thanks for this recipie. I love your book.

  74. Just made this for dinner, fantastic! Thank you!

  75. I made this today with bone broth instead of the water. It was the best beef recipe I’ve made in my slow cooker, hands down. I did it once before with wet coffee grounds which worked okay, but after reading the comments, used dry, unused coffee grounds which worked better for sticking to the meat pre-browning. After it was done, I removed the meat and onions, put ice cubes into the juices and got a lot of the fat out before re-heating with a bit of arrowroot to make gravy (the fat sticks to the ice!) So, so good!!

  76. Marcy says:

    I don’t have a slow cooker or dutch oven. Can I make this on the stove or in the oven? Thanks. It looks delicious. Can’t wait to make it!

  77. Maya says:

    Just had this last night and it was DELICIOUS! Used beef broth instead and it came out great. thanks!

  78. Michael says:

    Had grass fed beef shoulder in the freezer just asking to me made. My kitchen had a heavenly aroma this morning as I seared the roast before putting in slow cooker. Can’t wait to get home tonight and enjoy this easy/no stress meal with the family. Way to go Sarah!

  79. Belinda says:

    Thank you so much for this recipe! We’re slowly going Paleo with 4 picky kids. I’ve also made so many disappointing roasts in my quest to find a slow-cooker recipe for busy days, and I was crossing my fingers that this wouldn’t be another “oops, wasted that expensive roast” day. My pickiest eater declared this one of his favorites, and DH told me to definitely put this in the rotation after he polished off two servings. I followed the recipe exactly, removed the meat and onions from the juices, strained them, and made a reduction. It was heavenly. My daughter kept asking for more “gravy” on everything on her plate. Keep up the good work!

  80. This has become our go-to roast recipe – it’s easy as heck to make, and the whole family loves it (two girls, 12 and 7 – the 7-year-old is hot/cold when it comes to beef, but she eats this!).

    I just came back to get directions for what to do if you don’t use a slow cooker (thanks Janis!), since I bought a monster of a roast at the farmer’s market that I don’t think will fit in my slow cooker this time. We’ll see how it goes…

    Thanks again, Sarah – this one’s a winner.

  81. Beth says:

    I have rubbed this into some pork tenderloins which are now resting in the fridge. Do you think this would work on the grill?

    1. Sarah says:


  82. Bossman says:

    This recipe is very inspired, I know this because I made it last night to excellent results. However, I’d like to add to it that if you know your slow cooker runs a little hot, only cook it for four hours on high. I did this and it was falling apart tender. Also, when it’s done, remove it from the cooker and cover it with foil for fifteen minutes before serving so the meat can rest. This more evenly distributes the juices. Finally, carve it against the grain to keep it juicy. Good recipe!

  83. Christy says:

    Tried this twice on venison roasts, can’t find chipotle powder just used chili powder, AMAZING!! Thanks!

    1. Sarah says:

      So glad you like it!! For future reference, you can always get Chipotle powder from Penzeys online if you can’t find it in stores. : )

  84. thePRIMEpursuit says:

    This was fantastic! I used a crock pot and the beef pulled beautifully after about 5 hours on high. Flavor was awesome. Thanks, this is a keeper!

  85. Afton O says:

    I made this 2 days ago, and maybe it was the meat but my roast was cooked down to every detail of the recipe, and it had little to no flavor. I was very disapointed. What could I do next time to give it a greater flavor boost?

    1. Sarah says:

      Hmmm, I don’t know!! What kind of roast did you use? Was it dry when it was done? Did you remember salt?

  86. Teresa says:

    im going to make this tomorrow, I’m wondering if I could throw in some sweet potatoes and carrots in the crockpot with the roast?

    1. Sarah says:

      Yes, you can!

  87. Alicia says:

    I made this roast today and was very excited to see my family’s reaction. The 12 year old gushed about it all night, but my 10 year old is very picky. She wouldn’t touch it until I told her that black stuff was a “chocolate crust” then she ate a good sized helping. Later my neighbors came over and wanted to know what that smell was. Needless to say they ate our leftovers. This was absolutely delicious.

  88. donna says:

    I made this last week, yummy, and had left overs for the following day.
    It was so fatty I did not eat it.
    Do you take it out of crockpot and drain before serving?
    I bought the meat at Whole foods, no it was not grass fed

  89. This really sounds fantastic! I have an elk roast I’d like to try this recipe out on.

  90. Ilissa says:

    Do you think I can use brisket instead of a chuck roast? I have a brisket in my fridge right now that needs to get cooked!

  91. I can not stand roast, but my wife wanted something different. I stumbled across this and thought why not? Well it was a SMASHING success!

    I made mashed cauliflower & roasted carrots to go with. Only thing I did different was when I pulled the meat out to rest, I added a bunch of baby portobello’s to the juices and let them cook a few, then strained them out (well not all!) Then I cranked it up to a boil, added some coconut flower & coconut milk and made the BEST gravy EVER! Thanks for this new fan favorite!

