Anklylosing Spondylitis and Diet: Best Damn Pot Roast

This is seriously my favorite pot roast recipe ever.  I’ve adopted a recipe I originally found on the great Mark Sisson’s website and have made it my own.  The spice rub is Mark’s, but the rest is my own take.  Give it a try and you’ll never look at pot roast the same way again.

4-5 pound pot roast (shoulder roast, whatever)

3 medium carrots

1 medium onion

4 cloves garlic, whole

1 cup beef stock (or more, sorry, I eyeball my liquids and will explain below in the notes)

1 bottle beer (use a good darker beer, not Coors or Bud. If you can find Holiday Beer w/spices in it then all the better)

1 16 ounce can of diced tomatoes (can use fire roasted or other)

3 tablespoons Ghee (or butter, or olive oil)

Spice Rub:

  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons salt (kosher salt is best)
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon allspice

Salt and pepper to taste


Prepare the spice rub in a medium glass bowl and mix it well with a spoon.  Bring your pot roast to room temperature and then pat it dryish with a paper towel.  Place roast on a plate or brownie pan and use a spoon to sprinkle the spice rub over the roast.  Use one hand to sprinkle and the other to pat the rub into the roast in a uniform layer.  Be sure to get the rub on every surface.  Set roast aside.  If you have time then you can wrap the roast in plastic wrap and put the fridge for an hour or two, but this is not required.

Preheat oven to 225 degrees.  Heat a large oven-proof pan (pan must have a lid.  I use a Le Crusete French oven, but any kind of oven proof pan with lid will do) on the stove top over high heat.  Once pan is nice and hot add a couple tablespoons of Ghee and let it melt.  Sear all sides of the spice-rubbed pot roast.  That means all 6 sides including the ends.  I use some grilling tongs and a large spoon to balance the pot roast.  You should sear each side for around 1-2 minutes or until a nice “crust” develops on all sides.  Remove pot roast from pan and set aside on a plate. I’ll usually reserve some of the Ghee and add more as I flip the roast to a new side.  Add  your beef stock to the hot pan and deglaze, rubbing bottom of pan with a wooden spoon to remove all the good chunks from the bottom.  Don’t you dare throw those chunks out, they’re key and you will leave them in the cooking liquid.  Add beer and tomatoes and bring to a boil.  Turn off heat and add the pot roast, carrots, garlic, onions.  The liquid in your pan should come up half way up the side of the pot roast so that the roast is half submerged in your liquid.  If you don’t have enough liquid then either use a smaller pan or just add some more beef stock till you reach the desired depth.   Cover pot and put it in your preheated oven for 3 hours.  After 3 hours increase oven temperature to 285 degrees and cook for another 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  Pull the roast out once during the first 3 hour shift and flip the meat, and then do the same half way through the second 2 hour shift…flip the meat, cover and put back in the oven immediately.

When the roast is done the meat should fall right off the bone.  You should be able to pick chunks of it up w/the tongs or a fork.

Serve with a huge mixed salad and red wine.

This is not your mother’s pot roast.  There’s a spicy kick to it and if you have kids then you may want to cut the pepper in half.  Otherwise, a good bottle of beer is key.  I used a holiday blend from New Belgium brewery which had cinnamon flavorings and it was absolutely perfect.  But any really good dark beer will do nicely.  Enjoy!


  • Lauren

    Hey Bob! This looks excellent, however I thought carrots were starchy? I haven’t touched them since I started the diet. Do yours not test starchy? Also, how long did it take you to feel comfortable adding back starchy spices? I have only been using herbs because I was under the impression most spices were starchy…


    • Hi Lauren,
      I was pretty strict with herbs like curry and pepper for my first year on the diet but after a while added them back in and have not suffered a flare.  Same with carrots.  They’re safe for me but you should understand that I’ve got 7 years on this diet and have added back in “suspect” foods like carrots over time and only kept them on the list if they produced no reaction.  I don’t even bother testing carrots any more as I know that I’ve never suffered a reaction from them.  Same with whole spices.  No reaction at all.

      Good luck!

      • Lauren

        Thanks for the quick response! I can’t wait to “grow up” like you in respect to your diet. I’m so impatient! I know it will be worth it, as my work thus far has already proven to be a god-send. Right now my diet is very bland, so I’m jealous of you being able to enjoy the above recipe 😛

        • Be patient, I’m sure you’ll get there soon.  If you stick with your version of a “safe” diet then eventually your gut will start to heal and you”ll be able to add back many food items which are now questionable.  That’s the way it was for me and I see no reason why it shouldn’t be the same for you.

          Good luck!