Roast Beef Dinner

Back in May I was staying over at the Drayton Court Hotel in West Ealing. Having arrived Sunday evening, I went to the bar to get something to eat. Sunday at the Drayton Court Hotel in West Ealing means that it is Sunday roast day.

Having had an excellent Sunday roast at the hotel in April, I again went with the dry-aged sirloin of Owton’s beef. On the plate was two slices of roast beef, roasted parsnip and carrot, roast potatoes, pan fried greens, cauliflower cheese, a huge Yorkshire pudding and served with red wine gravy.

Roast Beef Dinner

The dry-aged sirloin beef was excellent, it was full of flavour and really tender, melt in the mouth tender. I got a lot more beef this time as well. I really enjoyed the vegetables too. The Yorkshire pudding was a little dry, but there was ample gravy to go with it.

When I had this before the temperature of the food was inconsistent, this time it was much better and was a hot throughout.

Overall a delicious plate of food.

Time for some Roast Pork

I was staying over at the Drayton Court Hotel in West Ealing again. I had arrived Sunday evening, so I went to the bar to get something to eat. Sunday at the Drayton Court Hotel in West Ealing means that it is Sunday roast day.

On a previous visit I had gone with the dry-aged sirloin of Owton’s beef which had been delicious and was probably one the best carvery meals I have ever had from a pub.

So though tempted by the roast beef, I decided to try the roast pork. On the plate was a few thick slices of roast pork, roasted parsnip and carrot, roast potatoes, pan fried greens, cauliflower cheese, a huge Yorkshire pudding, crunchy crackling, apple sauce,, and served with red wine gravy.

This was quite a big plate of food, and bigger than the roasts I have had before. I did enjoy the plate of food, but it wasn’t as good as it was before. The vegetables were just as good, but the roast potatoes were a little chewy; I did feel that they were heated up, well it was a little late in the day, so that perhaps contributed to this. The pork was nice, not as good as the beef, but was still cooked well. Overall I had high expectations, so was a little disappointed, despite having a really nice plate of food. It was really good and nice, but I was expecting outstanding. I still think though I would order it again.

Sunday Roast

I was staying over at the Drayton Court Hotel in West Ealing. Having arrived Sunday evening, I went to the bar to get something to eat. Sunday at the Drayton Court Hotel in West Ealing means that it is Sunday roast day.

I went with the dry-aged sirloin of Owton’s beef. On the plate was two slices of roast beef, roasted parsnip and carrot, roast potatoes, pan fried greens, cauliflower cheese, a huge Yorkshire pudding and served with red wine gravy.

This was probably one the best carvery meals I have ever had from a pub.

The dry-aged sirloin beef was excellent, it was full of flavour and really tender, melt in the mouth tender. I really enjoyed the vegetables too.

I think if I was going to make one criticism, was the temperature was inconsistent across the food, I think part of the issue was dishing up on a cold plate. However the food was delicious and the service was excellent.

Roasted Pork Belly

M&S sell a pork belly joint seasoned with salt and pepper. We have this quite often, and I use the same technique each time. In a roasting pan I add a bed of cut vegetables. The actual composition does depend on what’s in the fridge. This time I used apple, onion, carrots, a garlic bulb cut in half, and some mushrooms. I drizzled some garlic olive oil as well over the joint.

I start off with a hot (fan) oven, about 200℃ and roast the pork belly for about ten minutes before turning the heat down to 160℃. I usually cook the join for about ninety minutes. The plan is to slow roast the joint to make it tender. A hot fast roast will result in a shorter cooking time, but the meat will be tough and chewy (and probably a little fatty).

I leave the joint to rest for about twenty to thirty minutes, which gives me time to increase the heat in the oven to finish off the roast potatoes and roasted vegetables. I will usually use the roasting pan juices to make some gravy.

I slice the joint into thin slices and serve with roast potatoes and vegetables.

Roasting Vegetables

When I do a Sunday roast I do like adding some roasted vegetables on the side. One time I did this I did butternut squash and heritage carrots. This was seasoned with salt, pepper and fresh herbs.

Another thing I do with roasting vegetables is put them at he bottom of the roasting pan. Here for roast belly of pork I have pepper, butternut squash, onions, mushrooms, fresh herbs and as it was pork, some apple.

This helps keep the roast moist and tender, whilst also adding flavour. When you leave the meat to rest, you can finish the vegetables off in the oven, or use it as the base for some gravy.

I really like roasting candy and yellow beetroot, but have had trouble finding them recently. Another favourite are parsnips, which are easier to find.

Slow Roasted Pork Salad

Back in the summer for an evening meal, we had slow roasted pork belly with potatoes and salad.

The pork belly was from M&S and comes already seasoned. It has no rind, so you don’t get crackling, but slow roasting usually (for me results) in rubbery crackling anyhow. It is a tasty joint and a favourite in our house.

