Sunday, January 9, 2011

Mexican Pot Roast Tacos with Simple Salsa and Guacamole

While I typically consider pot roast a cool-weather dinner, this meal is an exception. All of the yummy melt-in-your-mouth pot roast pleasure with the spicy flavors of a Mexican fiesta! The meat prep is easy, then you just let it simmer away on the stovetop (or in a crockpot)). While that's cooking, you can prep the  simple salsa, which is done all in a food processor, and the guacamole. Serve it all in a Boston lettuce leaf (I like Costco's Mirabel Boston Premium lettuce), and add some homemade spicy paleo dippers to scoop up the extras. This recipe serves 4 adults...but don't count on leftovers!

Adapted from

Serves 4.

2 pounds boneless beef chuck roast
sea salt
freshly ground pepper
2 - 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 large onion, sliced
1 (28-oz) can organic crushed tomatoes (I use Muir Glen Fire Roasted)
1 Tbsp ancho chile powder
1 Tbsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp ground cumin
3 bay leaves
1 large head Boston lettuce

Once the beef has a nice crust, add
the onion and allow to lightly brown.
  1. Season all sides of the beef with a fair amount of salt and pepper. In a large Dutch oven, or other heavy pot that has a tight cover, heat 2-3 Tbsp olive oil over moderately high heat.
  2. Add the garlic to the oil for 1-2 minutes, then add the beef, browning the meat on all sides. Take the time to get a nice crust on the outside.
  3. Add the onion and allow to lightly brown, about 3-4 minutes. 
  4. Add the crushed tomatoes around the sides of the meat. Then add 1 tomato can of water, spices, salt and pepper (to taste). Add a little  more water if needed--just enough to cover the meat.
  5. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 3 hours or until the meat is fork tender.
  6. While the meat is cooking, make the simple salsa and guacamole. Wash Boston lettuce leaves and pat dry with a paper towel.
  7. Let meat cool slightly in the liquid. Shred meat with two forks and transfer to a serving bowl with a slotted spoon, draining most of the liquid.
Simple Salsa
1 (28-oz) can whole or diced tomatoes, drained, reserving the juices (I use Muir Glen Fire Roasted)
1 small red onion, roughly chopped
1 Serrano chile, seeded
2 garlic cloves
2 limes, juiced
1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil

  1. Pulse all ingredients, except the tomato juice, in a food processor. 
  2. Add the reserved tomato juice, if needed, to thin the salsa. 
  3. Transfer to serving bowl, drizzle salsa with olive oil, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside.
Makes about 4 cups.
6 ripe avocados
3 limes, juiced
1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove
1 serrano chile, seeded
1 big handful of fresh cilantro, with stems (about 1/2 cup)
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

  1. Halve and pit the avocados. With a spoon, scoop the flesh into a mixing bowl. 
  2. Mash the avocados with a fork, leaving them a bit chunky.
  3. Pulse onion, garlic, chile, and cilantro in food processor until finely chopped.
  4. Add onion mixture and lime juice to avocado, stirring gently to combine.
  5. Drizzle with olive oil, adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, and mix again to finish.
  6. Lay a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the guacamole so it doesn't brown.
  7. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

To serve family style: Set out meat, Boston lettuce, salsa, and guacamole. Scoop toppings onto lettuce leaves and enjoy!


  1. We made this last night- so good! The salsa and guac alone are amazing- put it all together it is one of the best meals I have had in a while.

  2. I'm glad you liked them, Brett! Thanks for letting me know. We used the leftover salsa on eggs and veggies in the morning. Yum!

  3. Beth from Crossfit FreedomAugust 18, 2011 at 9:59 PM

    OK Pam, since you gave me the lesson, I have a few back logged comments.
    A few weeks ago I made this! We loved it too. So So Good!
    Now, I make the salsa all the time to eat with eggs in the morning. So simple and easy.
    I took your suggestion and used some leftovers on eggs. Like I always say, super super great!
    Thank you.

  4. Beth, I love all of your comments. Keep them coming! I just ordered another roast from Wallace and I'm challenging myself to come up with an equally good use for it. I love this recipe, so it'll be tough! So glad you liked it! Thanks for the post.