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    not exactly moneysaving or old style but you lot talk about it...
    • #1
    • 20th Aug 05, 2:41 PM
    not exactly moneysaving or old style but you lot talk about it... 20th Aug 05 at 2:41 PM

    As it stands next Sunday i'm cooking Sunday lunch for 4 people, me, friend and her husband and the girl of my dreams.

    Never ever cooked a Sunday roast in my life and i need it to the the best ever. Fortunately we're all normal (no veggies) so it'll be a choice of beef, lamb of chicken.

    I can cook so that's no problem but i want (need) everybody's tips for that perfect roast. I did ask my mum and she was as much use as a sunroof in a submarine with suggestions like, 'frozen roast potatoes are nice'.
Page 1
    • tru
    • By tru 20th Aug 05, 2:47 PM
    • 8,766 Posts
    • 46,862 Thanks
    • #2
    • 20th Aug 05, 2:47 PM
    • #2
    • 20th Aug 05, 2:47 PM
    Fortunately we're all normal (no veggies)
    by scheming_gypsy

    My roasts are boring (according to hubby) so I'm not much help really. Except for - chop up some fresh rosemary and put it in with the potatoes to roast, tastes lovely.
  • competitionscafe
    • #3
    • 20th Aug 05, 2:50 PM
    • #3
    • 20th Aug 05, 2:50 PM
    Use the best quality meat you can afford (ie: from a good butcher or farm shop, not from a supermarket if possible). A butcher won't necessarily cost more than a supermarket anyway. Beef should be well marbled with fat - keeps it moist and adds flavour, ask the butcher how long it has been hung for and if it is grass fed. Beef and lamb should still be a little pink in the middle (or a lot if you like your beef rare) pork and chicken should not be! Always rest a roast for 10 to 15 minutes before carving (cover with foil to keep warm).

    Here is Simon Hopkinsons recipe from Roast Chicken and other stories:


    • 110g / 4oz good butter, at room temperature
    • 1.8kg / 4lb free-range chicken
    • Salt and pepper
    • 1 lemon
    • Several sprigs of thyme or tarragon, or a mixture of the two
    • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed


    Preheat the oven to 450F /230C / Gas Mark 8

    Smear the butter with your hands all over the bird. Put the chicken in a roasting tin that will accommodate it with room to spare. Season liberally with salt and pepper and squeeze over the juice of the lemon. Put the herbs and garlic inside the cavity, together with the squeezed-out lemon halves - this will add a fragrant lemony flavour to the finished dish.

    Roast the chicken in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Baste, then turn the oven temperature down to 375F/190C/Gas Mark 5 and roast for a further 30-45 minutes with further occasional basting.

    The bird should be golden brown all over with a crisp skin and have buttery, lemony juices of a nut-brown colour in the bottom of the tin. Turn the oven off, leaving the door ajar, and leave the chicken to rest for at least 15 minutes before carving. This enables the flesh to relax gently, retaining the juices in the meat.

    I see no point in making a gravy in that old-fashioned English way with the roasting fat, flour and vegetable cooking water. With this roasting method, what you end up with in the tin is an amalgamation of butter, lemon juice and chicken juices.

    If you wish to add extra flavour, you can scoop the garlic and herbs out of the chicken cavity, stir them into the gravy and heat through. Strain before serving.

    Lamb is good this time of year too - cut slits in the outside with a knife and stuff them with a bit of anchovy and a bit of rosemary - sounds weird, but it won't taste 'fishy' - the anchovy melts into the meat and gives a nice salty flavour.
    Last edited by competitionscafe; 20-08-2005 at 2:59 PM.
    "The happiest of people don't necessarily have the
    best of everything; they just make the best
    of everything that comes along their way."
    -- Author Unknown --
    • juno
    • By juno 20th Aug 05, 2:52 PM
    • 6,436 Posts
    • 9,153 Thanks
    • #4
    • 20th Aug 05, 2:52 PM
    • #4
    • 20th Aug 05, 2:52 PM
    For potaotes, boil them in salted water from cold for 10 mins.

    Then toss them with a mixture of plain flour, salt and herbs (if you want) until they're nicely coated. Then cook them in the juices from youyr meat for about an hour turning them over occassionally.
    Murphy's No More Pies Club #209

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  • pandas66
    • #5
    • 20th Aug 05, 2:53 PM
    • #5
    • 20th Aug 05, 2:53 PM
    Strain before serving.
    by competitionscafe
    Can be hard work you're right!
    Panda xx

    g on enow

    missing kipper No 2.....
  • scheming_gypsy
    • #6
    • 20th Aug 05, 3:02 PM
    • #6
    • 20th Aug 05, 3:02 PM
    cheers people, keep them coming
    • Bennifred
    • By Bennifred 20th Aug 05, 3:09 PM
    • 3,869 Posts
    • 7,945 Thanks
    • #7
    • 20th Aug 05, 3:09 PM
    • #7
    • 20th Aug 05, 3:09 PM
    I would say chicken is easier to get right than beef or lamb - I would get an organic one, and the Simon Hopkinson recipe really works
    What about a pudding? Summer Pudding is easy, delicious, and can be made entirely in advance - no faffing on the day! Shout if you need a recipe...
    • blue-kat
    • By blue-kat 20th Aug 05, 3:15 PM
    • 455 Posts
    • 285 Thanks
    • #8
    • 20th Aug 05, 3:15 PM
    • #8
    • 20th Aug 05, 3:15 PM
    Delia Smith recipe for fast roast lemon thyme chicken is lovely, similari to recipe quoted above.
    get the best quality meat you can afford.
    Can recommend steaming pots and parsnips before roasting them, easier than parboiling, and they don't get too soggy.
    organic carrots taste much better too.

