Good Old-Fashioned Yankee Pot Roast with Red Wine & Thyme Gravy

USE - Good Old-Fashioned Yankee  Pot Roast (2)

I’ve had a real ‘hankerin’ for Yankee Pot Roast recently.  The delicious smells wafting from the pan as the chuck roast is seared reminds of Sunday mornings when I was a child. My mother would brown the roast and then simmer it for hours to serve for our Sunday dinner (or ‘din-na’ as my mother used to say with her Boston accent.)  And she always served her pot roast with creamy mashed potatoes, which I highly recommend!  (We always had mashed potatoes – and I mean always – even with Chicken Pot pie because my father was a Mashed Potato Freak!) 

I discovered this recipe in a cookbook called ‘The New Best Recipe’ from the editors of ‘Cooks Illustrated’. It really is a jewel of a cookbook.  Every single recipe was prepared over and over again until they arrived at what they believed was the absolute BEST.

This Yankee Pot Roast so tender you can cut it with a fork – no kidding!  The secret, according to ‘The New Best Recipe’, is in cooking the chuck roast in the oven at 300F,  and for a longer time than most pot roast recipes call for simply because the long, slow cooking breaks down the collagen which can make some cuts of beef, like chuck, tough. They also discovered cooking a pot roast in the oven maintains the same temperature far better than can be achieved on top of the stove.

‘The New Best Recipe’ makes a great read because they inform you what they did and how they did it… and what they didn’t like and why. I did make few changes, such as adding red wine to the cooking liquid, and thickening the gravy because, personally, I like my gravy to ‘stay where I put it’.

small red heart

Got leftover pot roast? I suggest Pub-Inspired Shepherds Potato Skins

USE - Shepherds Potato Skins -


  • 3 1/2 lbs. Chuck Roast OR Chuck-Eye Roast   ++  I purchased a 2 1/2 lb. roast 
  • salt and pepper – to sprinkle on all sides of the chuck roast
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 small carrot, roughly chopped
  • 1 small celery rib, roughly chopped
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup beef broth   ++  I didn’t have beef broth, so I used 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 – 1 1/3 cups water  ++  Liquid should come up to the middle of the roast.  If your roast is small, you may not need much water at all. 
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme    ++  Or 2 tsp. dried thyme – not ‘crushed’.  If you do use crushed thyme, use less.

For the Gravy

  • 1/4 cup dry red wine
  • 2 pinches dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 2 Tbs. cornstarch
  • salt and pepper to taste

          Oven at 350F      

 Place rack in middle of oven…. (I had to lower my rack to accommodate my Dutch Oven).

For a smaller (2 1/2 lb.) roast – cook for about 3 hours

For a larger (3 1/2 lb) roast – cook for about 4 hours

Dutch Oven - Walmart


Generously sprinkle roast – on both sides – with salt and pepper.  (I like to press the S & P in.)

Heat 2 Tbs. olive oil in a large Dutch Oven over medium-high heat.++  Don’t have a Dutch oven – use an oven-proof skillet and cover skillet with foil.  Brown meat on all sides. The meat will produce some steam as it cooks.  Don’t confuse steam with smoke BUT if your pan does smoke, reduce the heat immediately.  And don’t worry if the bottom of your pan blackens.  Mine does but it’s not ‘burnt’.

Remove meat to a platter while you cook the vegetables.

Reduce heat to medium.  Add 1 medium onion, roughly chopped, 1 small carrot, roughly chopped and 1 small celery rib, roughly chopped.  (Don’t add the garlic and sugar just yet.) Continue cooking vegetables, stirring, until they begin to brown.

Add in 2 medium garlic cloves, minced & 2 tsp. sugar and cook, stirring, about 30 seconds. Add 1 cup chicken broth and 1 cup beef broth – or 2 cups of either chicken or beef broth, it won’t matter all that much in the end!

Now add 1/2 cup dry red wine, salt and pepper to taste and a sprig of thyme (or 2 tsp. dried thyme.)  Return the roast to the pan.  Add 1 – 1 1/3 cups water – just enough to bring liquid to the middle of the roast.  (There was no need for me to add any water.)

Bring contents to a simmer over medium heat.  Cover Dutch Oven and place in 300F oven.

Cook, turning roast every 30 – 40 minutes, until fully tender.  Remember, the longer the roast cooks, the more tender it becomes.  ++  Meat should be very tender.  A fork or knife should slip easily into the roast.

Remove roast from Dutch Oven and place it on a platter.  Cover with foil while you make your gravy.

Making the Gravy    

++  Get out all the ingredients for the gravy while the pot roast is cooking.

  • 1/4 cup dry red wine
  • 2 pinches dried thyme  ++  As I mentioned above, if you are using crushed thyme, use less
  • 1/4 cup COLD water
  • 2 Tbs. cornstarch
  • salt and pepper to taste

Pour pan juices through a strainer to remove cooked vegetables & sprig of thyme.  Allow juices to sit about five minutes so any fat rises to the top.  Using a large spoon, remove as much fat as you can.  Put pan juices in a medium-sized saucepan. Cook over medium heat until reduced to about 2 cups or so. (May take several minutes.) Add 1/4 cup dry red wine and 2 pinches dried thyme and continue to reduce until you’re back to about 2 cups.

In a small measuring cup mix 1/4 cup COLD water with 2 Tbs. cornstarch until smooth. Slowly add to hot pan juices. Start whisking (or stirring) right away. Bring liquid to a boil and boil for about a minute until thickened.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Slice roast into thick slices – or use a large fork and break meat into large chunks. Transfer meat to serving platter. Pour about half the gravy over roast and pass the remainder separately.  And don’t forget those creamy mashed potatoes.     Enjoy!!


