Recipe: Spice-Rubbed Braised Beef

Gwendolyn Dawson sends us this tested and recommended recipe from her adaptation of the Cooking Light Magazine recipe; good for the roasts, stews and, yes, the fajitas.

Gwendolyn’s Braised Beef

Yield:  10 servings (serving size: 3 ounces beef and about 1/3 cup sauce)

For the roast:

  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 (3-pound) boneless chuck roast, trimmed (or 3 lbs fajita or stew meat)

For the sauce:

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 6 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. To prepare roast, combine paprika, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt, dry mustard, and ground red pepper; rub over roast. Place roast in a large zip-top plastic bag. Seal and refrigerate 1 hour or overnight.
  2. To prepare sauce, heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion, crushed red pepper, and minced   garlic; cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add crushed tomatoes, 1/2 cup water, and the next 3 ingredients (through tomato paste), and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.
  3. Remove roast from bag and place in slow cooker. Pour sauce over roast and cook on low heat for about 8 hours until meat is tender (cooking time will be much less for smaller cuts of meat). Alternatively, add roast to sauce in Dutch oven, cover, and put it in the oven at 325° for 2 1/2 hours or until tender.

We like to spoon the meat and sauce over brown rice or bulgur.