From the roasties, to the gravy and your choice of juicy meat, here’s our ultimate roast post to making the perfect Sunday lunch.
The main event – meat
Chicken, beef, pork… we all have a favourite meat when it comes to a roast.
Chicken: Butter the chicken all over and season well. We like adding half a lemon, rosemary, thyme and bay leaves into the cavity for extra flavour. The legs are packed full of flavour, but if everyone in your house fights over the breast and nobody wants the legs, buy a crown, it will cut down on your cooking time.
Beef: Well-hung beef is key to melt-in-your-mouth meat. Supermarkets tend to hang their meat for 14 days but Executive Chef Neil Haydock always looks for beef that has been hung for at least 20 days.
Pork: Pork is usually cheaper than beef and lamb as it’s more fatty, but this only makes it more flavoursome and tender once cooked – plus there’s crackling. Cracking crackling is all about preparation. The fat has to be completely dry before cooking to crisp up, so score the fat and rub with salt to leave overnight before rubbing off again. Juicy joints require time to cook slowly so cook down low.
Top tips! Aside from chicken, meat needs to rest without being overcooked. Cover the meat in foil and use warm plates so you don’t lose the heat. With beef, rest for half the cooking time. Leave pork to rest for at least 20 minutes.
If only all vegetables were roasted. Here’s some quick tips:
Carrots: One in the pan and covered with water, add the zest of an orange, some white wine vinegar and a knob of butter and cover.
Parsnips: Roast these and drizzle with maple syrup and oil for a different flavour.
Curly kale: Strip the leaves, boil and add anchovies to taste instead of seasoning – trust us!
Cabbage, spinach and leeks: Add garlic and cream… Rodda’s of course.
If they’re not fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside, it isn’t a roast potato.
The best type of potato?
The taste of potatoes depends on the starch content. After the first frost of the year potatoes are usually at their sweetest as the starch turns to sugar to prevent them freezing in the ground. Maris Piper and King Edwards are ideal for roasting, with smaller, irregular sized ones being the best.
To boil or not to boil?
Always boil your roasties first, it makes them lighter and fluffier. Leave them in cold water and bring up the boil and simmer for a few minutes before draining them in a colander. Give them a good shake to rough up the potatoes for extra crispiness.
The beef fat you removed from the gravy stock is good, or you can buy beef dripping from your local supermarket. Goose and ducks fats are the most popular for roasting potatoes, but rapeseed oil is a great alternative and a much healthier option. Heat the oil in a very hot oven and add your potatoes quickly while shaking them (gently) to cover them in oil. Avoid the temptation to keep opening the oven to check on them.
Top tip! Peel your spuds well and leave them in a pan of water, overnight if need be. This washes off the starch which helps to avoid leathery skinned roasties.
Best served in a jug on the side so everyone can add as much or as little gravy as they want.
Always use the roast juices as these hold much more flavour. While your meat is resting in a separate dish, add some water to the pan and heat to release all the delicious caramelised flavour. Then add red wine and stock to taste.
Pour into a tall container and leave to settle in the fridge, that way you can easily remove the fat from the top. The great thing about gravy is that you can freeze it ready for your next roast. Once it’s cooled and you’ve removed the fat, pour the remaining gravy into an airtight container and leave in the freezer. When it comes to reheating, defrost the gravy and thicken with some arrow root or cornflour (dissolve with a little water or red wine before adding)
Top tip! The best stocks will be your own but supermarket stock cubes are nearly as good. Top chefs are known to use them in their restaurants.
Book your Sunday lunch at The Beach Hut.