USE - Good Old-Fashioned Yankee Pot Roast (2)



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My Yellow Farmhouse - Cooking with Love!

Sure, it's necessary to eat to survive - but that's not any fun!! The fun comes from cooking, serving and eating with lots of love, I began this blog to share some of the delicious recipes I've gathered over the years. Thanks for dropping by & sharing the love!

21 thoughts on “Good Old-Fashioned Yankee Pot Roast with Red Wine & Thyme Gravy

  1. “Comfort food fix”, is right, Cecile. This pot roast looks so very good. I’ve cooked more than a few recipes from Cook’s Illustrated and loved them all. They take great pains to get a recipe right and if you follow their instructions, you cannot go wrong. You obviously followed their instructions to a “T” because your pot roast looks about perfect. I don’t blame you for not wanting to share it. I wouldn’t! 🙂


    1. Hi John! I just got a GREAT idea for using up (any) left-0ver pot roast. I was at a local Irish pub – where the food is fabulous – and they serve something they call ‘Shepherds Potato Skins’ which features’ simmered beef’. Well, if pot roast is anything, it sure is ‘simmered beef’! turns out I had already ordered reg. potato skins, so I didn’t see (or taste) the Shepherds Potato Skins but I can’t wait to prepare my very own version.
      PS Even their ‘regular’ potato skins were sooo good. The potato is cut into slices and then fried (I think they fried them), then the toppings are added. What is sooo good about this idea is you get a bit of ALL the toppings in each bite!! ; o )


      1. Gosh, Cecile, that does sound good! I fear that if I lived near a place that served these skins, I’d soon become “that guy”, the one who’s here daily to eat potato skins. If they serve a good dish of pasta, I might never leave. 🙂


    2. On another note… I ‘unfollowed’ you and then ‘refollowed’ you and… still… your new posts aren’t showing up in my Inbox. I’m gonna just have to ‘drop by’ it seems.
      (WordPress.. like most things in life… is NOT perfect. But darn near perfect…. well.. except for the way their new editing ‘thingie’ adds photos… what happened to the ‘icon’ option?


      1. I don’t know what to tell you, Cecile. I’m having the same problem with a few blogs. Like you, I’ve tried the unsubscribe thingee and, like you, nothing changed. It’s such a nuisance. Also like you, I very much dislike the new editor. I’ve managed to keep one of my old posts with the old editor in use. I use it to create new posts with the old editor. Again, it’s a nuisance but it works. I left Support a note asking why they didn’t bother to canvas its users before changing things. Still waiting for that response. I don’t think one is coming. 😦


        1. Good for you for sending Support a message asking if, perhaps, they could ask the actual users what they liked/didn’t like and perhaps might want ‘updated’. (I read that Facebook will try out ‘new stuff’ on SOME of it’s users, and if there’s enough push-back, they then don’t use the new ideas.)
          You know, I thought about doing what you’re doing as far as ‘using the old one…. I have an older laptop and, sometimes, the old version pops up and I’m asked, “Do you want to switch to the ‘new & improved’ version. Sadly, there’s no place to write HELL NO!!

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh God why did I have to see this just before lunch? I swear I wish I could pluck it off my screen and slurp everything down my throat.
    I think I can easily make this: lets see, I have a Dutch Oven (that has been sitting on a shelf for two years). Time to dust it off and make myself a nice good Old-Fashioned Yankee Pot Roast with Red Wine. I have carrots, thyme, lots of red wine, celery. I am only missing the chuck roast.
    If you don’t see me posting a picture of this roast in the next ten days, then please give me a shout. Thanks for sharing. I HAVE TO MAKE THIS, SOOON.


    1. I’ve copied and pasted your recipe on a word file and read through carefully. Now I’m waiting to go chuck roast, shopping. I am more than excited, I tell you!!!!!!


      1. Thought of something else….. I thought of you when I suggested people take out all the things needed to prepare the gravy ’cause you always mention that!! ; o )


        1. ha ha that is me for sure. Will give you a feedback sometime this week. If you don’t see it please send a reminder. We’re on March break!


          1. Guess what – I got a great idea today at an Irish Pub (where I went for dinner) for something to do with (any?) leftover pot roast. On the menu was something called Shepherd’s Potato Skins, which includes ‘simmered beef’, corn (or peas) and melted cheddar cheese. I thought I’d add some sour cream and chives on top ’cause anything with sour cream and chives looks delicious.
            So – I’m hoping to prepare that tomorrow…. let’s see if I get to it. But I LOVE the idea!!
            Enjoy your March break – I always loved it when my boys were on break… life was far less complicated!!


    2. I wish you lived closer…. no, I take that back… I wish I lived closer to YOU! My neighbors often get a share of what I’d recently made for my blog. BUT – ‘I ain’t sharin’ this baby’!!
      I hadn’t prepared any veggies to go with this so I just cooked up some baby carrots and thickly sliced small golden potatoes in a small skillet with a bit of water, some brown sugar and some salt – it was sooo good I was asking myself why I don’t cook more often! ; o )


      1. I usually don’t see the type of ‘rolled and tied’ pot roast my mom used to by. The cookbook calls it ‘Chuck-Eye Roast.
        I’m so pleased you like the recipe. There’s certainly nothing like good old comfort food, is there?! Please let me know if you make any adjustments or have suggestions – it’s always good to have another opinion – and I will certainly post any of your suggestions!!


  3. Hi Gerlinde! I LOVE pot roast and I hadn’t prepared one is sooo long. I just called one of my sons to see if he wanted me to come over tonight with some Yankee Pot Roast and Mashed Potatoes BUT I forgot he’s having his annual St. Patty’s Day Party, complete with Corned Beef and Cabbage! ; o )


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