Simple Tender Pot Roast with Holy Grail Gravy

Photo of pot roast, gravy and mashed cauliflower

“In medieval times. many knights traveled great distances in search of the legendary Holy Grail. It was never found, perhaps because these earnest seekers had no idea what it looked like or exactly where they should look for it.” ~ George Gruhn


When you switch to a grain-free diet, one of the recipes you lose is a thick and delicious gravy. Wheat flour traditionally thickens gravies, and that’s no longer an option. Paleo recipes substitute  tapioca or arrowroot flour, but if you’re on the GAPS Diet, neither of those are allowed. You can try to settle for a little extra broth, but it’s not the same. Well, all of that changes today. This gravy tastes better than any gravy I’ve had in my life, and it’s 100% grain and flour-free. Added bonus? The gravy takes only minutes to make, and the pot roast is made in a crockpot, which does the cooking for you. (If you don’t have a crockpot, no worries. I included an oven variation.) This has become a favorite dinner for my family, and I hope it does for yours as well.

This recipe was selected out of thousands of others, to be in
Chowstalker’s Community Cookbook!
Woot Woot!


2-4 lb. chuck roast (either with or without a bone is fine)
1 onion (chopped)
4 carrots (chopped in large chunks)
2 stalks celery (thickly sliced)
2-4 garlic cloves (whole)
1 bay leaf (whole)
2 branches fresh rosemary (whole)
1/4 cup of broth (or water)
sea salt
black pepper (optional – omit for AIP)

Servings: The meat cooks down quite a bit, making approximately 4 servings per 2 lb. roast & 8 servings per 4 lb.


  1. Put all the veggies and herbs in a crock pot. (If you don’t have a crockpot, preheat your oven to 250 degrees and use a lidded casserole dish or dutch oven instead.)
  2. Pour ¼ cup broth on top of the vegetables. (This small amount is intentional; the meat will release its own juices.)
  3. Season all sides of the roast liberally with salt (and pepper, if using), and place on top of the vegetables.
  4. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours, until meat can be shredded with fork.
  5. When done, lift meat out of crockpot onto a plate and make the gravy: Throw away the bay leaf and rosemary branches. Pour the liquid from the crockpot into a blender. Add half of the cooked vegetables and puree. To increase the thickness of the gravy or strengthen its flavor, add more of the vegetables. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
  6. I love serving this pot roast over garlic mashed cauliflower, with gravy on top.
  7. Leftovers: You can put the meat and gravy in one container, tossing to blend before refrigeration. This keeps it moist and flavorful, and makes reheating a breeze.
  8. Note: If you’re like me and cook with garlic often, this little kitchen tool makes peeling cloves easy, which makes me a happier cook.

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Thank you, Laurie: This gravy was inspired by the late food writer Laurie Colwin. My recipe is very different from hers, but twenty years after she died, I read her book Home Cooking. In it, she mentions the idea of a vegetable gravy ~ an idea that is simply genius.

For another great crockpot recipe, check out my Roast Pork with Onion Apple Gravy.

This post is linked to the following blog carnivals:
AIP Recipe Roundtable, Wheat-Free Wednesday, Fresh Bites Friday, Whole Food Friday, Fight Back Friday, Simple Meals Friday, What Am I Eating?, Weekend Whatever Link-Up, Make Your Own Monday, Fat Tuesday, Family Table Tuesday, Healthy Tuesday, Tuned In Tuesday, Traditional Tuesday, Waste Not Want Not Wednesday, Allergy-Free Wednesday, Well Fed Wednesday, Party Wave Wednesday, Wildcrafting Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, Whole Foods Wednesday, Thank Your Body Thursday, Tasty Traditions, Simple Lives Thursday,

24 thoughts on “Simple Tender Pot Roast with Holy Grail Gravy

  1. What a great idea to thicken your gravy! I love it. I just found your blog through the Whole Foods Wednesday link up on This Chick Cooks. I’m going to pass it on to my friend who is in her 30′s and was diagnosed with arthritis. I completely believe that so many illnesses can be cured and are also cause by our diet, good luck in your journey!

  2. Eileen, Just wanted to drop a note that I made your pot roast and gravy tonight and it was awesome! Especially the gravy – what a concept – perfect. Of course with most recipes, I added my own twist adding brussel sprouts and some purple/red/yellow potato quarters and a little variation on spice. But basically, pretty much as you put it together. Brought me right back to my meat and potatoes roots! Only healthier and the meat wasn’t dry like Moms…. ;-)

    Found this from Fight Back Friday. I hope your healing is going well. Best of luck and thanks for the recipe!

  3. Not so sure what went wrong with this dish for me. The ‘gravy’ turned out like a vegetable puree and the meat was super dry and flavorless. I cooked a 2 1/2 pounder for 6 hrs on low. Thank you for the recipe. For whatever reason it did not work for me. :(

    • Oh, that’s so sad! I’ve made this numerous times with different size roasts and it always turns out delicious. Wish I had some insight for you.

      • So, I thought about this a little more today, and it sounds like your roast didn’t release much in the way of natural juices. Did you use a chuck roast, or a leaner cut of meat?

        • Thank you for your time! I used boneless chuck. It had a lot of fat so I thought it would be okay. I will try again though! Your gravy looks to die for!

          • Boneless chuck roast should work. So, let’s troubleshoot the crockpot. Maybe it runs hot? If so, I would start checking it at the 4-hour mark, or else try the oven braising method instead. As for the gravy being like a veggie puree, blend just a few of the cooked veggies at a time with the cooking liquid, until you get the thickness you like. You can also keep some extra broth on hand to thin it out, if needed, but I always get plenty of liquid from the roast. I hope the second time is the charm!

  4. I made these yesterday for our life group and everyone loved it! As soon as I tasted this dish I started clapping and saying “yay!!!” In a loud voice! My 17 mo was so confused. She did join in on the celebration! I was so happy to finally have a dish like this!!!

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  7. A customer shared this recipe with me and it is the BEST crockpot roast I’ve ever made. Scrumptious! Except I really used a brisket ;)
    As a 100% grass fed beef farmer, I reduced the cook time quite a bit for my meat. I put the veggies in first around noon, then added the meat around 3p. Perfectly done by 6p. The gravy is so, so, so good and chock full of nutrition. Thanks for sharing your recipe, it’s a keeper!

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