The humble Sunday Roast can be a truly great and memorable meal when slow cooked with love as a feast for the whole family.
There’s a reason the traditional Sunday Roast has featured on home and restaurant menus both here and in the “motherland”. The quantity of beautiful, fresh produce cooked in one meal is reason enough to bring the family together around the table.
It is also a tradition which goes back centuries when, in the 1700s (according to some historians), mother would place a large cut of meat in the oven for the family to eat together after church on Sunday. In fact, Anglicans and English Catholics would fast before Sunday services, breaking the fast with a large meal afterwards – and so the Sunday Roast began.
What is a Sunday Roast?
While the name refers to the day of the week when this dish is traditionally served, today many of us enjoy a good roast on any day, for lunch or dinner.
If you were to offer to serve a roast, your family or guests would likely be hungrily anticipating some sort of slow roasted meat, a selection of roast vegetables (potatoes, kumara and pumpkin are very popular with us Kiwis), steamed greens (peas, beans and or broccoli) and caramelised carrots are pretty much considered a good country roast meal. An Englishman wouldn’t consider it a proper roast without Yokshire pudding but we don’t tend to go that extra mile here.
And, of course, everyone agrees that you really can’t have a good roast without lashings of rich gravy – preferably made from the jus of the roasting pan.
The Perfect Meat for Roasting
Roast pork, lamb and chicken all make great Sunday Roasts but by far the most popular meat for this luscious traditional dish is beef. Our favourite cuts are a Chuck Roast or Point End Brisket, it’s really up to you as to how lean you like your meat and whether you prefer it on the bone or not.
Prime rib is usually cooked on the bone which adds a depth of flavour to the cooked meat. Any cut with a good layer of fat or connective tissue also creates an enhanced flavour, and the gelatinous result is also incredibly good for your health – like adding a high quality oil to your car.
If you prefer a roast pork then make sure you choose an outdoor, free-range pork with a thick layer of fat to keep the meat moist during cooking and add flavour to the meat.
Roast chicken is more popular in summer months when you want a lighter meal or a great protein for lunches. Again, choosing an organic, free-range chicken is better for everyone.
And let’s not forget our other favourite, the NZ lamb! A great way to get the most out of your leg of lamb is to cook it briefly at a very high temperature to seal in the flavour. Then wrap your roast in foil for slow cooking for several hours.
If you need help selecting the right cut or quantity of meat for a roast meal you have planned then just ask one of our butchers either instore, phone, email or Facebook messenger.