Hints and Tips for The Perfect Sunday Roast by The Kitchen!

The traditional Sunday Roast is close to our hearts at The Kitchen. It is a British institution bringing together family and friends like no other meal.

With British Roast Dinner Week starting this Sunday 24th September to the 1st October, The Kitchen’s Head Chef, Dan Peacock, shares his expertise on how to create the ‘perfect Sunday Roast’ – even revealing his secret to our beautifully rich gravy!

Top Tip #1 – Buy your meat from the butchers
We buy all our meat from the award winning Aubrey Allen butchers, who are renowned for selling the best quality meat to many of the very best restaurants across the UK and are also by Royal Appointment to Her Majesty the Queen. They share our passion for responsible and ethical sourcing as well as fantastic tasting produce every time.

If you are cooking a roast at home, we recommend you buy the best meat you can afford, ideally from your local butcher as they can share their knowledge on provenance and the best piece of meat for you and your guests.

Why not try brining your chicken? Brining enhances the flavour and texture of the bird whilst tenderising it beautifully. Simply cover the meat in salt water and leave in your fridge for 1-2 hours or more. You can add garlic, herbs and lemon to the salt water for further flavour and / or rub a little flavoured butter under the skin before cooking.

We serve Aberdeenshire Beef which is has an amazing flavour. A rib or fillet of beef are a lovely choice for a family treat. Topside is also a great cut for a slightly cheaper option – ask your butcher to roll it with a layer of fat on the outside to help baste it during cooking.

Season and baste (keep covering with juices or oils during cooking) your lamb with a garlic and rosemary paste – using crushed garlic, chopped rosemary, lemon zest and oil to bring out the fabulous flavours whilst cooking. We will often make slits in the meat and place the paste inside before cooking.

As pork tends to be slightly dryer meat than Beef, Lamb or Chicken we recommend using the shoulder. This is a moist flavoursome joint which can hold lots of flavour. Score the skin and rub with sea salt – cooking on a high temperature (180 degrees) for 30 minutes for tasty crackling skin. Then slow roast at a lower temperature (150 degrees) for about 4 hours to help tenderise and bring out the amazing juicy flavours.

At The Kitchen we slow cook our pork belly in the “big green egg” – our outdoor smoker using Applewood chips giving it a simply stunning taste.

Top Tip #2 – Cook your Meat with Veg
Place the prepared meat in a roasting tray on top of some chopped seasonal veg, such as carrots and onions, which can later be used for a delicious gravy base. Cook the meat according to guidelines.

Top Tip #3 – Perfect Potatoes
Everyone loves a good roastie – and The Kitchen roasties are a real crowd pleaser! We use Maris Piper potatoes often pulled out fresh from our Kitchen Garden. We recommend you part boil them, until they are a little fluffy around the edges and drain them in a colander and give them a little shake to create texture on the edges. This helps them crisp up during cooking.

Put your choice of fat in your roasting tray and place in a pre-heated oven until the fat is hot. We use duck fat or beef dripping for a lovely deep flavour, but vegetable oil with a nob of butter also works very well and caters for any vegetarian guests. Make sure your potatoes are well coated and turned regularly through cooking – we usually find between 40-60 minutes at 160 degrees is enough to cook potatoes. Use a sharp knife to check for a golden crisp coating with a soft, fluffy centre before serving.

Top Tip #4 – Yummy Yorkshires
To make the batter, use eggs, flour and milk in equal amounts and season. Make the batter ahead of time for lighter Yorkshires. The fat needs to be hot in the moulds before you pour the batter in. You can either make individual Yorkies which look nice and neat, or place the batter in a large tin for crunchy sides and a lovely soft, squidgy middle.

Top Tip #5 – Glorious Gravy
Once the meat is cooked remove it from the roasting tin and leave it on the side to rest for at least 5 minutes (essential for tender juicy meat). Remove any of the excess meat fat from the tin and then add a splash of red wine, some stock, seasoning and a thickening agent to the roasting tin. Stir constantly while bringing to the boil in the tin to loosen any residue and to thicken. Puree any vegetable chunks in the tin and add to the gravy whilst heating. Strain into a warmed gravy jug for service.

Top Tip #6 – Sensational Stuffing
For a moist, but not wet, stuffing we use a mix of sautéed shallots, garlic, sausage meat, breadcrumbs and herbs. Stuffing needs moisture to help prevent it drying out – we suggest adding water or stock a little bit at a time until you have the right consistency.

Top Tip #7 – Veritable Vegetables
We always like to serve our Sunday Roasts with 2-3 seasonal vegetables, which are picked straight from The Kitchen garden that day – the veg is either steamed, sautéed, creamed or baked depending on the veg. At the moment Carrots, Beetroot, Brussel Sprouts, Cauliflower and Kale are in season and create fabulous accompaniments.

Top Tip #8 – Serve with Wine
To complete your ‘perfect Sunday Roast’ you need to pair with the ‘perfect wine’. If you have chosen a Lamb or Beef cut, The Kitchen Restaurant Manager Emily would thoroughly recommend a heavier, fruity wine such as a Malbec or Cabernet Sauvignon. These two deep red wines are a delightful companion for red meat with strong flavours. This is because of the tannins that are in the wine which help lock flavour on the palate for longer so you can savour the flavours of your Roasted Beef or Lamb.

If you have chosen Chicken or Pork we recommend a white wine; either a Viognier or a Chardonnay. These full bodied White Wines are again the perfect partner to stand up to the full flavours in your Roast Dinner.

Top Tip #9 – Enjoy with Family & Friends
Sunday Roasts taste better with family and friends. Gather them around the table and enjoy!

Top Tip #10 – Book it Don’t Cook It!
With 18% of Brits claiming they don’t have time to cook a Sunday Roast we would urge you all to find a great local pub to enjoy this British tradition. With Autumn on the way, The Kitchen provides a welcoming smile, a roaring fire, a good pint and a fabulous Sunday Roast.

About The Kitchen

The Kitchen in Farnborough is renowned for its food. Owned by husband and wife team Jo and Anthony who is Michelin trained, the team all share a passion for freshly prepared, locally sourced, ethical produce…much of which is grown in the Kitchen Garden. The Kitchen was delighted to recently gain a place in the 2018 Good Food Guide. We are also family and dog friendly, with some fantastic walks on our doorstep.