  92. Kristin says:

    Growing up my Nanny always pressure cooked a roast that had been rubbed with garlic and served it with coffee gravy. Her coffee gravy was made with corn starch (I don’t know if that’s Paleo or not…as I’m not practicing Paleo) but it was super yummy. Learned later in my adult life that it’s called Red-Eye Roast.

    1. Wow, that sounds AMAZING! Coffee gravy? I might have to shoot for a paleo version of that… Yum!

  93. Mike Truner says:

    Eating meat is bad for you. Miss Guided, your advice is misguided. It’s pretty common knowledge among health gurus that red meat in particular is neither healthy nor necessary. Be a part of the solution and preach what you (should) know.

    1. Mike Truner says:

      Don’t bother.

  94. Deborah says:

    Can’t wait to try..
    I am trying to stock my freezer with meals to cook (full time out of the home worker, 2 children 5 and 2 yrs old and a traveling hubby). I am wondering how to freeze this. Do I sear the roast then freeze everything and just throw it in the crockpot morning of or do you recommend searing, fully cooking and then freezing the cooked meal (then how would you reheat)?

    1. Hi Deborah, I would fully cook it and then freeze it. Once it’s thawed, take a look and see if the oven is best for re-heating or the slow cooker. Slow cooker might make it too mushy, if it’s been thawed and frozen. But if the roast is still firmly intact after thawing, it might work with the slow cooker on low for a couple hours. Good luck and have fun!

  95. I would have to agree that the recipe should read “2 T Ground coffee”, not 2 tablespoons coffee grounds since they are in fact different things.
    But it is a great rub and an awesome recipe for the crockpot.
    Thanks so much.

  96. I made this roast overnight in my crockpot and it is fantastic!!!! Thank you so much. Beef roast and eggs and tomatoes for my first post Whole30 meal. Yummy!

  97. I’ve been reading about Paleo, and I love to find new recipes. I don’t like coffee, so I was the leary one. It was fantastic! Everyone, from my simple, no-variety diet teen, to my 7 year old who has been surviving on chicken nuggets and fruit lately, scarfed it down! My husband was sniffing around for left-overs this morning. Will be adding to my Staple Recipes box! Thank YOU!

  98. Dixie says:

    I made this for my husband and I on Valentine’s, and it was absolutely the best roast I have ever had! We loved it — the best flavor combo, and so juicy and tender! And no, it has no coffee flavor. I absolutely hate the taste or flavor of coffee, and I did not taste it at all. I am thinking of using this on a pork tenderloin and trying it in the crock pot also — any comments from anyone that has tried it? Just not sure if my pork tenderloin will fit in my crock pot, so may have to use the oven.

  99. What’s up everyone, it’s my first visit at this web
    site, and piece of writing is really fruitful designed for me, keep up posting these types of content.

  100. I’ve got a chuck tender roast. I’m not familiar with this cut so I searchit and foind this exciting recipe. I figure 7hpurs slow cooking can’t go wrong! And with this glorious concotion of coffee, cocoa, smokey chipotle and cinnamon, among other things, I’m sure the house will be perfumed with yummy roast 🙂

  101. claudia says:

    I LOVE this recipe and so does my family. We have this roast recipe at least once a week now. Thanks for sharing, I HAVE definitely shared it!

  102. We are bananas about this rub! We use less chipotle because I’m a wussy but just enough for a little kick!

  103. I loved this recipe so much that I had to blog about it and share with my readers. Thank you so much!

  104. angie says:

    Is this 100 percent Paleo ?

    1. Yes. : )

  105. angie says:

    Thank u!!! Making it this weekend!! 🙂

  106. Karen B. says:

    This was delicious and I’ll be making this often, without the cinnamon. I did use the cinnamon the first time, though.

  107. Blair says:

    We don’t have coffee regular grounds in the house, do you think we could use the grounds in the K-Cups for the Keurig Coffee Machines?

    1. I think that would work just fine!

  108. Going to make this….RIGHT NOW! I’m not a coffee drinker, but I do have instant coffee on hand, so I’m going to substitute that and see what happens. BTW, my entire family loves to watch Chopped too, and I’m always grabbing stuff and throwing it into a recipe just to see what happens. =) Can’t wait to try this one, and I’ll be back with our review!

  109. I’ve always made pot roast the way my mom and grandmother made it – flour, salt, pepper and garlic powder.
    Now that we have given up flour I thought I’d try this recipe. The result was absolutely delicious! Will definitely be making it again. My three boys and husband also loved it! Thanks for the great
    recipe and can’t wait to try more of yours!

  110. Maureen says:

    Oh my, this was AMAZING! My husband had 2 helpings. I didn’t have chipotle powder so I substituted 1/8 tsp each of smoked paprika, ancho chile powder and red chili powder. I also used beef broth instead of water and added a couple of carrots to the crock pot. The meat was soooo tender and flavorful. I emulsified all the juices and vegetables to make a gravy or sauce. I can’t wait to make this for my family when they visit over the holidays! Thank-you so much for a wonderful recipe!

