Guam Kitchen: Easy recipe for Chamorro Pot Roast

Guam Kitchen: Easy recipe for Chamorro Pot Roast

by Army Lt. Col. (Ret.) Annette Merfalen
Annie's Chamorro Kitchen

Chamorro Pot Roast

Whenever I find myself feeling a bit homesick, I think of something to cook that soothes my longing for my island home. Chamorro Pot Roast is one of those dishes. This is a dish that was usually on the menu for Chamorro gatherings. I remember going to parties when I was younger, and before the table was opened, I’d check to see if there was any pot roast. If there was, the ONLY things I’d have on my plate were rice (red or white), pot roast (with as much gravy as I could scoop up), and lots of fina’denne’. These days, I use a crock pot to cook my pot roast. Set it and forget it…what could be easier?
Give my recipe a try.  I think you’ll like it.

• 1 2-lb chuck roast (look for one that is nicely marbled with fat)
• 2 teaspoons salt
• 1 teaspoon black pepper
• 8 whole garlic cloves
• 1/4 cup vegetable oil
• 1 medium onion, chopped into large chunks
• 5-6 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 cup soy sauce
• 1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes with juice
• 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar (you can use white vinegar instead)
• 2 tablespoons Dashida seasoning (Korean beef soup stock)
• 1 teaspoon Accent or Ajinomoto
• 1 cup water (if cooking this on the stovetop, use 2 cups water)
• 4 tablespoons corn starch plus one cup water

1. Place a large skillet or dutch oven over high heat.

2. Using a long, sharp knife, CAREFULLY cut 8 deep slits into the sides of the roast. Push a whole clove of garlic into each slit.

3. Rub the sides of the roast with salt and pepper.

4. When the pan is hot, add half of the oil into the pan. Brown the roast on all sides then remove it from the pan and place it into a slow cooker or crock pot set to HIGH.

5. Add the remaining oil to the pan used to brown the roast. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until the onions are translucent.  Add the sautéed onions and garlic to the slow cooker.

6. Into the crock pot, add:
the tomatoes with juice…
the Dashida seasoning…
the accent or aji…
the balsamic vinegar…
the soy sauce…
and 1 cup of water (see note below) plus any remaining salt and pepper.
NOTE:  If making this on the stovetop, add 2 cups of water instead (a lot of water will evaporate as the roast cooks).

7. Place the lid on the slow cooker. Cook on HIGH setting for 2 hours then lower the heat to LOW and cook for an additional 2 hours then turn off the slow cooker.  If cooking this on the stovetop, cover the pot and cook over medium-low heat for 2 hours.

8. When the roast is done, remove the roast to a plate or cutting board and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing (don’t cut it sooner that this or all the juices will flow out and leave your roast dry).

9. In the meantime, while the roast is resting, prepare the gravy. Using an immersion blender, purée the chunks of vegetables in the gravy until it is completely smooth. If you don’t have an immersion blender, transfer all of the gravy (the liquid and all vegetables) from the slow cooker to a blender and blend until smooth.

10. Pour the puréed mixture into a small pot; bring the mixture to a boil.

11. Mix the cornstarch with the remaining 1 cup of water.
Whisk the cornstarch mixture into the gravy and return to a boil, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens.  Turn off the heat once the gravy has thickened.

12. After the roast has rested, use a serrated knife or very sharp carving knife to slice the roast into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices.

Pour gravy over the sliced roast beef.

Serve with hot white rice and Enjoy!  I love to “drown” my pot roast and rice in lots and lots of gravy!

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