The roast dinner is a timeless favourite for a good reason. Think golden potatoes, fresh veggies, rich gravy and of course, the star of the meal – the roasted meat. Whatever you’re choosing to cook as the headliner, with this simple checklist you can make sure your roast dinner is one for the ages. What’s more, we have included some practical tips to take each component of your roast to the next level.
Who said vegetables must be boring? Far from the mandatory dose of vitamins on the table, veggies can be a delicious part of your roast dinner.
So what vegetables are the best for roast dinner? Well, there’s really no right and wrong! Our tip is to mix it up by choosing seasonal veggies – they’re cheaper and guaranteed to taste better too! Besides, choosing seasonal veggies is a great way to explore new flavours. Think asparagus, fennel or artichokes in spring, and sweetcorn or various types of pumpkin in autumn. Bring out the best of your vegetables by roasting them with added nuts, herbs, a drizzle of honey or even bacon.
Tip: Mix up your cooking technique! If you usually boil your veggies, try steaming or roasting. When using root vegetables, try making a healthy, hearty mash.
To make your roast potatoes extra special, roast them with seasonal, fresh herbs. Toss both the herbs and the potatoes in a combination of butter and olive oil, then cook until the potatoes are golden brown on the surface.
Tip: Cook the potatoes in the same dish as the roast meat, and they’ll absorb all the juices and fat of the meat for an even richer flavour.
While the roast meat is the star of your dinner… gravy plays an almost as important part! Even if everything else turns out mediocre, great gravy can save the day. Here’s the deal: it will taste best if it’s made from scratch.
Tip: Take some pressure off on the day of your roast dinner by preparing the gravy in advance.
The roast meat
Whether you choose to cook chicken, lamb, pork, beef or something else, the roast meat is the shining star of the meal. The ideal cooking times and temperatures will vary for the specific meat and cut, with the tougher meats requiring slow roasting. Roasting the meat with fresh herbs can really complement the flavour of the meat. You can’t go wrong with a couple of sprigs of fresh rosemary!
Tip: It’s worth it investing in a cooking thermometer! Different meat cuts and ovens always introduce some variables to cooking times. A thermometer is the only sure-fire way of knowing when your roast is cooked perfectly.
Try Yorkshire puddings
Although not a staple in Australia, Yorkshire puddings add some delicious carbs to your dinner. The perfect Yorkshire pudding is crunchy on the outside, yet soft on the inside. Yorkshire puddings are best friends with gravy, so by adding them in the meal, you’re guaranteed to impress your guests!
Tip: To get your Yorkshire puddings to rise, you need to make sure the oven is very hot – at least 200 Celsius. The batter should also be at room temperature.
The little touches
Once you have organised the main components of your meal, all that’s left to do is setting the table, serving the drinks and creating the mood! Don’t forget the impact the right music and the right pairing of wine can have on your roast dinner. It’s important that your drink of choice doesn’t overpower the flavours of the roast, but rather complements them.
Tip: A great wine pairing for roast chicken is a quality oaked chardonnay, or if you prefer red, a pinot noir. Beer drinkers should go for blonde or golden ales.
As with everything in life, it takes some time and practice to learn to cook the perfect roast! Yet, the learning process is all part of the fun. And what better than an excuse to invite friends and family over for dinner?
If you need to get a roast dinner right without the time to do everything by yourself, our fresh food products can help. Shop online and check out our hot roast chicken and roast chicken rolls. Did you know we can deliver your shopping to you within 10km of our Hyperdome store?