Sunday lunch is a quite special meal for many Brits, with the traditional Sunday roast being a favourite of both children and adults. It’s quality family time.
A roast can feel like an awful lot of hard work and can seem full of pitfalls to the novice cook, but the key is in the timing. However a little organisation and preparation beforehand makes all the difference in cooking.
A good oven is important for a decent roast, as it needs to be able to get hot enough to produce crisp, golden roast potatoes. Make sure it is fully preheated to the required temperature before cooking.
Make sure all your peeling, slicing and chopping is done in advance.
Preheat your roasting tin for a good five minutes in the preheated oven before adding the meat. Having the fat preheated helps the meat browning process.
Resting the meat
All meats are made more juicy and tender by being allowed to rest. Time your cooking carefully to ensure the meat comes out of the oven a good half an hour before you serve, transfer to a plate and leave it covered in silver foil to rest.
During the resting process
After removing the meat from the oven you can increase the temperature to cook the roast potatoes and Yorkshire puddings.
Roasting tin gravy
While the meat is resting you can use its juices to make a flavoursome gravy, an essential component of any Sunday roast. Use a wooden spatula to scrape the lovely caramelised bits from the sides and base of the roasting tin, being careful not to scratch the surface of non stick cookware. Place the roasting tin on the hob on a low heat and when the juices start to sizzle, add a tablespoon of plain flour then, using a balloon whisk, blend the flour into the juices by whisking very quickly. As the flour cooks the mixture will form a smooth paste, at which point you can start to add hot stock or wine, very gradually, whisking thoroughly all the while. Turn the heat up and allow the mixture to simmer until it reaches the required thickness.
Vegetables such as green beans, broccoli, peas and carrots should be cooked at the last minute to avoid the traditional British overcooked texture.
Try to use non stick cookware as it makes the clean up process much easier. Warm the plates before serving. Carve your meat at the table rather than serving it sliced, on plates. It adds a traditional and entertaining touch.