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Chamorro Beef Pot Roast Recipe
...a beefy, flavorful dish excellent with rice!



My Nina, Auntie Daling, taught me how to make this awhile ago. I’ve made it with several different cuts of beef roasts. If you want a good Chamorro pot roast, you need to use a fatty cut like chuck roast. It really does make a difference. And if you can find farm-fresh, pasture-raised beef, the roast will be out of this world!

I used a crockpot and cooked on low for 7 hours so I didn’t have to watch it cook. You may cook in a large pot on the stove on a simmer, but you’ll have to watch it. It will be done when it’s tender and falling apart.

Traditionally, achote seeds and water are used to color the pot roast, however if you don’t have seeds, you mix the achote powder with water and dissolve very well. I like a lot of achote in my roast so that it’s almost red.

Chamorro pot roast video coming soon, but for now the video below includes Chamorro pot roast as freezable Chamorro cooking.



Set 1

2 chuck roasts that are about 3 to 4 pounds each and around 3 inches thick

Set 2

1 cup water

¼ cup achote seeds

Set 3

2 cups soy sauce

2 cups white distilled vinegar

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

6 cloves garlic, whole

4 cloves garlic, minced

Couple large slices fresh ginger, about 1 inch long

1 large yellow onion, sliced about ½ inch thick

Set 4

Black pepper

¼ cup coconut oil or lard

Set 5

Coconut milk, optional

Beef broth, optional

Set 6

½ cup cornstarch

2/3 cup water

Tools: large bowl, paring knife, medium bowl or sealable bag, napkins, large crockpot or pot, small bowl


In a bowl or in a Ziploc bag, combine the water and achote seeds. Use your hand or seal the bag and agitate to color the water. Set aside.

Rinse the roast then with the tip of a paring knife make six small holes in it so that you can stuff one garlic clove into each hole. Set aside one moment.

Pour the achote water, soy sauce, vinegar, black pepper, minced garlic, ginger, and onions into a large bowl and stir to combine. Submerge the roast in the marinade and turn to coate if needed. Cover and fridge for 10 to 12 hours, turning to coat at least 5 hours into marinading.

Drain the roast and pat dry then sprinkle all over with black pepper.

Heat ¼ cup coconut oil or lard in a large stove-top safe crockpot or a large pot then sear the roast all over. Transfer to the crockpot if needed then pour in 1 to 2 cups of the marinade, depending on how salty/tart you want it; the meat will release juices as it cooks resulting in more sauce when done. Scoop out all the onions and garlic from the remaining marinade and place in the crockpot.

Cook for 7 hours on low. Once done, taste the sauce. If it’s too salty for you, remove some and replace with hot water or beef broth. I also add some coconut milk to my Chamorro pot roast because it makes it better!

Remove the pot roast from the sauce and set aside. Leave the stove or crockpot turned on.

In a small bowl, mix the water and cornstarch together to form a paste.

With the sauce boiling gently, pour the cornstarch slurry into the sauce and stir to thicken. Cook two minutes. Mix more cornstarch and water if needed, add to pot, and cook for 2 final minutes.

Slice roast against the grain and arrange on platter. Pour sauce over roast.

Once cooled completely, store in fridge. This will freeze and thaw very well too.

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Effective March 2021, PaulaQ will begin replacing Canola and vegetable/seed oils in recipes with pure lard from Reverence Farm, coconut oil, and avocado oil. 



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