Yankee Pot Roast

Yankee Pot Roast

Serves 4-6
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 4 hours, 20 minutes
Total time 4 hours, 50 minutes
Allergy Wheat
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Serve Hot


  • 3-4 lb. chuck, blade, round or shoulder of beef
  • garlic to taste
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4-1/2 cup suet or other fat
  • 1 onion
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2-3 cloves (whole)
  • 2 cups boiling water (plus more if needed)
  • 3 carrots (large, cut in one-inch pieces)
  • 2 zuchinni squash (cut in one-inch pieces)
  • 4-5 potatoes (for boiling, not baking)
  • 1 cup red wine (optional)
  • 2 large tomatoes (chopped)


Brown Meat
1. Dry meat and pat generously with flour.
2. Heat suet and brown garlic (be careful not to burn
3. Brown meat on all sides in fat, adding onion when half done.
Bake Meat
4. Spoon off excess fat, add boiling water and some of the red wine if you are using it. Add bay leaf and cloves.
5. Bake meat in liquid and seasonings at 300-325 degrees for 3-4 hours. (or simmer, covered on stove top).
6. While meat is baking, turn to keep top moist, and add more hot water if needed.
Cook vegetables
7. Meanwhile, in separate pot on stove top, boil potatoes and carrots for 30-40 minutes. If using zucchini, add it in the last 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and other herbs you like--thyme, oregano, basil--improvise.
8. When you can easily stick a long-tined fork clear through the meat, it is done. Remove the meat from the pan, put it on a platter with high sides and cover with foil to keep it warm.
9. Put two tablespoons of flour into a cup, whisk in water to make a thick liquid. Whisk this into the hot broth. Taste and adjust seasonings. Arrange vegetables around meat and spoon the gravy over all.


The lovely thing about a pot roast is its flexibility (that and its ability to turn a cheap cut of meat into a delicious meal).
I used zucchini squash, which is a non-traditional choice. The basics are onions, carrots and potatoes. I can't eat onions, so I actually leave them out entirely, but I think they add a lot to the pot. You can easily use acorn or butternut squash as one of the vegetables. Try rutabagas or parsnips.

I used tomatoes, but our early Puritan ancestors would not have touched a tomato. Now that we've decided they don't poison us, you can chop up a fresh beefsteak tomato or dump in a can of diced tomatoes. Choose your own seasonings and put wine in or not. (I tend to think the Howe women at their tavern were not wasting the hard-to-come-by imported wine for cooking, but maybe they used hard cider.)

Cooking over the open fire, I doubt the Howe women bothered to cook the vegetables separately, but I like the more distinct tastes and the ability to keep them from over cooking. These are fine points the Howe tavern cooks were not terribly concerned about, I'm sure.
Finally, know that this is one of those dishes that is even better the next day. Serve it with some buttered coarse bread and a dram of ale and you'll be right back in the 18th century.

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