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Yankee Pot Roast

Serves: Makes 6 servings


  • 1 bone – in piece of chuck roast, 4–5 pounds, trimmed of excess fat
  • Sea salt or kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Vegetable oil, such as canola
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme or 6 sprigs fresh
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3 ½ cups water or half chicken stock, half water. Do not use beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste (or use imported Italian tomato paste in tubes which have a long shelf life and are of excellent quality)
  • 8–10 small onions
  • 5 carrots in 1–2 inch pieces
  • 1 pound red potatoes or larger white potatoes in chunks
  • 1 pound large mushrooms, quartered


Follow the basics of this recipe, adding your favorite herbs or vegetables. Chopped onion, celery and carrot are used at the beginning for flavor; add your choice of vegetables to be served with the meat for the final 40–60 minutes of cooking.

Over high heat, pour sufficient oil to cover the bottom of a large Dutch oven or other large heavy pot (we use a large French enameled iron pot), generously salt and pepper both sides of the roast and sear meat until well browned on both sides. Remove meat and pour off oil. Return pot to medium heat and add chopped carrot, celery, onion and the garlic. Stir and cook vegetables, adding a small amount of oil if necessary, until softened but not browned. Sprinkle flour over vegetables and stir for 2–3 minutes. Return meat to pot, adding water and stock, tomato paste and herbs.

Bring to a simmer on top of the stove, cover (use aluminum foil under cover if it does not fit tightly). Place into preheated 325 degree oven and cook for 2 hours. Check at 1 hour and turn meat if it is not covered by liquid; add additional water if liquid is too thick – it should be the consistency of thin gravy.

At 2–2 ¼ hours, add remaining vegetables; the time varies according to size. Cook for a total of 3 hours. If the vegetables are not quite cooked, cover and let sit—cooking will continue using retained heat. Check for seasoning, adding salt or pepper to taste.

Skim excess fat from the liquid, cut meat into serving size pieces, arrange on a heated platter and surround with vegetables. Moisten with some of the liquid, pass the remainder at the table and enjoy a true New England tradition.

Tested and perfected in the Sur la Table kitchen

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