How to cook the perfect Sunday Roast.
Sunday Roast…They range from the best to the worst they also strike fear into the heart of many people…Some people thing it is the easiest meal in the world to cook and then find out it isn’t…
Meat…Depending on what meat you are cooking it could take anything from an hour to three plus hours…
Potatoes…Who doesn’t love a nice golden, crispy potato with a soft fluffy inside?
Vegetables… Most are cooked in a flash…
But they all have different cooking times and methods …Getting them all perfect and ready at the same time is no mean feat.
If Yorkshire (puddings) come into the equation then…That can throw a spanner in the works…They should be well risen and golden… Flat and stodgy doesn’t cut it!
We used to cook one of the best roast dinners in the area when we had our restaurant and even the other night we met up with an old friend from where we used to live and he mentioned my roast dinner and promptly invited himself to dinner…
The questions I get on how to cook the potatoes, Yorkshires, crackling and gravy are the most common…
Let’s break it down…
- Peel your potatoes, although I like them roasted in their skins, but traditionally in an English roast they are not.
- Bring to the boil in lightly salted water and cook until they are just tender when you test with a knife.
- Drain and I keep the water sometimes to thin my gravy.
- Then shake the pan so the edges of the potatoes just break a little this gives you a nice crisp.
- Then cover the pan with a clean tea towel until you are ready to put in the oven.
- You now have two choices you can either cook in a separate pan or cook in the meat juices.
- We like ours cooked in the meat juices as you don’t get that firm crisp outside it is broken if that makes sense crispy but a softer crisp…
- Either way the fat must be hot…
I normally cook the potatoes around my meat and then when they are ready to turn over after about 20 minutes, I then remove the meat to rest turn up the oven and cook the potatoes until they are nicely crisped and golden about another 15-20 minutes depending on how many roasties you are doing…If you are cooking for two then they don’t take long.
Fat you can cook in the meat fat or use goose or duck fat which make really crispy roast potatoes…I tend to use those fats at Christmas as a general rule I use a good cooking oil or coconut oil.
I could debate the merits of a good Yorkshire pudding as depending on which part of England you come from “Ours is the best”
I will not enter into that conversation but will impart to you how I cook my version.
Originally the Yorkshire was served as a first course and traditionally only with beef. It was served as a first course as a filler, and then not so much of the expensive meat would be required, or in the poorer households the Yorkshire pudding was served with the meat drippings as the only course.
The Yorkshire pudding is meant to rise…In 2008 the Royal Society of Chemistry suggested that “A Yorkshire pudding isn’t a Yorkshire pudding if it is less than 4 inches tall”
The debate lingers on and I am sure it will for many more years to come…
Ingredients: To make 6 Yorkshire puddings.
• 70 gm flour
• 2 eggs
• 100 ml milk
• Oil to cook.
- Oven to 230C (fan 210) Gas 8.
- Make your batter by adding the eggs to the flour and gradually adding the milk to make a smooth batter. Put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- When you are ready to cook your Yorkshires make sure you have cranked the oven up add a little oil to your 6 hole tin and put in the oven.
- When the oil is hot 3-4 mins add the chilled batter and put straight back in the oven you will hear the sizzle as the cold batter hits the hot fat.
- Cook for 20-25 minutes until nicely risen and golden…
Tip: Do not open the oven door or they will go flat…
Should be smooth, lump free and tasty.
Again the gravy train rumbles on and it all depends on your preference…Ours is for a gravy which has a bit of body but one that you can’t stand your spoon up in …an old saying if gravy was too thick however in some parts of England thick gravy is a must…
A British tradition is to make the gravy in the meat pan using some of the juices…No posh jus and sauces just good tasty gravy.
- Remove the meat from the pan and if you have too much fat drain some of the fat off you need about 1 to 1 ½ tbsp.
- Put the pan on the hob, and on a medium heat, let it bubble and scrape the pan to get the drippings; now you need to put a bit of speed behind this or you will end up with lumpy gravy so no gentle scrapings
- Add a tbsp of plain flour keep stirring add gradually
- Add about 570 ml of hot stock or a combo of potato water and vegetable water and keep stirring, allow to simmer to infuse all the flavours, and reduce a little if it is too runny for you, or add a little more stock if it is too thick.
- Season as required I normally add black pepper and a dash of Worchester sauce.
If you are having pork roast you need that crackling to be crispy and crunchy don’t we?
Nothing is better than perfectly crisp Pork Crackling.
How to achieve it, well,
It’s easy! When you know how!
I have lost count of the number of times that I have been screaming at the screen when watching my favourite cooking programs…Turn it up and leave the door shut…
When you buy your Pork look for pork which has a layer of fat underneath the skin (this) produces the best crackling.
It has to be thinly scored, for this, I actually use a Stanley Knife and woe betides anyone who uses it for D.I.Y. The piece of Pork I have pictured is a piece of Pork loin approx 2 kilos which I scored and rolled then tied with kitchen string.
- Right, let’s go, Heat oven and set to 250C.
- Next, take a small amount of oil and rub into the skin.
- Then generously salt the skin making sure you rub it well into the fat.
- (The specs) you notice on mine is sage as we like added herbs on ours.
- But just salt is fine.
- Put in very hot oven until skin starts to blister up.
- If you tap with a knife you can hear it or once you get used to it you can see it blistering up.
- But keep an eye on it (as my pic) below shows I took my eye off the ball and burnt the edges. Even I have little lapses and disasters in the kitchen but I caught it in time and all was well…
- Reduce heat of the oven to about 170 degrees for the remainder of cooking time which depends on the size and cut off your pork. Pork loin cooks quicker.
- You should now have a lovely piece of Pork with crispy crackling and a lovely melt in your mouth pork.
Serve with lovely roast potatoes and an assortment of vegetables…Thank you for reading and for those of you who haven’t cooked or struggled to cook a Sunday Roast I hope this has helped…Any questions please ask…If it about coming to Sunday dinner I can only seat 12 x
©Recipes Carol Taylor
About Carol Taylor
Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.
I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetables ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.
Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use have to improve our health and wellbeing.
Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!
Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS
You can find out more about Carol and catch up with her Food and Cookery Column HERE
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