The Sunday Roast

Everyone loves a good roast dinner – particularly on those bitter cold, winter Sunday’s. However, studies find that Easter Sunday is the final roast of the year – a chance for families to gather and enjoy one last roast before the summer salads and BBQ’d goodies become our Sunday staple.

I don’t know if you’re anything like me, but I personally prefer to have my roast dinner taste like a roast dinner. None of this overly fancy business that takes away the nostalgic flavours – just a good ol’ Sunday Roast!

There’s a few little tricks that I’ve learned to perfect over time – some through trial and error, others I’ve pinched from Mum, Dad and Godmother; all of whom make mouthwatering roast dinners! I usually always use beef aside from Turkey at Christmas and Lamb at Easter. My number one trick for all root veggies – carrots, potatoes, parsnips etc – is too par-boil them first, meaning potatoes are crispy and fluffy, carrots aren’t too hard and parsnips go crunchy! By adding bacon to the dreaded brussells sprouts, you’ll find that even the most anti-sprout foodies amongst us, will be asking for seconds.

As we all know, the Roast Dinner is all about timing – get it wrong, and you’re going to have some mighty cold veg or some super rare beef! To make things a little easier, I’ve listed out the exact timings that I use – based on dinner served at 3pm.

I’ve left off timings for meat – cook according to weight and type

13:45 Prepare the Yorkshire Pudding mix, cover then leave in the fridge.
13:50 Peel and chop potatoes, parsnips and carrots then leave in slightly salted water so they don’t brown
14:00 Par-boil potatoes (10 mins) then leave to cool
14:20 Potatoes in oven brushed with vegetable oil
14:25 Par-boil carrots (5 mins) then leave to cool
14:30 Par-boil parsnips (5 mins)then leave to cool
14:30 Finely slice brussels sprouts & bacon (optional)
14:35 Carrots and parsnips in oven (seperated) brushed with veg oil
14:35 Fry bacon in butter, then reduce to a medium heat before adding sprouts – stir occasionally
14:45 Sprinkle parmesan over parsnips then return to oven
14:45 Pour honey over carrots then return to oven
14:50 Pour a little oil into muffin tins, before adding Yorkshire Pudding Mixture, then pop in the oven making sure you don’t open again until completely cooked
14:50 Prepare gravy – I cheat and use bisto (chicken or beef flavour depending on meat)
15:00 Take all veg out of the oven, and pour meat juices into gravy

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What are you favourite tips and tricks for a roast dinner?

Jess at TGH

Have an Egg-cellent Easter

If you are having a traditional lamb roast this Easter weekend to celebrate the death and resurrection of the Lamb we’ve got the perfect box with all the vegetables you need for all the classic dishes to a roast.

Before we come onto the details of that, do note that whilst Stepney City Farm is usually closed on Mondays, it will be open on Bank holiday Mondays which means that you can collect your boxes on Easter Monday in addition to the usual Friday-Sunday window. Check out the many events happening this weekend including an Easter treasure hunt. There are also Good Friday and Easter Sunday services, meditations and family fun day at St Anne’s Limehouse and St Paul’s Shadwell, two of our other collection points (click on links for times).

The Guardian’s 10 best roast dinner side dishes by Ottolenghi is one of our favourite links. It covers just about the entire box for this week:

  • The first recipe for leafy greens with lemon, parsley and capers work just as well for green kale. Or try this smoky creamed kale with dry mustard and smoked paprika.
  • Try the carrot puree with some ground mace (or roast with honey and coriander/ cumin spices if you prefer) and the roast parsnips with maple syrup and sesame seed for a little touch of magic.
  • The cabbage recipe with bacon, rosemary and red wine vinegar works just as well for the red cabbage in the box this week. Or try this roasted red cabbage slaw with hazelnuts and honey lemon
  • It’s golden yellow beetroot this week, but it works just as well in the beetroot and shallot gratin full of double cream and cheesey goodness with beautiful wafts of thyme and rosemary aroma.
  • If you’ve still got room (or the guests do) a wondering roasted caulifower cheese with fried capers – extra special with some gruyere or Comté and a grating of nutmeg. Perfect big meal with leftovers for the rest of the long weekend.

And after a glorious Easter meal along with way too many chocolate eggs and bunnies, leek and potato soup (if you haven’t eaten up all those crisp spuds) may just be in order for the rest of the week…

For more ideas on how to eat the vegetables in this week’s box, try searching on our webpage for past blogs!

This Week’s Bounty

Standard Box
* Linda Potatoes, Perry Court
* Cauliflower, Kent
* Carrots, Lincs
* Leeks, Kent
* Parsnips, Lincs
* Green Kale, Notts
Red Cabagge, Yorks
Beetroot Golden, Lancs

No-Potato Substitute
Turnips, Perry Court

Fruit Supplement
Russet Apples, Kent
* Grapefruit, Spain

Small Box
Items starred (*) above