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Low-Carb Braised Beef With Rum & Fennel

5 stars, average of 11 ratings

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Is there anything more comforting that a big pot of rich, fall-apart tender beef in a flavourful gravy? Nope, I don’t think so. This dish may seem a little fussy but it’s really not as hard as it sounds. You will be tempted to shortcut some steps but I highly recommend against it. The end result is so worth it, trust me.

Serve this big low-carb bowl of comfort over creamy cauliflower mash to give yourself a hug from the inside. This keto dish freezes really well so it’s a great one to make when you want to stash a couple of dinners in the freezer. Enjoy!

Slow Cooker and Instant Pot Tips

We made this delicious beef stew in a large heavy-based flameproof casserole pot, or you can use a Dutch oven.

If want to use a crockpot, follow the tips below:

  • Follow the recipe up to step 6 (browning the meat). Instead of transferring the meat to a bowl, place into a preheated slow cooker (crockpot).
  • Deglaze the pot where you browned the meat with beef stock and then pour over the browned beef. Since you are using a slow cooker, you will only need 2 cups (480 ml) of stock of stock instead of the 4 cups. This means you should use all of the stock (2 cups) to make the marinade.
  • To the slow cooker add all of the remaining vegetables and aromatics.
  • Cover with a lid and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours, or on low for 6 to 8 hours.

If want to use the Instant Pot, follow the tips below:

  • Follow the recipe instructions but instead of using a large casserole pot, use the Saute settings on your Instant Pot to brown the meat.
  • Transfer the browned meat into a bowl and deglaze the Instant Pot with beef stock. Since you are using the Instant Pot, you will only need 2 cups (480 ml) of stock instead of the 4 cups. This means you should use all of the stock (2 cups) to make the marinade.
  • To the Instant Pot add all of the remaining vegetables and aromatics, and then add back the browned beef.
  • Cover with a lid and set to Manual, high pressure for 45 minutes, vent in sealing position.
  • Once the cook time is over, let the steam escape naturally.

Hands-on Overall

Serving size about 1 1/2 cups, 350 g/ 12 oz

Allergy information for Low-Carb Braised Beef With Rum & Fennel

✔  Gluten free
✔  Egg free
✔  Nut free
✔  Avocado free
✔  Coconut free
✔  Fish free

Nutritional values (per about 1 1/2 cups, 350 g/ 12 oz)

Net carbs6.5 grams
Protein43.5 grams
Fat55.5 grams
Calories746 kcal
Calories from carbs 4%, protein 25%, fat 71%
Total carbs8.5 gramsFiber2 gramsSugars3.7 gramsSaturated fat22.6 gramsSodium577 mg(25% RDA)Magnesium116 mg(29% RDA)Potassium1,322 mg(66% EMR)

Ingredients (makes 8 servings)

  • 1 yellow onion, diced (110 g/ 3.9 oz)
  • 1 fennel bulb, sliced (234 g/ 8.3 oz)
  • 200 g pumpkin, deseeded and peeled (7.1 oz)
  • 2 cinnamon quills or 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3/4 cup dark rum (180 ml/ 6 fl oz)
  • zest of 1 organic orange, peeled into strips
  • 1.5 kg beef chuck casserole (3.3 lb)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (60 ml/ 2 fl oz)
  • 3/4 stick unsalted butter (85 g/ 3 oz)
  • 250 g bacon, chopped roughly (8.8 oz)
  • 300 g small button mushrooms, whole (10.6 oz)
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste (45 g/ 1.6 oz)
  • 4 cups beef stock, divided (960 ml/ 32 fl oz)
  • tarragon to taste for garnish, or parsley if you can’t find tarragon

