Mmmm, Chamorro Pot Roast! If you’ve never tried it, then you’ll either have to get invited to a Chamorro party OR make this recipe. Actually, like most of the Chamorro cuisine and recipes, there are many variations again to this dish. This is one of the ways I’ve learned to make it; but I’ll post the other way, using pork the next time. A succulent sirloin roast, is studded with whole garlic pieces and braised in a soy/vinegar sauce with a medley of tomatoes, onions, and garlic, combined with the beef juices to form a yummy sauce. BUT if that’s not enough to tempt you, the tender beef is removed from its liquid and fried until golden. The braising liquid is then turned into a gravy, that’ll knock the pants off of you, LOL! 😉
Begin by washing the meat and trimming off any large piece of fat. If it’s too large to fit into the pot, cut the roast into halves or thirds even. I prefer cutting it into large chucks for easier turning during cooking time. Using your knife, poke a hole into several areas of the meat. To each hole, place a whole piece of garlic, making sure to push it all the way into the meat. Do not over do the garlic though, otherwise you’ll end up with a bitter tasting roast.
To a large pot, heat the oil on MEDIUM HIGH heat. Add the onions and garlic; stir until slightly translucent, about 1 – 2 minutes. Add the meat pieces. Stir the onions and garlic, combining it with the meat.
Add the tomatoes.
Combine all of the seasonings together and add them to the pot. Stir to combine with the roast.
Add the soy sauce, vinegar, and water. Stir to combine well with the meat and other ingredients in the pot.
Your heat should still be on MEDIUM HIGH. Bring this to a boil, cover and reduce to MEDIUM LOW or LOW heat. Cook this for about 2 – 2 1/2 hours, turning the meat often during the cooking time.
After one hour, this is what my roast looked like. Make sure that you skim off the fat that floats to the top of the roast during the entire cooking time. Turn the meat pieces and cover. Continue to cook another hour to an hour and a half OR until meat is slightly tender. NOTE: Although ideally we would prefer our roasts to be fork tender, in this case, we want it to be tender but not shredding apart tender, in other words, because we need to fry it up and then slice it; we still want the meat to “HOLD” together for this purpose.
Once the cooking time is up; remove the meat pieces from the liquid and place it onto a strainer/colander. Pour the braising liquid through a sieve to remove the onions, garlic, and tomato pieces. NOTE: This is optional! You can still make the gravy without doing this.
Because I love dishes that involve gravy, I purchased a gravy/fat separator. This was a great investment! Otherwise, remove as much of the floating fat from the juices as possible. After removing the fat, I was left with about 2 1/2 cups of juice. Return this to the pot. On medium high heat, bring the juices to a slight boil, taste the broth and add more seasonings accordingly to reach the desired flavor. Make the slurry by combining the cornstarch and 1/4 cup water. Whisk to combine and dissolve the cornstarch.
Drizzle this into the meat juices, and whisk continuously until the gravy has thickened. Bring up to another boil and then remove from heat. Set this aside.
In a large frying pan, on medium high heat, add about 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil. Once this oil is heated, add the meat pieces, turning to brown on all sides and crisping up any traces of fat. Remove and allow to cool off slightly, so that you can handle it without burning yourself.
Using a sharp knife, slice the meat AGAINST the grain OR in opposite direction that you see the meat strands going. Cutting the meat this way, makes for a much tender piece of meat. Slice them evenly and lay the slices onto a large serving tray.
Stir the gravy once again, and then using a ladle, pour the gravy over top of the meat slices. Serve with steamed rice and any vegetables. I hope you enjoy this dish; it was fun making it and we definitely enjoyed eating it as well. Si Yu’us Ma’ase! 😉