    1. So glad you enjoyed it and great idea with the gravy!!! : )

  111. If someone doesn’t like coffee, will this taste like coffee at all?

    1. No! Just gives it a nice “smoky” flavor. : )

  112. Nicole says:

    Amazing! I haven’t used cumin before but it has a smell and flavor my kids love! I also seem to really enjoy recipes that marinate/spice beef in coffee. Soooo good! Thank you!

  113. I don’t guess anyone has the nutrition facts of this spectacular dish do they?

  114. Recently diagnosed with multiple food allergies so have been searching various paleo recipes as the paleo diet works reasonably well for my issues…except for the almond flour…nuts are out.

    Anyhoo, made this recipe today. So delicious! Already a new family favorite. The only change I made was subbing vegetable stock for the water.

    Thank you…will try more of your crock pot recipes!

    1. So glad you enjoyed it Linda!!

  115. Kristen says:

    What brand of coffee did you use?

  116. Samantha says:

    Is ground chipotle easy to find? I haven’t seen it before.

    1. Olivia says:

      It shouldn’t be too hard to find. I found it at my local grocery store (McCormick brand). It’s a little pricy compared to standard spices, but I use it for other things so it’s worth it. This recipe is delicious. You could probably sub. another pepper spice in place if you can’t find it.

  117. melody says:

    I burned one side of the roast because median-high was too hot. On the other side I cooked on median for about 2 minutes and it turned out very nicely.

    1. melody says:

      Medium, not median (I’m a math teacher- sorry!)

  118. Kathy Butler says:

    OMGosh!!! Without a doubt, the best I’ve ever had. The family gobbled it up. Thank you so much.

  119. Richard says:

    Just wanted to say this was an amazing recipe. Thank you. In stead of water I used a can of coconut milk and it was amazing. I cannot believe how well it turned out. Thanks again!

    1. StephanieH says:

      ooohhhh…. coconut milk!! I’m so trying that next time!

  120. I made this recipe this week, and it turned out amazing. Thank you for posting such a great, free recipe!

  121. StephanieH says:

    LOVE. THIS. !!! I’ve made it twice now, and it’s just the right mix of spices ~ my husband & I both love the richness and depth of flavor! My sister gave me a big venison roast I’m going to try this on as well!!

  122. Danielle says:

    This roast was amazing! I made it for dinner tonight! Will definitely make again!! Thank you!!

  123. Jennifer says:

    I know dried oregano typically means the dried leaves, but just wanted to make sure since ground oregano powder seems like it would be more ideal for the rub? Thanks! Looking forward to making this!

    1. I have used both and both have worked just fine! 🙂

  124. Holly says:

    This recipe was definitely one of my favorites. Everybody enjoyed it. Although, 3/4 in cooking time I tested the flavor, it seemed pretty bland to me so I doubled the spices, cooked for another 45 minutes or so and it was marvelous!

  125. Sam Rheinhardt says:

    Just put this together and threw it in the crockpot! Can’t wait to see how it turns out.

  126. Sadly not a fan of this at all! It’s not that it didn’t taste good… It just lacks flavor big time. Disappointed but not wasting it, so we will still eat it. But I was hoping for better. I do think it has a mild coffee flavor but not strong like you may think. More mild and sweet undertones than true flavor. I wouldn’t make it again.

  127. I made this two years ago when I first went paleo and I’m planning to make it again this week. My only complaint is that I found that the coffee grounds became gritty, chewy, and ICKY in the resulting juice/gravy. I’m wondering if perhaps a finer grind might fix this? There are SO many comments on this, and I tried to see if anyone else had this problem, but I don’t see it anywhere. The flavour is lovely, but the grit of the coffee? Ick. :-/

  128. maybe a stupid question but what happens to the coffee grinds after the roast is cooked? do they dissolve or are the pieces floating all around the meat?? and how does the flvor differ if using brewed coffee liquid vs coffee grounds?

    1. It cooks into the roast, so there are no big ol’ coffee ground floating around. The grounds give the roast a smokier flavor as opposed to just the liquid coffee.

  129. Nikki Nelson says:

    this is one of my families favorite meals. It is so wonderful and pairs great with many many sides. this is a go to on a day when you want dinner ready as you walk in the door at night.

  130. Jenna says:

    Looks amazing! I’d like to cook some veggies to go with it (celery, carrots, rutabaga). Do you think it would alter the flavor too much? How much liquid should I add?

    1. I don’t think it would alter the flavor, in fact probably enhance it. I wouldn’t add any extra liquid, they veggies will cook just fine in the liquid from the roast and the veggies you mentioned are also rather watery on their own – too much liquid will take away from the flavor. 🙂 Happy cooking!

  131. Kathy says:

    I made this for dinner tonight and my husband loved it!! He thought my dinner tasted gourmet!! 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing!!

    1. So glad you both enjoyed the roast Kathy!! Thank you!!

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