Interesting seasoning and long, slow cooking transforms a modest cut of meat into one of the most satisfactory of all Yankee dishes. Use a 3-4 pound chuck or tip roast, and you will have enough for six or eight people. If some pot roast is left, it will taste even better the next day.
Mash the garlic and saute in the butter. Rub the meat with salt and flour and brown it well on all sides in the butter. Lay the meat on a bed of thin-sliced onion in a large Dutch oven or any pot with a tight-fitting lid. Add the butter, the spices and seasonings and pour the rum or wine over the meat. (A good pot roast will supply most of its own juices, but as it cooks pour the ½ cup of water over it to make an ample supply of gravy). Cover tightly and simmer for 3 or 4 hours until the roast is tender. This may be done either in the oven or on the back of the stove. If you want carrots with the pot roast, add them to the pot for the last half hour of cooking and for the last 12 minutes of cooking add the dumplings to steam in the flavors of the pot. When the roast is done, remove it to a hot, round platter and surround with the dumplings and carrots. Stir the gravy until smooth, correcting the seasoning if necessary. Pour it over the roast; if fresh dill is available, cut it over the dish with a lavish hand.