Pot Roast with North African Spices

Enjoy the flavors of North Africa with this flavor-packed beef pot roast recipe braised with coriander, turmeric, ginger, and cumin.

Pot Roast with North African Spices

Simply Recipes / Sally Vargas

Pot roast is such a comforting, all-American dish; you almost don’t want to mess with it.

Almost.

When you add North African ingredients such as turmeric, ginger, cumin, and coriander, along with pomegranate juice (for a little sweetness), you end up with something new, flavorful, and altogether fantastic!

North African spices for pot roast

Simply Recipes / Sally Vargas

As the cold weather wears on, we want comforting, cozy meals but we also want to mix things up a bit so we don’t get bored. Here’s a chance to do that.

Why Braise Pot Roast?

Slow braising, like we're doing for this pot roast, means cooking foods in a small amount of liquid in a pot at a steady, moderate temperature. This transforms tough cuts of beef, like chuck or brisket, into something so tender you can pull it apart with a fork.

Here's how to make North African Beef Pot Roast with Moroccan spices

Simply Recipes / Sally Vargas

Low and steady heat breaks down the collagen (the connective tissue that holds the muscle fibers in meat together) and allows the meat fibers to soften and separate more easily.

The sauce resulting from this process won't be thick, but it will be full of flavor. Serve the pot roast with couscous, and then spoon this broth over top of the meat. Let the meat and couscous soak up every drop of that the soupy goodness!

Pot Roast with Moroccan Spices
Sally Vargas

Tips for Pot Roast Success

Don't worry if your meat still seems tough partway through cooking. It takes time for the collagen to break down and for the meat to become tender. When done, it should easily pull apart with a fork – cook it a little longer if you need to. The extra time won't hurt!

Pot Roast with North African Spices

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 50 mins
Servings 6 servings

Aleppo pepper from Syria is bright red, slightly chocolaty, fruity, and medium hot. Maras pepper is from Turkey and is slightly hotter than Aleppo, yet still mild, with smokey overtones. Both are a fun addition to your spice cabinet. Sprinkle the deep red flakes on hummus, or perk up roasted vegetables with them. Look for the pepper in specialty food shops or Middle Eastern grocery stores.

Ingredients

For the spice mix

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 teaspoons crushed coriander seed

  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon (to taste) crushed red pepper flakes (or if available, Marash or Aleppo pepper)

For the beef

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 (3 pound) beef chuck roast

  • 1 medium onion, quartered

  • 3 carrots, cut into 2-inch chunks

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 cup (235 ml) water

  • 1 cup (235 ml) pomegranate juice

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 1/4 cup loosely-packed chopped fresh parsley

Method

  1. Make the spice mix:

    In a small bowl, stir together the garlic, coriander, turmeric, ginger, cumin, cinnamon, paprika and pepper.

    spices for moroccan pot roast
    Sally Vargas
  2. Heat the oven:

    Set an oven rack near the bottom of the oven. Preheat the oven to 325°F (or 160°C).

  3. Season and sear the meat, then add vegetables, spices:

    Sprinkle the roast all over with salt and pepper.

    Season the pot roast for the best flavor

    Simply Recipes / Sally Vargas

    In a large Dutch oven or other oven-safe pot with a lid, heat the oil. Add the beef and brown it on all sides, about 4 minutes per side.

    Add the onion, carrots and bay leaves to the pot. Stir in the spice mix.

  4. Braise the meat:

    Add the water and pomegranate juice to the pot and bring to a simmer. Cover the pot and place in a 325°F (or 160°C) oven for 2 1/2 hours, turning once halfway through the cooking time.

    Seared pot roast in a pot with onions and carrots

    Simply Recipes / Sally Vargas

    Here's how to make North African Beef Pot Roast with Moroccan spices

    Simply Recipes / Sally Vargas

    When the meat is fork tender, remove it from the oven. (If it is not tender enough, leave it in a little longer.)

  5. If serving with couscous and glazed carrots:

    Prepare these when the pot roast is close to being done.

  6. Finish the sauce:

    Transfer the meat to a platter and cover loosely with foil.

    Set a strainer over a bowl and pour the sauce through. Press on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the solids and skim off the fat from the liquid. Add the lemon juice and taste. Add more salt and pepper, if you like.

  7. Serve the pot roast:

    Slice the meat and serve in shallow bowls on top of the couscous and carrots. Ladle the sauce over the meat and sprinkle with parsley.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
627 Calories
40g Fat
12g Carbs
57g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 627
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 40g 51%
Saturated Fat 15g 76%
Cholesterol 188mg 63%
Sodium 288mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 12g 4%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 57g
Vitamin C 7mg 33%
Calcium 80mg 6%
Iron 6mg 35%
Potassium 951mg 20%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.