Amazing French Style Pot Roast (Low Carb)

by laura on March 13, 2012 · 1 comment

I love to cook! And that includes cooking what I like to refer to as the “classics”. You know what I am talking about, the dishes that your Mom or Grandma would make on Sunday afternoon. The meal that you looked forward to all week.

I still enjoy a meal like this every now and again. But nowadays I am eating a much lower carb diet that is basically my own version of the Paleo/Primal diet. As a result, I have modified some of my absolute favorite classic recipes in order to support my health goals.

I make this recipe with grass fed beef that I purchase from a local farmer here in Oregon. I feel much better about eating beef these days since I have been eating only grass fed beef for a few years now. It is much, much better for you in terms of healthy fats and higher micronutrient content.

Now, finally the recipe. I am a big lover of all things French. I had the opportunity to live in France for a year when I was 26. I lived in the suburbs of Paris and often went to my then husbands, mother and grandmother’s homes for Sunday or Saturday dinners. Here is a version of the incredibly delicious French style pot roast that I ate so often. Once you try this, you will want to hang on to the recipe. It is so good.

  • 1 beef chuck roast , boneless, pulled apart into 2 pieces and fat trimmed (4-5 pounds)
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 (750 ml) bottle medium-bodied red wine
  • 10 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 ounces thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces (nitrate free)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 6 medium garlic cloves , minced
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and cut on bias into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 cups frozen pearl onions
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted pasture
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup cold water (to bloom gelatin)
  • 10 ounces crimini mushrooms , wiped clean, stems trimmed, halved if small and quartered if large
  • sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon powdered unflavored gelatin


  1. Season meat with kosher salt. Place on wire rack in rimmed baking sheet, and let rest at room temperature for 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, bring wine to simmer in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until reduced to 2 cups, about 15 minutes. Using kitchen twine, tie parsley sprigs, thyme sprigs, and bay leaves into bundle.
  3. Pat beef dry with paper towels and season generously with pepper. Tie three pieces of kitchen twine around each piece of meat to keep it from falling apart.
  4. Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and heat oven to 300°F Cook bacon in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 6-8 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper-towel lined plate and reserve. Pour off all but 2 tbsp of bacon fat; return Dutch oven to medium-high heat and heat until fat begins to smoke. Add beef to pat and brown on all sides, 8-10 minutes total. Transfer beef to large plate and set aside.
  5. Reduce heat to medium; add onion and cook,, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, 2-4 minutes. Add garlic, flour, and reserved bacon; cook stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add reduced wine, broth, and herb bundles, scraping bottom of pan with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits. Return roast and any accumulated juices to pot; increase heat to high and bring liquid to simmer, then place large sheet of foil over pot and cover tightly with lid. Set pot in oven and cook, using tongs to turn beef every hour, until dinner fork slips easily in and out of meat, 2 1/2 -3 hours, adding carrots to pot after 2 hours.
  6. While meat cooks, bring pearl onions, butter, sugar and 1/2 cup water to boil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook until onions are tender, 5-8 minutes. Uncover, increase heat to medium-high heat, and cook until all liquid evaporates, 3-4 minutes. Add mushrooms and 1/4 teaspoons table salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are browned and glazed 8-12 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. Place remaining 1/4 cup cold water in small bowl and sprinkle gelatin on top.
  7. Transfer beef to cutting board; tent with foil to keep warm. Allow braising liquid to settle for about 5 minutes, then using wide shallow spoon, skim fat off surface. Remove herb bundle and stir in onion-mushroom mixture. Bring liquid to simmer over medium-high heat and cook until mixture is slightly thickened and reduced to 3 1/4 cups, 20-30 minutes. Season sauce with salt and pepper. Add softened gelatin and stir until completely dissolved.
  8. Remove kitchen twine from meat and discard. Using chef’s or carving knife, cut meat against grain into 1/2″ thick slices. Divide meat among warmed bowls or transfer to platter; arrange vegetables around meat, pour sauce on top, and sprinkle with minced parsley. Serve immediately.
  9. To make ahead: Follow recipe to point where gelatine is sprinkled on top of cold water. OMIT THIS STEP. Place the meat back into reduced sauce, cool it to room temperature, cover it, and refrigerate for up to 2 days. To serve slice the beef and arrange it in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Bring the sauce to a simmer and stir in the gelatin until completely dissolved. Pour the war m sauce over the meat, cover it with aluminum foil and bake it in a 350°F oven until heated through, about 30 minutes.
    This recipe can be served with boiled potatoes, buttered noodles or steamed rice if you want to have it the traditional way (not low carb obviously). I don’t eat it that way because I don’t think it needs anything else.
    I like to serve it over steamed zucchini, cauliflower, or “cauliflower rice”. I will also post the cauliflower rice recipe.

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