The Sunday Roast

January 27th, 2008

I’m a big fan of the traditional Sunday Roast. It doesn’t matter what kind of meat you have, there’s nothing more comforting than having the family sitting around the table sharing the same delicious meal. Sadly though, this practise seems to be disappearing throughout the Western world.

What does it say about our society that we can’t even manage to meet up for one single day a week? Food is always better when enjoyed with company. And what better company than your family?

Roast Beef

Top 5 Tips for a Perfect Sunday Roast

  1. The roast potatoes. If any body says “I use Aunt Bessie’s” I’ll SCREAM! Good roasts are one of the easiest things in the world; boil until soft, shake around in a colander to bash the sides a bit, empty into a roasting tray. A tiny dribble of oil (but I don’t even do this nowadays), a good sprinkling of Maldon sea salt and some chopped up herbs, then into the oven at 210 degrees turning during cooking until golden brown.
  2. Perfect vegetables. Here’s a simple one - chop up carrots and parsnips into equal size chunks. Boil until softened, throw into a roasting dish with a bit of oil. Drizzle with honey, toss around, and roast until golden. Absolutely delicious.
  3. Yorkshire Puddings. So many people - my Sister and Mother included, think that Yorkshire’s are too difficult to make at home. Ready made ones (the like you pop in the oven) are so easy, they say. Pah! Those tiny things aren’t worth adorning my plate. I follow a simple Gary Rhodes recipe and it works wonders - the key is to put the tray with oil in the oven first (so that the oil is red hot) and then work fast before the oil cools down. Oh, and don’t open the oven until they’re ready!
  4. The Meat. Just one tip for you here - leave that meat to stand for 20 minutes before serving! Always do this. If not your juices will spill out the moment you try carving it; do this and they stay in the meat, adding to the flavour. Don’t worry about your meat going cold, either - the gravy will soon warm it up again.
  5. Gravy. I kind of cheat with mine and it ends up coming out half home made, but delicious. When the meat comes out, the roasting tray goes over the hob and on with the heat. Sprinkle in a little plain flour and scrape around quickly until browned. In with a glass or 2 of wine (of the relevant colour) to de glaze the pan. Reduce till slightly thickened (coating the back of the spoon) and in with a little stock (I’ll use a cube or liquid stock for this). Reduce a little further, season, and you’re just about done. Any variation works and mine usually involves garlic somewhere along the line. Just don’t touch the Bisto!
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12 Responses to “The Sunday Roast”

  1. Bellini Valli Says:

    This is copmfort food at its finest. Even with a British background I have never been able to master Yorkshire pudding. I have followed all tips…hot pan, no oil up the sides of muffin cups, cold ingredients, warm, no avail. Lately I have tried making it more in my moms style in just one pan and am having better results!

  2. scott Says:

    Bellini Valli: The Gary Rhodes recipe is magic - just try it! I think it’s the extra egg white that does it, combined with the red hot oil tip. Out with the oil, while its’s still hot pour in the mixture. Straight back in the oven then spend the next half hour or so on your knees peering through the door. They’re massive, I promise - your family will be impressed!

  3. Lydia Says:

    I’ve never attempted to make Yorkshire pudding, though I’ve enjoyed it many times on pub stops in the UK. I love the tradition of a Sunday roast dinner. So civilized!

  4. katie Says:

    Damn! I didn’t know Yorkshire Pudding was supposed to be difficult! Here I’ve been making it for years…. Stupid Yank!
    Plus, I never thought about boiling the veg before roasting! I love the way the potatoes look… I’m trying that next time.

  5. scott Says:

    Lydia: If only we were so civilised over here. Countries like Greece seem to have the balance right, at least when watching from the outside.

    katie: Damnit, don’t you go making better Yorkshire’s than me! I won’t stand for it! ;)

  6. Mike Says:

    We actually had a roast this weekend, first one since christmas. There are only two of us as both our families live quite far away so it was a rather big meal, but it was so yummy! Though the timing was messed up a bit as the meat wasnt cooked properly so had to put it back for another 20 mins, which make my veggy a soft :( But yummy anyway!

  7. Coffee and Vanilla Says:


    Those vegetables roasted with honey sound absolutely delicious!!
    I must try it one day….

    Have a wonderful weekend, Margot

  8. scott Says:

    Mike: If the meat ever comes out not properly cooked I cheat. I slice it up as normal and then quickly fry the slices to cook them through. No-one ever seems to notice!

    Coffee and Vanilla: They are…Great weekend to you, too!

  9. janelle Says:

    YUM. Those taters look so good I could fork my screen.

    Does this make you happy: we ate roast last night:).

  10. scott Says:

    janelle: I’m happy to see that you’re impressed enough to use such a double entendre :p

  11. leigh Says:

    roast - all good. endless variations, endless inspirations!

    not sure about the best company being your family, though!

  12. scott Says:

    leigh: What’s wrong with my family? ;)

    You must already know them!

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