First appearing in cookbooks in the 19 century, Yankee Pot Roast may have been a meal that represented frugality, convenience and sensible time management. Slowly cooked in liquid over the fireplace flames, Yankee Pot Roast afforded colonists an opportunity to optimize tasks while dinner simmered all day. The process would begin with searing tough cuts of beef, an economical option for a family during the mid-1800s. Once the flavor was locked in by searing, the meat would simmer in stock with root vegetables like potatoes, carrots and parsnips in a deep iron pot covered with a lid. The marble fat of the meat would tenderize and flavor the roast, infusing it until it transformed to a fall-apart perfection. It’s a recipe that’s been passed down for centuries and remained unchanged since first gracing the Durgin-Park menu. Bostonians have compared Durgin-Park’s Yankee Pot Roast as the closest recipe to their grandmother’s, one of the greatest compliments paid to an old-timer. This hearty dish has put Durgin-Park on the map as the best place in Boston for Yankee cooking.
Today, Yankee Pot Roast served at Durgin-Park is not unlike yesteryear – the beef brisket is braised and seasoned in celery, pepper, onions, tomatoes, salt, pepper, tomato juice, Old Bay seasoning and tabasco then is stewed in a large pressurized kettle for hours creating a gravy that is rich and flavorful. It is served with butternut squash, real mashed potatoes and gravy.
Durgin-Park, known for its mighty cuts of meat such as its 32 oz. Prime Rib, or overstuffed French dip and Corned Beef Rueben sandwiches, is considered the standard for Yankee Cooking. Suppers of corned beef and cabbage, roast stuffed turkey with all the trimmings and Yankee roast beef remind New Englanders of hallowed family traditions where slowly cooked meals were lovingly seasoned and indelibly ingrained as American comfort food. Generations of Bostonians have brought their children and their children’s children to try their first taste of Indian pudding or the famous lobster rolls on a long communal table, served by a cantankerous wait staff. From the New England clambake of chowder, steamers, jumbo lobster, to the made-from-scratch cornbread baked on the premises that scoops up the last of the Yankee Pot Roast gravy, every plate is covered with Thanksgiving-sized portions of expertly made Yankee fare.