According to recent research from OnePoll, 71 per-cent of Brits claim that a roast dinner is “too complicated and time consuming” to cook at home. On top of that, more than a third of adults aged 18-45 believe roast dinner to be so difficult to prepare at home, they simply don’t bother.
A meal that’s long been synonymous with British culture (for better, or for worse), home-cooked Sunday roasts could become a thing of the past, with 38 per-cent of 18-34 year-olds admitting to never having cooked one. The study also suggests only 25 per-cent of Brits cook a roast dinner as regularly as once per month, with a further 38 per-cent indulging less than four times each year.
Having championed classic roast dinners in London for the past 12 years, Borough Market restaurant Roast has devised a new idea to put their experience to good use. Similar to the Christmas Monopoly hotline, set-up with the intention of defusing trivial family feuds (no, you can’t build hotels on Fenchurch St Station!), Roast has launched a Roast to the Rescue Hotline. Available each Sunday, Head Chef Stuart Cauldwell and his team of roasting experts are on hand to offer advice, live from the kitchen.
As 73 per-cent of Brits admit to using shortcuts, Cauldwell will provide advice on everything from timings, to roasting potatoes in goose fat, to caramelising vegetables for gravy. The Chef has also shared a selection of recipes (such as the roast beef and gravy recipe below) accompanied by instructional videos to follow at home – ideal in the lead up to Christmas.
The Roast to the Rescue is available Sundays from 9am to 5pm. 02037635324. Further information can be found here.
Roast beef and gravy recipe
2kg Rump pave of beef – rolled and tied with fat on
1 red onion
2 celery sticks
2 cloves of garlic
1 sprig of rosemary
1 sprig of thyme
Rock salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the gravy
Vegetables from roast beef (above)
200ml red wine or port
500ml beef stock
2 tablespoons flour
Pre-heat oven to 160/Gas mark 3.
Chop up the onions, carrots, celery, leek, garlic and add to a roasting tray. Sprinkle over the rosemary and thyme.
Season beef thoroughly with salt and pepper.
In a pan, seal the edges of the beef until a nice golden colour (this helps to retain the juices while cooking).
Place in the oven and roast for 35-45 minutes.
Check the vegetables every 15 minutes and give them a stir so they caramelise evenly.
Once the beef is ready and the vegetables are nicely browned, remove them from the oven, leaving the beef to rest in a warm part of the kitchen for a good 15-30 minutes, and putting the vegetables aside for the gravy.
Serve with gravy, roast potatoes, Yorkshire puddings and horseradish cream.
To make the gravy
Transfer all the roasted vegetables to a hot saucepan over a medium heat.
Pour in red wine and cook until the alcohol is fully evaporated and it is dark in colour and sticky in texture.
Add the flour. Cook flour gently, stirring regularly for 2 minutes.
Stir well so the wine mixes with the flour and thickens.
Gradually pour in the hot beef stock, stirring to avoid lumps forming.
Bring gravy to a boil, giving it a thorough skim with a ladle to remove any fat that collects on the surface.
Turn the heat down to a simmer and reduce the liquid until you have reached your desired gravy consistency – this should only take a few minutes.
Taste for seasoning.
Strain the gravy through a fine-mesh sieve and serve at the table.