As far as large cuts of meats go, pot roast is an affordable and efficient way to feed a large group -- whether it's extended family, a holiday gathering, or a potluck situation. And while most pot roasts tend to taste pretty similar, there's no reason not to branch out with the seasoning and create something completely different. So why not try an out-of-the-ordinary rub or marinade that helps develop delicious and unexpected flavors in your pot roast? There's one ingredient that can completely transform that simple pot roast into a fantastically rich delicacy: Cocoa powder.
Cocoa powder has a deep and bitter flavor profile that will bring out intricate notes in the beef -- making it bolder, richer, and all-around more memorable. The slightly bitter, fruity, and full-bodied elements of cocoa powder will fuse with the savory and rich cut of beef as it roasts slowly, taking it to its highest flavor potential. And it might even inspire you to try out a different assortment of vegetables with your roast instead of sticking with the traditional carrots and potatoes.
Read more: 15 Tips For Making The Best Meatloaf
How To Use Cocoa Powder On Your Roast
As far as beef marinades go, cocoa powder works surprisingly well with a variety of go-to ingredients. Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, black pepper, citrus, and garlic all work well, as do spicy seasonings like cayenne pepper and chili powder. This makes it super easy to whip up a flavor-rich marinade that will make your tastebuds sing. Additionally, red wine and dark beer make excellent marinades and braising liquids for a cocoa powder-infused pot roast.
Likewise, cocoa powder can make an excellent rub that will produce a delicious crust on the meat when it is browned. Consider using other unexpected spices like cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, smoked paprika, chipotle powder, adobo seasoning, or even espresso-grind coffee to create a roast unlike any you've had before. And of course, don't forget the salt. If you don't feel like rubbing the pot roast down you can always make a cocoa powder-based seasoning mix and just sprinkle it on the meat after it's already in the roasting pan.
Fruits And Veggies To Include In Cocoa Powder-Infused Pot Roast
There's nothing wrong with a pot roast that is accompanied by the traditional carrots and potatoes as its side of vegetables. At the same time, it can be fun to experiment with less-expected veggies and even fruits. So if you're going to give cocoa powder a try on something savory like your next pot roast, why not switch out some, or all, of the typical vegetables while you're at it? Or simply add some dried fruit to the mix.
Dates and raisins are a fun place to start. They'll add an extra element of sweetness while helping the chocolatey notes shine. Another option is to switch out most of the veggies for apples, which will pair extremely well with chocolate. (Although you're going to want to keep the onions, especially if they're red.) If you simply want to switch out veggies for something more interesting, consider beets instead of potatoes -- which are surprisingly tasty when roasted with cocoa powder. So what are you waiting for? It's time to break out the cocoa powder and get to work designing that perfect, unexpectedly delicious pot roast.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.