Instructions

  1. Prepare all the ingredients. Slice the bacon. Cut your beef into bite-sized pieces, approx. 2.5 cm/ 1" pieces. Low-Carb Braised Beef With Rum & Fennel
  2. Peel the onion, pumpkin and fennel and chop roughly. Peel the orange zest into strips. Dice the pumpkin and onion. Slice the fennel and garlic. Low-Carb Braised Beef With Rum & Fennel
  3. Combine onion, pumpkin, fennel, cinnamon (use 2 sticks or 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon), garlic, bay leaves, rum, two cups (480 ml) of beef stock, orange zest and diced beef in a bowl. Cover and marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours, ideally overnight.
    Low-Carb Braised Beef With Rum & Fennel
  4. Preheat oven to 140 °C/ 285 °F (fan assisted), or 160 °C/ 320 °F (conventional). Strain beef mixture, reserving the liquid. Place the beef and vegetables into two separate bowls.
  5. Place the marinade in a saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 to 6 minutes.
  6. Heat half oil and half butter in a large heavy-based flameproof casserole pot over high heat. Sear the beef in batches, making sure to not crowd the pot, until browned and then set transfer into a bowl and set aside.
    Note: If you want to use a slow cooker or the Instant Pot instead, follow the tips in the recipe post above. Low-Carb Braised Beef With Rum & Fennel
  7. To the pot where you cooked the meat add remaining oil and butter, and then the bacon and mushrooms, and cook, stirring frequently, for about 2 minutes.
  8. Add reserved vegetables from the marinade and cook, stirring, for 5 to 6 minutes until vegetables begin to soften. Add tomato paste and stir for 1 minute until the vegetables are coated.
    Low-Carb Braised Beef With Rum & Fennel
  9. Place the beef back into the pan with marinade and remaining beef stock, scraping bottom of pan with a wooden spoon. Bring to the boil, cover and braise in the oven for 2 1/2 hours, until the meat is tender.
    Low-Carb Braised Beef With Rum & Fennel
  10. Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove the beef and the mushrooms from the pot — remembering that the beef will be very tender. Remove the cinnamon quills, bay leaves and orange peel and discard.
    Low-Carb Braised Beef With Rum & Fennel
  11. Use a handheld stick blender to puree the vegetables and liquid and then place back on the stovetop on medium-high heat for 5 minutes to thicken the sauce.
    Low-Carb Braised Beef With Rum & Fennel
  12. Return the beef and the mushrooms to the sauce and add a handful of tarragon or chopped parsley for freshness.
  13. Serve over creamy cauliflower mash. Store in a covered container in the fridge for up to one week. This recipe freezes well for up to 3 months.
    Low-Carb Braised Beef With Rum & Fennel

Braised Beef with Rum & Fennel

5 stars, average of 11 ratings
Braised Beef with Rum & Fennel
The ultimate low-carb and keto comfort food recipe. Baked in the oven on low with rum, fennel, pumpkin, mushrooms and aromatics for fall-apart tender beef. Best served with creamy cauliflower mash!
Hands on30m
Overall8h

Ingredients (makes 8 servings)

  • 1 yellow onion, diced (110 g/ 3.9 oz)
  • 1 fennel bulb, sliced (234 g/ 8.3 oz)
  • 200 g pumpkin, deseeded and peeled (7.1 oz)
  • 2 cinnamon quills or 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3/4 cup dark rum (180 ml/ 6 fl oz)
  • zest of 1 organic orange, peeled into strips
  • 1.5 kg beef chuck casserole (3.3 lb)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (60 ml/ 2 fl oz)
  • 3/4 stick unsalted butter (85 g/ 3 oz)
  • 250 g bacon, chopped roughly (8.8 oz)
  • 300 g small button mushrooms, whole (10.6 oz)
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste (45 g/ 1.6 oz)
  • 4 cups beef stock, divided (960 ml/ 32 fl oz)
  • tarragon to taste for garnish, or parsley if you can’t find tarragon

