Gallic Pot Roast {Ode to Julia}

Gallic Pot Roast

Apparently, I’ve been dicing onions all wrong. And I never knew how to cook – let alone eat, an artichoke. Further, if you asked me what “tripe” was, I’d have said a fish.

That was, until I spent an entire evening watching old episodes of “The French Chef” with Julia Child. I managed to finish half a dozen shows before forcing myself to call it a night – and I learned a ton.

If you’ve not seen one of her shows, it’s likely you have seen a parody of one – say, on Saturday Night Live. Or maybe you caught Meryl Streep beautifully capturing the chef in the movie “Julie & Julia“.

I’m a bit of a Julia fan. You’ll find a Pillivuyt dish from her home in France, along with her autograph in my kitchen. But I had never watched her first television series.

Long before today’s perfectly staged cooking shows on the Food Network – in kitchens that are impeccably organized and always spotless, there was Julia. Her voice is unmistakeable, her style incredibly casual and you are guaranteed to learn something in every episode. Also, I’m pretty sure that, at least when taping The French Chef, current Health Department standards were not on her radar. {Watch the episode from which this recipe comes, and you’ll see what I mean!}

She didn’t take herself too seriously, but boy did she take her ingredients seriously! Namely, lard. And butter.

Besides her genius, and her way of making anyone feel confident enough to tackle one of her dishes, she embraced the dropped chicken, the messy frosting job and other inevitable kitchen faux pas. The episodes typically end with Julia carrying the finished dish into the “dining room,” sitting down with a glass of appropriately paired wine and showing you how to best serve and enjoy the recipe you’re now dying to try.

In the episode titled “Gallic Pot Roast,” she introduces us to a larding needle {a what?!] and instructs us to use a whole bottle of wine in the marinade. I laughed out loud when she said “If you don’t have time to marinate this for at least two days, don’t bother!

She ends the episode by exclaiming ::

Just look what happens when you cook with your noggin and a little bit of wine!

Husband and I don’t eat red meat very often, but I was so hungry for pot roast at the end of this episode, that I wanted to make it right then. And by “then” I mean, it was close to midnight. Instead, I waited until I possessed both the time and consciousness to dedicate to the dish. The result? Délicieux!

Some notes :: I omitted the lard, as well as the bones that Julia uses in the show. If you’d like to explore making this just as Julia would, refer to a very similar recipe {for Boeuf à la Mode} in “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.” It is 6 pages long!! But so incredibly informative and helpful. You should be aware – you’ll also need cracked veal knuckles, split calf’s feet and fresh pork rind if you’re going for authenticity!

Start this at least two days before you want to serve it. I marinated mine for four days! {Julia said that was ok.} You’ll love how delicious your house smells as the roast braises.

And as Julia would say… “Bon appetít!”

5.0 from 1 reviews
Gallic Pot Roast
  • 1 (750-milliliter) bottle red wine
  • 4½ tablespoons olive oil
  • 4½ tablespoons garlic
  • 1 cup sliced onion
  • 1 cup sliced carrot
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt coarse
  • 2 bay leaves preferably imported
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 6 whole peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 cups canned tomatoes
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 8 pounds beef chuck roast
  • parsley
  1. Mix marinade ingredients {wine through orange peel} together in large bowl or Ziploc bag. Add meat to mixture and marinate for at least two days and up to four.
  2. Preheat oven to 325º.
  3. Remove meat from marinade and strain, reserving the vegetables.
  4. Heat a large Dutch oven over high heat, and add meat to brown on all sides. Remove and set aside.
  5. Add a little olive oil to Dutch oven and stir in vegetables, sauteeing until starting to brown, 6-8 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle vegetables with flour, and cook, stirring until mixture turns mahogany brown. Gradually pour in marinade.
  7. Return meat to Dutch oven, fatty side up. Add tomatoes and enough beef stock to cover meat by ⅔. Bring to a simmer on the stove.
  8. Place foil directly on meat {to help keep from drying out}, cover and place in oven.
  9. Cook for 3 hours, turning and basting occasionally, until meat is done. {Cooking time will depend on size and quality of roast, as well as how long it's been marinating.}
  10. Let meat sit for half an hour, covered, to rest.
  11. Meanwhile, strain and degrease the sauce. Discard solids. Reduce the sauce over medium high heat - 2½ to 3 cups should remain. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Julia says this recipe serves 12. I used a roast just over 4 pounds and scaled the recipe accordingly. Don't worry about exact measurements - almost every ingredient given in the program was prefaced with "about" or "approximately" or followed by "to taste" or "to your liking."

By the way, I picked up the yummy noodles in this picture at the Mill City Farmer’s Market on Valentines weekend. The pasta is a Butternut Squash Fusilli, that just happens to be gluten free. It’s from a wonderful local company called Sunrise Creative Gourmet. Tossed with just a little butter and parsley, they made a perfect little bed for the Gallic Pot Roast and sauce.

julia child gallic pot roast

Me and “Julia” at her 100th birthday celebration.


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8 Responses to Gallic Pot Roast {Ode to Julia}

  1. Cameron March 18, 2015 at 8:19 am #

    My new #1 post (sorry gobs). First time I’ve ever wanted to eat roast for breakfast.

    • Morgan Wood March 18, 2015 at 9:21 am #

      Cameron – you should really start cooking more! “The ladies” love that…!

      • Cameron March 18, 2015 at 6:17 pm #

        That would be dangerous, I’m already suffocating as-is from all the ladies :)

  2. Rob Anthony March 18, 2015 at 10:02 am #

    Holy cow… see what I did there? This should be every meal for our next drive. Please and thank you.

  3. Coco in the Kitchen March 18, 2015 at 4:34 pm #

    A Gallic recipe. Damn impressive.
    I love Julia, too.
    This looks delicious!

  4. Charlane April 6, 2018 at 7:13 am #

    Apologies in advance for this long review; I didn’t have an opportunity to marinate as I was making it the same day. I made the marinade according to the recipe, adding the broth and tomatoes, Due to a couple pantry shortages I had to substitute; 1/8 tsp cointreau for the orange zest, and 1 TBSP balsamic vinegar per cup of broth in lieu of the wine. I used only about 1 TBSP flour on the veggies, I like a lighter gravy and without marinading first I was afraid to lose flavour. This turned out amazing, the gravy had incredible flavour and the meat was so tender! The gravy was well thickened. My Polish Oma made a roast that smelled and tasted very similar, she’s long past so this was another bonus to the results. I recently had to cut meat out of my diet (eggs and fish only), and was making this for my family, but because of their rave reviews I had to try a couple of pieces, this will always be an exception in my meatless diet! BRAVO on an excellent pot roast recipe!!! (don’t be afraid to exclude the marinading process but I will plan ahead next time)

    • Morgan Wood April 13, 2018 at 1:26 pm #

      Charlane – thank you SO much for taking the time to come back and let us know how it went. I think the cointreau addition sounds yummy, as well as the balsamic. So glad you liked it. Like you, I don’t eat a whole lot of meat, but this recipe is sure a treat.

  5. Charlane April 6, 2018 at 7:14 am #

    Forgot my rating – 5 stars

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