I love food from the Mediterranean region. When I was in my early twenties, I was blessed to spend quite a bit of time among immigrants from the Middle East. I fell madly in love with the food of the region. Hummus, tabbouleh, kafta, all of it. The flavors are some of my favorites, and I’ve been really craving it lately. Moroccan Pot Roast is a warm, inviting food, especially in the fall and winter.
I have a lot of holidays coming up this week. My oldest son is turning 15 years old, and I always do a huge meal. In preparation for the big meal, I bought a 24 pound chuck roast at Costco. I only need twelve pounds of it for his birthday, and the rest I carved into 2 more roasts. But I didn’t just want to make any old pot roast, that’s boring and I’m anything but boring. Well, really, I was just looking for an excuse to add Moroccan flavors to a meal, and Moroccan Pot Roast seemed like a good time.
The Key to Moroccan Pot Roast is Low & Slow Moist Cooking
A chuck roast is taken from around the shoulder blade of the cow. It has both tender and tough meat and has great marbling. But if you cook it wrong, it will be tough and dry. This means the best way to guarantee a great cut is low heat for long periods of time, with lots of moisture surrounding it.
When I was growing up, my mom would make a pot roast every Sunday in the crock pot. Her recipe was 1 can of cream of mushroom soup, 1 can of water, 1 envelope Onion Soup Mix, and cook on low heat. This was tradition. I loved this tradition and carried it on when I became a mother.
Some like to cook their chuck roast in a cast iron dutch oven at 250 degrees in the oven. The first time I did this was with Alton Brown’s chuck roast, featured in his episode “A Chuck for Chuck”. I got very similar results to the crock pot recipe, but I loved the flavors his braising liquid brought. It is still a favorite, and I have made it many times over. For simplicity sake though, I prefer the crock pot to the oven.
But, my favorite method of low and slow cooking is sous vide. With sous vide cooking, low and slow is taken almost to an extreme and you are rewarded with tender, amazing meat even from the toughest of cuts. Cooking a chuck roast sous vide takes at least 18 hours. I cooked my Moroccan Pot Roast for the max 48 hours and the meat was succulent and a perfect medium. The vegetables didn’t overcook either, which shocked me after 48 hours. They were al dente, just like I like them.