    the finishing touches, e.g. a simply but nicely-laid table, gentle music, drinks etc can make a big difference.

    hope your special lunch is a success !
    • apprentice tycoon
    • By apprentice tycoon 20th Aug 05, 3:19 PM
    • 3,286 Posts
    • 2,939 Thanks
    apprentice tycoon
    • #9
    • 20th Aug 05, 3:19 PM
    • #9
    • 20th Aug 05, 3:19 PM
    I would say chicken is easier to get right than beef or lamb - I would get an organic one, and the Simon Hopkinson recipe really works
    What about a pudding? Summer Pudding is easy, delicious, and can be made entirely in advance - no faffing on the day! Shout if you need a recipe...
    by Bennifred

    To offer another opinion, there is only one 'correct' way to serve chicken, the chicken has to be cooked through for safety but not over cooked or it will be dry.

    Beef or lamb on the other hand could be either underdone or cooked through and both are correct, a bluffer can pass either off as being 'just how you intended it to be'.
    • Bargainloverbec
    • By Bargainloverbec 20th Aug 05, 3:24 PM
    • 199 Posts
    • 399 Thanks
    My tip for roast potatoes is to boil them first until they start to go soft (meanwhile heating up the oil in your roasting tin.

    Drain the potatoes, put them back in the saucepan, put the lid on and give them a good shake. THis has the effect of bashing all the edges, so when you put them into the oil and roast them they will go all golden and crispy on the outside and mushy on the inside.

    I think this might have been a Delia tip originally - my mum always does this and they are delicious.

    Good luck with your dinner!
  • Penny-Pincher!!
    I love roasts.....
    Hey scheming_gypsy

    I love roasts there my fav.....yummy :rolleyes:

    DH & DD love them too. If we have people round for sunday lunch, I normally cook loads of spuds (to bulk out meal & everyone loves roasts & mash )veg and try and stuff everyone I tend to do a large chicken or leg of lamb and slow cook either in the oven (especially the lamb). I normally serve with:

    HM Roasties (easy-I would do 3/4 large each)
    Mashed Potatoe (easy-again a good large spoonful each-medium spud each)
    HM Yorkshires (quite easy-1/2 each-would do a trial run with these)
    Sausage & Bacon (easy-1/2 fullsize sausage each)
    2 Veg (carrots/cabbage/cauliflower/brocolli/carrot & swede etc-loads)
    Crispy Parsnips (easy-2/3 each)
    Stuffing (easy-1 packet made into balls)

    Pudding normally: HM rice pudding, sponge and custard etc.

    Normally do a self service thing and pile plates high. Friends/family always happy and most goes-whatevers left, we have the next day or make bubble and squeak.

    My advice would be to make sure you have enough as theres nothing worse than all food being eaten and people still looking hungry Everything above is very easy to do but the main thing to get correct is the meat your having.

    We either have chicken or lamb and either I think is best to let cook slowly in its own juices without to much fuss. If its good meat, it wont need alot of flavouring etc.

    I wish you luck in whatever you cook-it will be lovely! Think we're having roast chicken tomorrow :rolleyes: Im starving now

    To repeat what others have said, requires education, to challenge it,
    requires brains!

    • larmy16
    • By larmy16 20th Aug 05, 3:40 PM
    • 4,218 Posts
    • 8,039 Thanks
    Just to add my method of roasting potatos. Boil for 10 minutes, drainand set aside few minutes, then to original saucepan add 1tbsp oil (Im watching my weight!), return pots to the pan and bash them about in the oil. Of course you can add as much oil as you like, but it saves having to use a ton of it in a roasting pan.

    They come out lovely and crispy but not too greasy. Approx 40 minutes.

    We no longer eat meat, but I remember when I did, putting them into the same roasting dish as the meat.
    Last edited by larmy16; 20-08-2005 at 3:42 PM.
  • competitionscafe
    I usually use Nigel Slater's roast chicken recipe, which is basically a slightly simpler version of the Simon Hopkinson one.

    Put some tarragon in the cavity
    rub the chicken skin all over with softened butter mixed with chopped tarragon and crushed garlic
    season chicken all over with sea salt and freshly ground pepper
    squeeze half a lemon over the chicken, put the squeezed lemon half inside the cavity too.
    Roast at 200C (180C fan oven) for 20 minutes per pound plus half an hour
    When done take the chicken out to rest (cover in foil) for 15 minutes and make a gravy with the juices - add a glass of white wine/Vermouth to the roasting pan and reduce it over the hob, then strain through a sieve. Delicious!

    bashing the par boiled spuds in the pan works a treat too - then add them to the chicken roasting pan for the last hour of cooking.
    • Smiley_Mum
    • By Smiley_Mum 20th Aug 05, 3:56 PM
    • 3,779 Posts
    • 2,914 Thanks
    This is how I do my potatoes for roast chicken.

