Mediterranean Pot Roast

1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 lb. chuck roast, well trimmed
3 tablespoons olive oil (or other vegetable oil)
2 medium onions
4 cloves garlic, minced or crushed through a press
2 cans (16 oz each) crushed tomatoes
2 cups red wine
1 1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 bay leaf
1 3/4 lb. small red potatoes
2 medium red bell peppers
1 large zucchini
1/2 lb. small mushrooms
1/4 cup chopped parsley (optional)

On a plate, combine the flour, salt and black pepper. Lightly dredge the roast in the seasoned flour. Reserve the excess dredging mixutre.

In a flameproof casserole or Dutch oven, warm 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the roast and cook unitl browned on all sides (about 10 minutes).

Meanwhile, very coarsely chop the onions.

Remove the roast from the pan. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, the onions and garlic. Saute until the onions begin to brown, about 5 minutes.

Add the reserved dredging mixture to the pan and stir until the fat absorbs the flour. Add the tomatoes, wine, thyme and bay leaf, and bring the mixture to a boil. Return the roast to the casserole and bring the liquied to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 2 hours, turning the roast from time to time.

Meanwhile, halve the potatoes. Cut the bell peppers into strips. Halve the zucchini lengthwise and cut it into 1" lengths.

When the roast has cooked for 2 hours, add the potatoes , bell peppers and whole mushrooms to the casserole. Re-cover and cook for 30 minutes.

Add the zucchini and cook for 5 minutes longer. Remove the bay leaf. Stir in the parsley (if using) just before serving.