Yankee Pot Roast

Pot roasts are one of the easiest meals to put together — and one of the tastiest.

I remember when growing up how my mom used to fix hers. She first would brown the roast in a little butter and then put it in a roasting pan along with some potatoes, carrots and onions and bake it for 2 to 3 hours.

Mine are pretty much prepared the same way, although the my roasts are frozen when I stick them in a Dutch oven with the vegtables.

I usually don’t have the time to thaw and brown a roast, which is OK because slow-cooking it at 275 degrees for about 3 hours works just fine.

Just today, I received a recipe for Yankee Pot Roast from John Douglas of Roseau, Minn. John served aboard a U.S. Navy "tin can" in the 1960s and said he found the recipe in a newspaper paper called "The Tin Can Sailor," a publication that promote naval history.

The recipe, which comes from the Cookbook of the United States Navy, Revised 1944, is pretty similar to mine except that it contains tomatoes. Since tomatoes are one of my favorite vegetables (they’re really a fruit), I just might have to give the recipe a shot. But I might have to scale it down a bit, since it yields enough to serve 100. However, the recipe would be nice for a large get-together.

If you don’t like the idea off trying to figure out the amount of ingredients for a smaller batch, you can try the other recipe that follows, which serves 8.

Yankee Pot Roast
42 pounds boneless beef
3¾ quarts onions, finely chopped
1¾ tablespoons pepper
3 quarts diced carrots
3 quarts tomatoes
8 ounces beef fat
¾ cup salt
1 quart beef stock
Bay leaves and parsley, as desired
Cut beef into 6- to 8-pound pieces. Cook in fat until meat is browned on all sides, turning frequently. Add salt, pepper, stock or water, onions (may be cooked in fat until brown, if desired), bay leaves and parsley. Let simmer in tightly covered kettle or bake in slow oven (300 degrees) for 3 hours or until tender.
Turn meat 2 or 3 times while cooking. Add small amounts of liquid as needed.
Remove from pans and slice across the grain in 1/8-inch slices.
Yield: Serves 100 (4 to 5-ounce portions).

Old-Fashioned Pot Roast
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 beef chuck roast, 2½ to 3 pounds, trimmed
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup beef or chicken broth
2 tablespoons quick-mixing flour, such as Wondra
8 red potatoes, halved
8 small carrots
2 yellow onions, quartered
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
Combine the all-purpose flour, salt and pepper to taste in a large resealable plastic bag. Add the meat; seal. Shake until evenly coated.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add the meat. Cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the broth and quick-mixing flour in a small bowl until smooth. Transfer the meat to a slow cooker.
Arrange the potatoes, carrots and onions on top of the meat; pour in the broth mixture and vinegar. Cover; cook on low until the meat is very tender, about 8 hours. Skim off fat.
Yield: Serves 8.
Note: If you don’t have a slow cooker, you can make the stew in a Dutch oven and cook in the oven for about 2½ hours at 325 degrees.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 578 calories, 33 percent of calories from fat, 21 grams fat (6 grams saturated fat), 98 milligrams cholesterol, 54 grams carbohydrates, 42 grams protein, 560 milligrams sodium, 6 grams fiber.