There’s always a groan in the Scullery when we’re invited to a particular friends’ house for Sunday Lunch – they have a certain knack of never being able to get the meal on the table hot (or sometimes, even warm). It made me wonder if maybe there was a need for some simple step by step instructions to get that meal to the table hot ..... and with no stress and panic.
A few basic steps.
Choose a joint with some fat as that's what gives it flavour. For a traditional roast I don't season the pork with anything. It goes into a Dutch Oven for 35 minutes to the pound and an extra half hour or so - I add about an inch of water to the dish. Oven 180°C
While the meats cooking I prepare the vegetables - peel the potatoes, trim the sprouts and peel and cut the carrots.
Bring the potatoes to the boil and them simmer them for 10 minutes. Drain them and with the lid on the saucepan give the potatoes a quick shake - this will make the outside of the potatoes 'fluffy' and help with the crisping.
O.K. now's the time for excuses - these potatoes are not going to be the best roast potatoes in the world - by miles. I know a bad cook always blames her ingredients and that's just what I'm about to do. Waxy Potatoes DO NOT make great roasters but that's all I have and it's Sunday. (Shops are closed here on Sundays) So can we just pretend they're going to be nice and crispy?
By now the meat will be almost done - take the lid off the dish for the last half hour or so to give it some colour. Remove the meat from the oven and leave it to rest for a while before cutting. Add a small amount of oil or lard to a roasting dish and put it in the oven to heat up. When it's very hot add the potatoes and turn them in the fat. Roast for about 30 mins and turn them over halfway through.
Now it's time to take two of these:
Look - some of these little biscuits are heart shaped.
Anyway, have a glass of wine while the meat rests and the potatoes begin to roast and crisp (or not, in this case).
Turn them when they start to brown and slice some meat. Now's the time to start to cook the veg and make your favourite gravy.
This is the bit where speed is needed. Arrange the meat on the plates, drain the veg and put the lids back on the pans to keep them warm. Dish up the potatoes, then the veg and put the gravy into a jug.
Take all to the table and that's it ....... a hot roast dinner.