    Parboil the potatoes, then drain well and then give them a good shaking in the pan with a splash of olive oil until they are roughed up a bit. Then put them in a tub with a mix of lemon juice and chopped up rosemary,give them a good shaking and then put them in a large roasting tin on their own that's got smoking hot oil in it and then cook them up with the chicken until crispy and brown. Have to judge it depending on how much spuds etc but they always turn out good. Best potatoes for roasting are supposedly desiree.

    When roasting chicken, leave it 10 minutes to rest after you take out of the oven. Also about fifteen minutes before taking it out of the oven, turn it upsides down so the juices run through the chicken and leave it nice and juicy. Then turn it back and ten minutes to rest, then carve it.

    I shove about a dozen cloves of garlic inside the chicken. I smear the top of the chicken all over with butter, bit salt and pepper and then lay some streaky bacon over the top while it's cooking. Was on Delia online site.

    Also with mashed spuds I put in some salted butter, a splash of single cream and a little milk, some salt and a bit of freshly milled pepper. Lovely.

    Gordon Ramsay has some tips here for roasts also.,,4382-1638148_1,00.html

    Make sure your meat is at room temperature before cooking, as is the case with most ingredients.

    Did have a recipe for lamb chops that were marinaded overnight in lime juice, crushed coriander and mint but can't find the recipe anywhere, was by Jamie Oliver. Not a Sunday roast I know but very good all the same.

    Good luck with the Sunday dinner!!
    Last edited by Smiley_Mum; 20-08-2005 at 4:23 PM.
    “Ordinary riches can be stolen, real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you.” - Oscar Wilde
  • competitionscafe
    Also about fifteen minutes before taking it out of the oven, turn it upsides down so the juices run through the chicken and leave it nice and juicy. Then turn it back
    by Smiley_Mum
    That's a good idea - should keep the top (breasts) nice and juicy as they can dry out a little - as you say bacon will help too. Will try the upside down chicken tip next time I do a roast - thanks.
  • scheming_gypsy
    looks like it could be a success whichever one i follow. !!!!!!! hope so !!!
    i'm going to let them decide which meat they want before the weekend just to make sure i get it spot on
  • scheming_gypsy
    if they go for beef does anybody have any tips for the perfect Yorkshire pudding?
    • Smiley_Mum
    • By Smiley_Mum 21st Aug 05, 12:38 AM
    • 3,779 Posts
    • 2,914 Thanks
    Recipe here by Gordon Ramsay, should be fine.,,4382-1638148_3,00.html

    Add the milk gradually or you'll end up with a lumpy mess.
    Make sure your ingredients are at room temperature.
    Leave to stand like it states in recipe.

    Or this one as a last resort... rt032.jpg
    Last edited by Smiley_Mum; 21-08-2005 at 1:00 AM.
    “Ordinary riches can be stolen, real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you.” - Oscar Wilde
  • ben500
    Some ecellent ideas there I'd like to add a few myself.

    If you are buying your meat from a butchers which I hope you do rather than a supermarket in which case you will be broiling rather than roasting or frying due to the copious amounts of added water, I would suggest if its beef you go for a roast sirloin ask your butcher for a length of sirloin and allow app 2" per person plus an extra 2" at each end roast slowly adding any seasoning with a cover for first half hour then remove the cover for the remainder of the cooking the lower the heat and as long as possible for the most tender of roasts, a small dish of water in the bottom of the oven can help to ensure the joint does not lose all its juices,

    for a desert I would recommend a fruit salad with a little difference

    Take 1/4 pint of water and add three teaspoons of sugar two chillies a quarter teaspoon ground or 1" stick cinnamon, bring to the boil and simmer to reduce to half its original content, strain and pour over a selection of freshly cut fruit, I usually use kiwi, banana, pineapple, papaya, mango once you have poured the syrup over the fruit cover and put in the fridge if you use a tuppaware type container you can return every fifteen mins or so to give the mixture a little shake to ensure all fruit is lightly coated and penetrated by the syrup, serve with a little vanilla icecream and squeeze some fresh passion fruit over it looks amazing and I have never had a bad reaction from anyone tasting this for the first time. If you want to go for a bigger reaction have a second batch made up with more chilli because that will probably be pounced upon once the first batch has been tasted have some fresh cream handy for the wimps a quick teaspoonfull will abate any reaction the chilli has on the sensitive palate.
  • ben500
    Of course if you insist on purchasing your meat from a supermarket at least visit the misprice thread and get your choice of Gammon, Chicken Fillet, Steak, Rolled Brisket, Rib Joint, or cornfed chicken free!

    Tesco have a refund and replace policy if you are overcharged for those that don't know, so Sunday roast is free if want to take advantage of it.
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