Paula’s New England Post Roast

Next up in my “use all my cookbooks at least once” quest, is one of my favorites Arrowhead Farm: Three Hundred Years of New England Husbandry and Cooking, 1983. I bought this book at a used bookstore ages ago, long before my fascination with vintage and historic recipes.

The book chronicles the history of Arrowhead Farm in Newbury, Massachusetts. The Farm has been in the same family for over three hundred years! The recipes coincide with the seasons on the farm and are interspersed with treasured family photographs. Little did I know that many years later through my involvement with the Literary Trail of Greater Boston, I would meet and work with one of the authors and farm owners, Polly Chase-Harrell. Sadly, Polly has passed away, but she was a key figure in historic preservation in Boston.

I decided to try making Paula’s Pot Roast (Paula must have been another family member). Both Dan and I fondly remember each of our mother’s pot roasts. My mom cooked hers in a big heavy kettle with lots of veggies until the meat literally could be cut with a fork. Mmmm, my mouth is watering just thinking of it now!

The name “pot roast” comes from just that – cooking a roast in a covered pot along with hatever vegetables are at hand. The choice of meat was always a tougher one that through a long, slow cooking process would become tender and create a wonderful gravy. Pot Roast recipes began appearing in cookbooks in the late 19th century, but this type of braising of meat has been around forever. It is most associated with New England, no doubt because our Colonial ancestors mastered this dish.

Here’s the recipe:                                                                  

  • 3-4 lb. pot roast
  • 6 carrots
  • 2 medium yellow onions
  • 2-3 red tomatoes
  • 1 green pepper
  • 2 small turnips
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 clove garlic (don’t tell Dan!)
  • dry parsley
  • red wine

Brown the roast in butter on all sides

Dice all the vegetables and add to the roast

Generously sprinkle in the parsley

Add a generous amount of red wine (This is what stews the meat so don’t skimp here)

Cover the pot and cook on the stove slowly (I translated this to mean simmer) for 2-3 hours

Salt and pepper to taste at table.

Dan and I both loved this recipe. It is a true one-pot meal! Do any of you have memories of your mom’s pot roast? Do share!                    


3 Responses to “Paula’s New England Post Roast”

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  1. Bev Duell-Moore says:

    My mom usually put hers in the oven, although she sometimes put on the stove. Me, I usually put mine in the crockpot!
    My mom would brown the meat first. Then add carrots potatoes and onions. She’d put salt, pepper and garlic powder on the meat before browning.

  2. Justin Chase says:

    Hi Lisa,

    I’m glad you like my mother’s recipe. ;)

    -Justin Chase (pg 135)

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Justin – how cool that you found this. I love the Arrowhead Cookbook! So sorry to hear about Pauline’s passing. I really liked her when our paths would cross in Boston.

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