West African Pot Roast is a one-pot dinner of tender beef, carrots, onions and sweet potatoes simmered in a nutty, smoky sauce with just a touch of heat.
We love updating a classic Pot Roast with unique and exotic flavors, like our Moroccan Chickpea Pot Roast or Mexican Pot Roast. There are so many combinations of veggies and spices that can be used to keep dinner fresh and interesting, while sticking to a tried and true method that produces fork tender meat and savory stewed veggies in one easy dish!
WEST AFRICAN POT ROAST
While it sounds exotic, West African Pot Roast is made with standard ingredients that can be found at your local store, so you can travel the world in your own kitchen! The savory, nutty sauce is made by combining creamy peanut butter with beef broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, thyme, and a dash of hot sauce. Peanut butter and tomato paste both have a slight natural sweetness that balances the heat nicely while also thickening the sauce.
The result is a silky peanut sauce that enriches this hearty dish, which is filled with good-for-you ingredients. Peanut butter adds healthy oils and extra protein, while the capsaicin from peppers in the hot sauce is believed to boost metabolism and aid with pain from migraines and arthritis. In addition to complementing the flavors, carrots and sweet potatoes lend extra fiber as well as vitamins and minerals!
I suggest using creamy, unsalted peanut butter with no added palm oil or sugar. The additives that are in other peanut butters might clash with the flavor and texture of the rest of the dish. If you don’t have fresh thyme, you can use a teaspoon of dried thyme leaves.
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If you want to free up your oven for baking sides or dessert, you can finish this West African Pot Roast on the stovetop. After browning the seasoned meat and adding all of the other ingredients, heat on medium high heat until boiling. Then move the pot to a back burner on low heat for the remaining cook time, checking liquids halfway through. Add 1/2 cup of beef broth if it looks dry. There are also slow cooker and instant pot instructions below.
West African Pot Roast can be served atop Brown Rice or Quinoa for an even greater nutrient boost. Or make a batch of buttery Dinner Rolls to soak up the yummy sauce. To add more veggies to the meal, try serving it alongside Roasted Brussels Sprouts or Sautéed Green Beans.
VARIATIONS ON WEST AFRICAN POT ROAST
- Meat: Try this dish with whole chicken pieces or beef stew meat. If using chicken, be sure to check that the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
- Nut Butters: If avoiding peanuts due to allergies or other reasons, try this recipe using creamy cashew butter, almond butter, or even tahini.
- Veggies: In the fall, replace the sweet potatoes with squash such as pumpkin, butternut squash, or acorn squash. Or try wilting in washed and chopped greens such as kale, collard greens, or swiss chard by mixing them into the pot in the last 15 minutes of cooking.
Slow Cooker West African Pot Roast
- Sear the seasoned beef roast on both sides in a large skillet and set aside.
- Add the onion, sweet potatoes, and carrots to the bottom of the crock pot.
- In a large bowl whisk together beef broth, peanut butter, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, thyme and hot sauce.
- Place seared chuck roast over vegetables, pour sauce on top, cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
Instant Pot West African Pot Roast
- Turn on sauté function and sear seasoned beef in oil for 4-5 minutes on each side, then set meat aside.
- Whisk together beef broth, peanut butter, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, thyme and hot sauce. Use 1 cup of the mixture to deglaze the pot and scrape off any brown bits. Leaving brown bits will trigger “burning food” and your pressure cooker won’t get hot enough.
- Add carrots, onion, and sweet potatoes to the instant pot. Layer the meat on top and pour over the remaining broth mixture.
- Seal lid and pressure valve. Set to manual high pressure for 45 minutes. Allow pressure to release naturally.
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HOW TO STORE WEST AFRICAN POT ROAST
- Serve: West African Pot Roast can be kept at room temperature for up to 2 hours or kept warm in a crock pot for up to 4 hours.
- Store: West African Pot Roast completely and transfer to an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Reheat in the oven for best taste.
- Freeze: Once cooled, place West African Pot Roast in a sealed freezer safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
West African Pot Roast
- Yield: 8
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
- Total Time: 3 hours 45 minutes
- Course: Dinner
- Cuisine: American Fusion
- Author: Sabrina Snyder
- 3-4 pound chuck roast
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 1 yellow onion , diced
- 1 sweet potato , cut into 2" chunks
- 3 carrots , cut into 2" chunks
- 2 cups beef broth
- 2/3 cup peanut butter
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce
- chopped peanuts , as a garnish (optional)
Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
Season the chuck roast with the Kosher salt, pepper and thyme.
Add the vegetable oil to a pan and heat. When it ripples and is hot add in the roast and brown, deeply, for 4-5 minutes on each side.
Add onion, sweet potatoes and carrots around the chuck roast.
In a large bowl whisk together beef broth, peanut butter, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, thyme and hot sauce.
Pour over the chuck roast and cook, covered, for 3 - 3 1/2 hours.
Remove from the oven and remove thyme sprigs before serving.
Yield: 8 , Amount per serving: 516 calories, Calories: 516g, Carbohydrates: 16g, Protein: 40g, Fat: 34g, Saturated Fat: 14g, Cholesterol: 117mg, Sodium: 911mg, Potassium: 1030mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 8012g, Vitamin C: 8g, Calcium: 69g, Iron: 5g
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