I did small roast potatoes, using Maris Piper potatoes which are par boiled and then roasted in hot oil in the oven. I generally add a little butter towards the end of cooking to add colour and a final crispness.

The salad included a personal favourite of thinly sliced raw cauliflower in a spicy mayonnaise. We first had this eating out at a  cafe in Wapping Wharf in Bristol. We stole the idea and now have it on a regular basis.

Overall a delicious meal and very tasty.

Butterflied Leg of Lamb

For Easter lunch we had a butterflied leg of lamb from M&S along with their belly of pork joint.

leg of lamb

The box was quite large, the joint of lamb, not so much.

The lamb came with a light and zingy garlic, lemon and herb dressing which was rather nice.

I followed the instructions on the packaging and the result was rather nice.

Candy Stripe and Golden revisited

A few years ago Morrisons sold some prepared vegetables, “The Best” Root Vegetable Roasting Selection. This contained baby parsnips, Chantenay carrots and interestingly candy stripe and golden beetroot. This we had on a regular basis, however they’ve stopped doing it, and they still don’t sell the candy stripe and golden beetroots loose. However the farmers market at St Nicks in Bristol on do sell them loose. When I am in Bristol on market’s day I try and get one of each for Sunday lunch. Unlike supermarket veg, these are varied in shape and size and are quite muddy as well.

I usually just cut them into chunks and roast them in the oven. I usually add some chantenay carrots, onions and parsnips to the roasting tray. Maybe also thrown in some garlic and herbs, rosemary works well.

candy strip and golden beetroot, chantenay carrots, onions and parsnips

It’s a pity that this method causes the candy stripe beetroot to lose its distinctive look. After watching the chefs on The Great British Menu I have been thinking about pickling them instead, to retain their stripes. The flavour is very much like purple beetroot, but not as strong. These also avoid the staining of the purple ones.

If you can get hold of them they are worth giving them a go.

What we had for Christmas Lunch

I blog about what we eat for Christmas lunch, mainly to remember things that worked well and for those that didn’t, not to repeat that mistake. This post is a little later than I planned, but it’s here now.

This year we ordered two Christmas roasts from Tesco. I was a little concerned as the night before the day I was going to collect the order I got a phone call from my local Tesco saying that part of my order had not been delivered to the store and offered a replacement. I wasn’t too happy with this, as it was quite short notice. In the end they had a late night delivery so I got my order in the end.

The main one was a part-boned turkey with chestnut stuffing. This was really nice roasted the chestnut stuffing was really nice too, with who chestnuts within it.

The second was a three bird roast, comprising a duck stuffed with goose and turkey. I remember once spending a lot of money on a Marks and Spencer four bird roast, which though very nice was mainly a big turkey with some duck, goose and chicken. So was a little bit of a disappointment, I blogged about that here, which reminded me not to go down that road again.

Along with the roasts we had roast potatoes, these I cooked in my usual way, which is as follows. I used Maris Piper potatoes, the type of potatoes I find is critical for getting crispy roast potatoes and a fluffy centre. I peel the potatoes and then par-boil for about ten minutes. Whilst they are in the pan of boiling water, I place the roasting tray in a hot oven with some sunflower oil (and I also add a splash of olive oil for flavour). This means once the potatoes are drained they are added to the pan which is pre-heated and has hot oil in. This speeds up cooking time and ensures a crispy roast potato.

I also did my regular dish of brussel sprouts pan fried with chestnut smoked bacon lardons and chestnuts.

brussel sprouts pan fried with chestnut smoked bacon lardons and chestnuts

I did roasted parsnips. Along with them I did some festive carrots, I followed a Jamie Oliver recipe for carrots. I took a frying pan, this I filled with evenly cut carrots, either whole or halved in the main. I then covered them with boiling water. To this I add a large knob of butter, a splash of white wine vinegar, the juice from two clementines (or similar citrus fruit, or one orange) and some dried mixed herbs. Then let the carrots bubble away on the stove top for about 40 minutes. Once the water has evaporated, the carrots should caramelise in the remaining sweet and sour mix.

We had a selection of stuffings and pigs in blankets.

Overall we were very happy with the meal, it was very tasty.

Roasted Cauliflower

Roasted Cauliflower

One of my new (for me) favourite foods is roasted cauliflower.

Take the cauliflower and break into florets. I then cut the florets in half so that I get better caramelisation and a better looking dish.

Heat a pan and add butter. I usually add a little olive oil to reduce the risk of the butter burning.

I pan fry the cauliflower with lots of foaming butter, before transferring to a heated roasting pan for 10-15 minutes.

If you have an ovenproof pan then, put that straight into the oven.

I sometimes use a grill seasoning to add additional flavour.