The Perfect Sunday Roast
Sunday roasts are a funny old thing….the right one is one of life’s simple pleasures, the wrong one can put a dampner on an otherwise fantastic day (or maybe that’s just me and my love of food!).
In my quest for the perfect roast, I have spent a not insignificant amount of time and money eating out over the years (poor me!). When we took over at The Angel, there was never a question about the importance we placed on the Sunday Roast – some chefs see it as the poor relation, and don’t give it the love and attention it deserves. We were super fussy, and I am sure there have been many eye rolls over the years at the standards I have demanded, but for me, a pub is nothing without a good roast – it is one of those meals which brings families together, and leaves a warm, satisfied glow.
The first thing is that we always do more than one roast, and one is always Roast Beef – for most people, Sunday is not Sunday without Roast Beef! Contrary to popular opinion – you don’t need an expensive joint, it just needs long, slow cooking. We then rotate the other meats week by week – Lamb, Pork (complete with crackling), Chicken and one really popular – our Honey Roast Ham, which we do with a cheese sauce instead of gravy. Just DELICIOUS!
Yorkies are next on my importance list. Nothing is guaranteed to throw me into a rage more than eating out and being fobbed off with an Aunt Bessies Yorkie! They should be simple, they should be big and they should be tasty. I’m not going to reveal our secret, and maybe I am biased, but ours are amazing! A quick look at our twitter account will show you my obsession with these puffed up beasts. And yes, you can have them with non-Beef roasts, and if you ask for an extra one, we probably won’t shout at you!
Roast potatoes are another vital element – for me, it is a quick part cook to soften the inside, plenty of seasoning and goose fat. Every single person you ask will have their own preferred method of cooking their roasties, but universally I think the desired result is fluffy on the inside, crunchy on the outside.
Gravy! I won’t bore with the method, everyone knows it takes time and effort to make good gravy. Over the years, I have had chefs serve up the entire spectrum of gravy to me…some swimming in fat, some so thin you can see through it, and some which is an overcooked congealed mess. It has to be delicious (which means you have to have the essence of the meal in it), it should be glossy and shiny, deep and rich. I am often to be found stealing my way out of our kitchen with a tub of gravy to take home.
And finally the veggies. The day when you could serve up a plate of flaccid anaemic over-cooked veg has long gone. As a general rule, if it looks like you could have eaten it at school, its not good enough! Preferred cooking method for us at the moment, is roasting. It suits the veg in season, and gives a lovely depth to the meal. We serve our parsnip as a puree, as it gives more consistency (parsnips are prone to overcooking the second you turn your back, and don’t hold heat well). As a special treat, we’ll also put on the odd cheesy broccoli or cauliflower…guaranteed to cause a fight over who gets the last bit.
So that is my favourite meal of the week. Great for sharing with friends and families, and for making a Sunday afternoon nap a guaranteed necessity!