Pot roasts are done when a long-handled fork can be inserted into the thickest part of the roast easily. If the pot roast is cooked until it falls apart, the meat is actually overcooked and will be stringy, tough and dry.
This recipe was given to me by my mother's friend when I was a newlywed. I was in a panic over what to serve to guests, and she suggested this. It was a big hit, and I've continued serving it for the past 40 years.
In New Oxford, Pennsylvania, Emma Nye relies on her mother's pot roast recipe when company is coming. But when she merely wants to enjoy the savory sensation with her husband, she can turn to this downsized version.