When it comes to food, Britain has never really had much of a reputation. But if there’s one thing the British can do well, then it’s serve up an immaculate Sunday roast.
The first time I decided to make a roast I was incredibly nervous. Before I came to Scotland, I had never encountered such a big cultural tradition around one particular dish. There are right ways and wrong ways to make a Sunday roast, and be sure that if you fail along the path you will be haunted by the endless tuts of perfect British housewives that serve their families a slow-cooked work of art every weekend. That’s what I thought, anyway! Like most things that take a while to make people automatically assume that it’s difficult – now, let me prove you wrong!
The basic gist of this recipe is this: Season meat, put it in the oven, peel, cut and season potatoes, put them in the oven, take meat out, put Yorkshire puddings in the oven, serve. It’s that easy! The only thing that could stand in between you and a perfect roast dinner is if you overcook the meat. Granted, that’s quite a big part of the dish, but there are methods to calculate the roasting time that are pretty much failsafe. The formula goes as follows: Allow about 30 minutes per 500g, plus an added 15-30 minutes depending on whether you would like your roast rare, medium, or well done. You can usually find these instructions on the packet, and if you’re ever unsure, insert a skewer into the biggest part of the roast and the colour of the juices should give you an idea of what the centre looks like.
If you are not a big fan of potatoes or if you simply want to add some more colour into the dish, feel free to jazz up the sides! Go as simple or different as you like – from carrots to a warm lentil salad – this is where you can let your imagination run free!
Here’s a little tip: If you’re cooking for a small household, don’t worry, you can still buy bigger roasts when they’re on offer. Once you’re home cut them into portions and freeze the rest – there is nothing more satisfying than cooking up a great meal while knowing you’ve saved some pennies!
Feeds 3 or 2 with some leftovers for sandwiches:
1 small beef roasting joint (about 500g)
4 large potatoes, peeled and cut
3 yorkshire puddings per person
onion, quartered (optional)
2 cloves garlic, halved (optional)
1 knob of butter (optional)
salt, pepper, and herbs to taste
gravy to serve
Calculate the roasting time for your joint and roast at 200°/Gas mark 6. Leave meat to rest for 10-20 minutes (depending on size) before carving
Watch the video for instructions, and do get in touch if you have any questions, as silly as you think they might be!
Antonia Landi for the Useful Times.