Instructions

  1. Prepare all the ingredients. Slice the bacon. Cut your beef into bite-sized pieces, approx. 2.5 cm/ 1" pieces.
  2. Peel the onion, pumpkin and fennel and chop roughly. Peel the orange zest into strips. Dice the pumpkin and onion. Slice the fennel and garlic.
  3. Combine onion, pumpkin, fennel, cinnamon (use 2 sticks or 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon), garlic, bay leaves, rum, two cups (480 ml) of beef stock, orange zest and diced beef in a bowl. Cover and marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours, ideally overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 140 °C/ 285 °F (fan assisted), or 160 °C/ 320 °F (conventional). Strain beef mixture, reserving the liquid. Place the beef and vegetables into two separate bowls.
  5. Place the marinade in a saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 to 6 minutes.
  6. Heat half oil and half butter in a large heavy-based flameproof casserole pot over high heat. Sear the beef in batches, making sure to not crowd the pot, until browned and then set transfer into a bowl and set aside. Note: If you want to use a slow cooker or the Instant Pot instead, follow the tips in the recipe post above.
  7. To the pot where you cooked the meat add remaining oil and butter, and then the bacon and mushrooms, and cook, stirring frequently, for about 2 minutes.
  8. Add reserved vegetables from the marinade and cook, stirring, for 5 to 6 minutes until vegetables begin to soften. Add tomato paste and stir for 1 minute until the vegetables are coated.
  9. Place the beef back into the pan with marinade and remaining beef stock, scraping bottom of pan with a wooden spoon. Bring to the boil, cover and braise in the oven for 2 1/2 hours, until the meat is tender.
  10. Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove the beef and the mushrooms from the pot — remembering that the beef will be very tender. Remove the cinnamon quills, bay leaves and orange peel and discard.
  11. Use a handheld stick blender to puree the vegetables and liquid and then place back on the stovetop on medium-high heat for 5 minutes to thicken the sauce.
  12. Return the beef and the mushrooms to the sauce and add a handful of tarragon or chopped parsley for freshness.
  13. Serve over creamy cauliflower mash. Store in a covered container in the fridge for up to one week. This recipe freezes well for up to 3 months.

Nutrition (per about 1 1/2 cups, 350 g/ 12 oz)

Calories746kcal
Net Carbs6.5g
Carbohydrates8.5g
Protein43.5g
Fat55.5g
Saturated Fat22.6g
Fiber2g
Sugar3.7g
Sodium577mg
Magnesium116mg
Potassium1,322mg

Detailed nutritional breakdown (per about 1 1/2 cups, 350 g/ 12 oz)

Net carbsProteinFatCalories
Total per about 1 1/2 cups, 350 g/ 12 oz
6.5 g43.5 g55.5 g746 kcal
Onion, brown (yellow), raw
0.9 g0.1 g0 g5 kcal
Fennel bulb, fresh
1.2 g0.4 g0.1 g9 kcal
Pumpkin, fresh
1.5 g0.3 g0 g7 kcal
Cinnamon, spices
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Garlic, fresh
0.5 g0.1 g0 g2 kcal
Bay leaf, dried
0.1 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Rum, distilled alcoholic beverage (~40% vol)
0 g0 g0 g48 kcal
Orange peel (zest), fresh
0.3 g0 g0 g2 kcal
Beef, chuck eye steak, boneless, separable lean and fat, trimmed to 0" fat, all grades, raw
0 g35.4 g30.7 g418 kcal
Olive oil, extra virgin
0 g0 g6.8 g60 kcal
Butter, unsalted, grass-fed
0 g0.1 g8.6 g76 kcal
Bacon, streaky (high fat content), organic
0 g4.3 g7.8 g88 kcal
Mushrooms (brown), fresh
1.4 g0.9 g0 g8 kcal
Tomato purée (paste, unsweetened)
0.4 g0.1 g0 g2 kcal
Beef bone broth, beef stock
0.2 g1.8 g1.5 g20 kcal
Tarragon, fresh
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal

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Naomi Sherman
Creator of NaomiShermanFoodCreative.com

Naomi Sherman

Naomi is the force behind Naomi Sherman, Food Creative. She is passionate about recipe development, food photography and styling.

An accomplished home cook who was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease eight years ago, Naomi started to explore the connection between healthy, whole food and her symptoms, and a new love was born.

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Comments (4)

By halfway through this recipe I was thinking this had better be good because it was so fussy to make, pulling the meat in and out and in and out. Oh my!!! Totally worth it. It was ah-may-zing!! The flavours were deep and complex and just divine.
My only changes that I'll make next time is to cut the meat larger to make it easier to pull out and get bigger missions for the same reason. Otherwise, this is a well balanced, well constructed recipe. It'll be on high rotation in our house.

Thank you so much for your lovely feedback and tips!

I made this and it was fabulous! Very nice mix of flavors. Meltingly tender meat. Will make it again!

Thank you Elaine, glad you enjoyed!