A roast dinner is the true joy of Sunday in Great Britain. I may not make one every Sunday, but when I do it rounds off the weekend perfectly. Here are my top tips for the perfect roast…
- Buy high quality meat. Obviously, this only applies if you’re not making a vegetarian roast dinner! But buying a fantastic cut of meat really makes the difference. I always buy mine from the butcher – you know it’ll be fresh and you can pick exactly what you would like and how much. My favourite roast dinner meat is beef, and this is the topside I bought from Southampton Butchers this weekend – it couldn’t have been more juicy and tender.
- Cook your roast potatoes for longer than recipes advise. Most recipes I read advise 45-60 minutes. This may cook the inside of the potato, but doesn’t give you enough crunch! Make sure your parboiled potatoes have been shaken around with a tablespoon of plain flour, and tip into hot oil. Push it as long as possible – I aim for 1 1/4-1 1/2 hours at 200 degrees Celsius.
- Make your own Yorkshire puddings. It’s so easy, and well worth the effort. I use a really easy batter mix recipe by James Martin – add 200g flour to a large bowl, create a well in the middle and crack in 3 eggs. Beat well to combine the mixture. Gradually stir in 300ml milk a little a time until you’re left with a smooth batter. Easy! I also add seasoning and dried thyme and rosemary to mine. Then, you can easily set aside in the fridge until you’re ready.
- Nobody will judge you for using a packet gravy, but jazz it up a little. If I’m stretched for time, I sometimes turn to a packet mix but I’ll always add to it. Schwartz have a great range of gravy powders – with beef or lamb, for example, I’ll add red wine, a splash of balsamic, a sprig of fresh rosemary and cooking juices. White wine and fresh thyme work well for chicken and turkey.