A good recipe for pot roast can be made simply with a 4-pound beef chuck roast and a slow cooker. Season the roast with 2 1/2 teaspoons of salt and 1 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Coat it lightly in all-purpose flour, shake off any excess, and then brown all sides in 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Transfer the browned roast to a 6-quart slow cooker.
Add up to four medium carrots, three stalks of celery, a medium onion and three cloves of garlic to the slow cooker with the meat. Pour another tablespoon of olive oil into the preheated skillet, and stir in 3 tablespoons of tomato paste until it turns brick-red (about one minute). Slowly whisk in 1/3 cup of flour, 1 cup of red wine and 3 cups of beef broth until the mixture thickens. Add three bay leaves, two sprigs of fresh thyme, 1/2 teaspoon of ground allspice, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and some ground pepper. Bring the gravy to a simmer, and then transfer it to the slow cooker.
Cook covered on low for eight hours. When the roast and vegetables are very tender, remove the roast, and allow it to cool for a few minutes. Remove the thyme stems, and strain the vegetables. Slice the meat against the grain, and moisten with some of the gravy. Serve on a platter with the remaining gravy on the side.