To prepare pot roast, sprinkle roast evenly with salt and black pepper. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add roast to pan; cook 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Transfer roast to an electric slow cooker. Recoat pan with cooking spray. Add onion to pan; sauté 8 minutes or until tender. Add broth and next 6 ingredients (through bay leaves) to pan; bring to a simmer. Add broth mixture to slow cooker. Arrange carrots and potatoes around roast in slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH 2 hours. Reduce heat to low; cook 4 hours. Remove bay leaves and thyme sprigs from slow cooker; discard. Remove roast from slow cooker; shred with 2 forks.
To prepare gremolata, combine parsley and remaining ingredients in a small bowl, stirring well. Serve with roast and vegetable mixture.
Wine note: Slow-cooked pot roast has a tender meatiness that's simple but luscious, especially when the roast's flavors are entwined with the earthiness of long-simmered root vegetables. Wines that work well with a dish like this are also soft, earthy, and (usually) red. One of my favorites is a supple zinfandel such as Bogle's Old Vine Zinfandel from California ($11). --Karen MacNeil