Coffee braised chile beef (slow cooker)

This is a great recipe because it’s so versatile. I originally served it like pot roast, in thick slices with mashed cauliflower. Then, I shredded the leftovers and served them more like a taco salad, as pictured above. The spice rub is smokey and spicy. It’s kind of a hybrid of this roast, these short ribs, and this spice rub. I loved using coffee as the braising liquid, as it added a nice depth of flavor and created a nice dark gravy.

Coffee braised chile beef (slow cooker)

Serves 6-8


  • 1 beef roast (I used a 2.5 lb eye of round roast, which is on the lean side. Brisket would work great, or chuck roast if you like a fattier cut)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 2 tsp cocoa powder
  • 3 Tbs ancho chile powder
  • 1 tsp oregano (preferably Mexican oregano) 
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle powder (optional; if you like spicy food) 
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 3/4 cup strong brewed coffee, preferably cold brewed
  • 1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
  • Half a large red onion, thickly sliced


  1. Combine all ingredients except for the beef, coffee, onion, and vinegar. Add enough water to form a loose paste. Rub the beef with the spice paste on all sides.
  2. Spread the onion in the bottom of your slow cooker. Place the beef roast on top. Stir the vinegar into the coffee and pour it over the roast.
  3. Cook for 6-8 hours on low or until very tender.

Simpler variation: Use a pre-made spice mix such as  Penzeys Chili 9000 instead of the spice mix. Just season the roast liberally and braise in the coffee-vinegar mixture.

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