Trim fat from meat. In a 4-6 quart pot. brown roast on all sides in hot oil. Drain off fat. Combine the ¾ cup water (or wine, tomato juice, or V-8 juice) ,the Worcestershire sauce, bouillon granules, and basil. Pour over roast. Bring to a boiling. Reduce heat. Simmer, covered for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, if using new potatoes, peel a strip of skin from the center of each. If using medium potatoes, peel and quarter. Add potatoes, carrots, onions, and celery to meat. Return to boiling, Reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 45 to 60 minutes more or until tender, adding water if necessary. Transfer meat and vegetables to platter, reserving juices in pot. Keep warm.
For gravy, measure juices, skim fat. If necessary, add enough water to juices to equal 1 ½ cups. Return to pot. Stir together the ½ cup cold water and flour. Stir into juices. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 1 minute more. If desired, season with salt and pepper. Serve with meat and vegetables.
Note: I usually double the amounts of V-8, Worcestershire sauce, bouillon granules and basil – just because Iike more of the juice. I also do not do the step of making the gravy. I like it a little on the thin side, so the way it finishes cooking is just fine with me. I also make this in my electric skillet.