Pot Roast, Chamorro Style

Whenever I find myself feeling a bit homesick, I think of something to cook that soothes my longing for my island home. Chamorro Pot Roast is one of those dishes. This is a dish that was usually on the menu for Chamorro gatherings. I remember going to parties when I was younger, and before the table was opened, I’d check to see if there was any pot roast. If there was, the ONLY things I’d have on my plate were rice (red or white), pot roast (with as much gravy as I could scoop up), and lots of fina’denne’. These days, I use a crock pot to cook my pot roast. Set it and forget it…what could be easier?

Give my recipe a try.  I think you’ll like it.  🙂  

Chamorro Pot Roast



  • 1 2-lb chuck roast (look for one that is nicely marbled with fat)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 whole garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped into large chunks
  • 5-6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar (you can use white vinegar instead)
  • 2 tablespoons Dashida seasoning (Korean beef soup stock)
  • 1 teaspoon Accent or Ajinomoto
  • 1 cup water (if cooking this on the stovetop, use 2 cups water)
  • 4 tablespoons corn starch plus one cup water

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1.  Place a large skillet or dutch oven over high heat.

2.  Using a long, sharp knife, CAREFULLY cut 8 deep slits into the sides of the roast. Push a whole clove of garlic into each slit.

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3.  Rub the sides of the roast with salt and pepper.

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4.  When the pan is hot, add half of the oil into the pan. Brown the roast on all sides then remove it from the pan and place it into a slow cooker or crock pot set to HIGH.

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5.  Add the remaining oil to the pan used to brown the roast. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until the onions are translucent.  Add the sautéed onions and garlic to the slow cooker.

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6.  Into the crock pot, add:

the tomatoes with juice…

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the Dashida seasoning…

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the accent or aji…

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the balsamic vinegar…

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the soy sauce…

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and 1 cup of water (see note below) plus any remaining salt and pepper.

NOTE:  If making this on the stovetop, add 2 cups of water instead (a lot of water will evaporate as the roast cooks).

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7.  Place the lid on the slow cooker. Cook on HIGH setting for 2 hours then lower the heat to LOW and cook for an additional 2 hours then turn off the slow cooker.  If cooking this on the stovetop, cover the pot and cook over medium-low heat for 2 hours.

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8.  When the roast is done, remove the roast to a plate or cutting board and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing (don’t cut it sooner that this or all the juices will flow out and leave your roast dry).


9.  In the meantime, while the roast is resting, prepare the gravy. Using an immersion blender, purée the chunks of vegetables in the gravy until it is completely smooth. If you don’t have an immersion blender, transfer all of the gravy (the liquid and all vegetables) from the slow cooker to a blender and blend until smooth.



10.  Pour the puréed mixture into a small pot; bring the mixture to a boil.


11.  Mix the cornstarch with the remaining 1 cup of water.


Whisk the cornstarch mixture into the gravy and return to a boil, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens.  Turn off the heat once the gravy has thickened.


12.  After the roast has rested, use a serrated knife or very sharp carving knife to slice the roast into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices.


Pour gravy over the sliced roast beef.

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Serve with hot white rice and Enjoy!  I love to “drown” my pot roast and rice in lots and lots of gravy!  🙂

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  1. Allie says:

    I have made this several times. I follow your recipe to the T however one thing I do add to make it even more yummy is add some milk at the end to the gravy.

  2. Jennifer T. says:

    Hi Annie,

    I finally made your pot roast after how many years. The hubby loved it. Took a photo of it, but I’m not tech savvy to post it.

    Thank you,

  3. starr says:

    Hi Annie,

    Could I do this in an Instant Pot? What would be the suggested time conversion?


    • I’m certain you can do this in an instant pot, but I don’t own one so I can’t give you a time conversion unfortunately.

    • Jackie Pereira says:

      Try instapot for 30-40min pressure cook and then you can always add more time after checking on the tenderness of the meat. I bet 60min max would be perfect.

      Good luck! I love this recipe too! Thanks Annie!

  4. Rin says:

    Hi Annie, I made this for my sons (one of my sons has autism and he’s very picky with his food). Anyways I had made this for my family for dinner and it was a hit! My son that has autism surprisingly ate two plates of pot roast with the sauce and red rice. I was so happy that I found a new dish to make for him since he’s so picky. You got two thumbs up with this recipe from my son that has autism. Thank you so much for sharing such a delicious recipe!

  5. Shar says:

    Hi Annie,
    Are tomatoes (diced, sauce, fresh etc) a must in chamorrompot roast? A Chamorro mom made for a party and she said it did not have tomatoes. She did add mushroom slices tho. But she said it’s Chamorro pot roast.

  6. Enne says:

    Hi Annie,
    Your recipe includes Ajinomoto or Accent. Would the taste be greatly affected if it was not added?

  7. Ruth says:

    I’m making this now· It smells so good·

  8. Nina says:

    Hi Annie,

    I’m looking forward to making this for dinner tonight.
    I’ve been craving Chamoru pot roast for so long.
    the only thing I don’t have on hand is diced tomatoes. Could I sub for tomato sauce?

    Thank you.

  9. Vanessa says:

    Annie, I have a large slow cooker. Would it be okay to double your recipe? Would the cook time be the same?
    I’m looking forward to trying this out.

  10. Leander says:

    Can I substitute anything for the Dashida seasoning? I cannot find any locally.

  11. charmaine says:

    I to love pot roast it is my favorite chamorro food I love going to fiesta’s when I was young, thats the only thing I would eat with red rice and chicken kelaguen and finadene, I’m going to try and make pot roast for my children, and I hope you don’t mind if I use your recepie

    • Hi Charmaine! Of course I don’t mind. Me too–I love pot roast. I, too, used to always get pot roast and red rice (and lots of gravy), with finadene. Mmmmm mmmmm good! Stop by again soon and let me know how your pot roast turned out.

  12. DL says:

    Annie – i followed your recipe to bring to chamorro gatherings and it was a hit, now i am asked to make it for chamorro functions, get togethers and special events. I highly recommend this recipe to others. Tks for sharing.

  13. Nate says:

    Wow! This recipe took me home for a night. Thank you!

  14. Mary says:

    Thank you for your recipes! I need to make this in a big batch. What’s the best way to make them, stove top or oven? And would you happen to know if the recipe changes or the cook time and temp?

  15. Jeff says:

    Another excellent recipie. I made this last night and got thumbs up from my son. We both tried to eat the whole pot, I’m glad there is some left for lunch today.I have made this and your beef shank Kadu both have been just what I was looking for. Thank you for sharing.

  16. Mya says:

    Making the roast as I type this recipe. It already smells delicious! Can’t wait for dinner 🙂

  17. im so doing this..wow this looks great!

  18. Tess Guerrero says:

    Been searching for this recipe! Made it today, got some mixed reviews from my family. My kids raised here, use to the haole roast but the rest loved it and since I am the cook, it will be a regular menu! Turned out and tasted just like the roast back home!!! Thank you!!!!

    • Thanks for giving my recipe a try, Tess! I’m glad at least some if your family liked it. 🙂

      I’m also happy to hear it reminded you of the roasts you remember from home.

      Take care!

  19. Anicia Yates says:

    Annie, I will highly recommend this recipe. This is a must for a weekly dinner option. Easy, delicious, and an outstanding representation of our Chamorro food. Two thumbs up!!

  20. Lisa Ellison says:

    Wow!! Look EZ..n mouth watering..

  21. JENNY MARTINEZ says:


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