The traditional Sunday lunch or roast meat with potatoes and two vegetables is somewhat of a British institution. It was a time when the whole family would gather around the table and share a special meal together – sometimes everyone went over to the grandparents’ homes for the food. Many of us have happy memories of Sunday lunch as a child, and that is just one of the reasons it is still relevant today.
These days, we all lead such busy lives that getting any time together as a complete family unit can be a struggle. Highlighting a time and keeping it special, even just once a week, can help keep the family unit strong. Including the wider family – grandparents, for example – reminds us all how important these occasions are for ourselves and our family.
Timing Is Everything
Cooking the perfect roast becomes less important if you look at it as a social event, but it remains the most important part for those who are designated as chef. Cooking as a hobby has been enjoying a bit of a renaissance over recent years, and that has a big part to play in the preservation of the traditional recipes. The roast is as British as a Beefeater or the BBC. You can find some great ideas about roasts online. The more adventurous cooks are also creating clever twists on our traditional dishes to add culinary excitement to our weekend lunchtimes.
For some top tips on the perfect roast, check out the British Food website.
A little organisation will go a long way, so think about timings before you start. Decide what time you want to serve and work backwards from there, giving your oven time to heat up before you need to use it. Don’t forget to factor in resting time for the meat at the end. Do what you can in advance, such as peeling vegetables the night before.
If you really want to create a bit of a spectacle, carve the meat at the dining table. Getting the right carving knife, such as the Shun Premier 2 piece carving set, from a retailer such as Cilantro Cooks will make a big difference.
As long as you have good company, it won’t matter too much what you serve. It will be the simple things that people remember in years to come – the jokes and the special occasions. But in the here and now, it can be the detail that make the difference, so chill the wine and warm the plates. Matching crockery might have been your parents’ or grandparents’ style, but these days a complete mix-and-match set collected from various sets over the years and topped up at antiques fairs or charity shops is very fashionable.
And if you don’t have the traditional 2.4 children, that does not mean you shouldn’t be cooking a Sunday roast. Today it is such a social event that we are just as likely to invite friends round.