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Ethel's Pot Roast

Here is great Sunday Pot Roast from Wine Guy Tom Landshof. Don't let the ginger snaps scare you off, this is a really good recipe!.

(From my mother, Ethel Landshof) This is my mother's recipe for pot roast, which I've slightly modified. My mother was a great cook and loved doing so. She always served this with mashed potatoes.


3–5 pounds chuck eye roast (see note)
2 tablespoons oil
2 onions sliced very thin
3 celery stalks, small dice
1 cup water
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 cup red wine
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 bay leaves
4-5 whole peppercorns
3-4 whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon thyme
12 – 14 Nabisco ginger snaps, ground
1 cup beef broth
1/2 cup milk


Adjust oven rack to accommodate pot and heat to 310 degrees.

In a large Dutch oven or pot, melt some (2 tablespoons) oil (I use bacon or duck fat) and brown meat well on all sides. Remove meat and add onions and celery, scraping fond on bottom of pot. Sauté about 10-15 minutes until clear. Add butter if needed.

Add 1 cup water, 1/4 cup vinegar, 1 cup red wine (Pinot Noir or Merlot preferred), 1/4 cup light brown sugar.

Add the following spices: 1 tablespoon salt, some ground pepper, 2 bay leaves, a few whole peppercorns, 3 or 4 whole cloves, 1/2 teaspoon thyme.

Return meat and any juices, cover tightly and bring to simmer. Transfer to oven and cook, turning every 30 minutes for about 2 hours until internal temp is 210 degrees (this can also be done on the stove top).

Crumble 12-14 Nabisco ginger snaps very fine (food processor) and whisk into them 1 cup beef broth. Remove meat and whisk in ginger snap mixture and 1/2 cup milk.

Return meat and juices to oven (or stove top) for 1 1/2 to 2 + hours turning every 30 minutes until fork tender. Leave uncovered last half hour. Cool meat in juice. Remove and slice. Let slices stand in gravy until needed. Heat gently and serve. Leftovers, if any, freeze well.

Note: This is another recipe of my mother’s that I’ve modified somewhat over the years. I use chuck eye roast from Costco, but any of the following work well: chuck eye roast (best; 4-5 pounds, chuck top blade roast (3-4 pounds), chuck shoulder boneless (4-5 pounds), or bottom round rump roast (5-6 pounds). The eye round roast has very little fat so skimming fat off is not necessary. You may have to do this with some of the other cuts.