I found a small chuck roast on sale – but really didn’t want to do the typical pot roast or beef stew thing. What to do? Well, I found a recipe with a spicy Cajun flavor and just had to try it.
Here is the link to the recipe I found online: Cajun Roast with Maque Choux. See this link for an explanation of Maque Choux.
I have also copied the recipe here, followed by my comments and photographs.
Cajun Roast with Maque Choux
Makes 6 servings
1 (2 to 2-1/2 lb.) boneless beef chuck roast
1 Tbsp. dried Cajun seasoning
1 (9-oz.) pkg. frozen corn
1 small onion, chopped
½ green pepper, chopped
1 (14.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/8 tsp. pepper
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. hot sauce
Cayenne pepper, to taste
Rub entire surface of beef roast with Cajun seasoning. Place roast in a large slow cooker. Top with corn, onion and green pepper. In a small bowl, combine tomatoes, pepper, salt and hot sauce; mix well. Pour over vegetables and roast. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours. To serve: Cut roast into slices and serve corn mixture with a slotted spoon.
This recipe was REALLY quick and easy to prepare. Here is a shot of all the ingredients except for the pinch of cayenne. By the way, I might add either another teaspoon of hot sauce or a a few extra pinches of cayenne next time. Although, I had better wait to see how spicy it is the 2nd day around.
I just love the way raw ingredients look in a picture. According to one definition of alchemy, cooking is indeed of that art. From the Webster Online Dictionary definition of alchemy: 2 : a power or process of transforming something common into something special.
Speaking of something special, I really like the Sriracha Hot Sauce that I used in this recipe. I think I saw it recommended in Bon Appetit. See my Recommended Kitchen Things page.
You maybe have noticed that I actually used a seasoning blend called “blackened creole blend” by Frontier Co-op, rather than Creole seasoning. See my Recommended Kitchen Things page. From my research, opinions range from hard-core camps on both the Cajun and the Creole sides who define the two styles of cooking and seasoning as totally distinct, to folks of all levels of expertise saying that much merging has happened between the two cooking styles, or at least the types of seasoning used. However, I want to research that further.
But for now, I can vouch for the tastiness of this recipe using the Creole blend, which is what I happened to have in my spice cabinet.
This really was so easy to put together. Just chop the veggies and put them in on top of the meat….
…and mix the sauce ingredients and pour it over everything. Oh, a note about the called for 1/2 a green pepper. I had maybe 1/3 of one, but grabbed a ripened, and thus red one from the bell pepper plant that wintered over inside at our house. Check it out:
Anyway, after about 7 or so hours, I opened the crock pot,checked the meat, and found it to be nice and tender.
I served the vegetables over brown rice. I was going to steam or saute some greens to go with the meal, mostly just to have something to lighten up the meal. I was expecting the heaviness that goes with the usual pot roast preparation on top of this being a relatively fatty cut of meat. (Chuck has more fat than the round cuts, for example.) But, unlike a pot roast dinner, this meal had a delightful lightness about it.
The hot spices certainly made it more easy to digest and “thinned” out the fatty flavor/texture. And corn and bell peppers are less dense than the traditional potato, turnip, and/or carrots served with a traditional pot roast meal.
In any case, Steve and I both thought this was superb. But visually, I think meal could use some more green. And, upon re-reading the article containing the original recipe, I noted a recommendation to serve green beans with this meal. I have a great recipe for blanched, then quickly sauteed green beans with garlic and red pepper flakes… Next time, again!