Roast dinners aren’t just to be eaten, they’re to be devoured, cherished and even improved…
There are an awful lot of exotic touches you can bring to this staple British dish. And why not? If you’re going to spend the best part of a few hours cooking up a storm, make sure it’s a category five.
Batten (or batter) down the hatches – here are the 22 best ways to pimp a roast.
Beer and onions
Beef needs onion and beef needs beer, so put the two together by slowly cooking some white onions in your ale of choice and serving them on the side with the mustard close by.
Something smells fishy
What’s that? Your roast doesn’t need to be meat? Wrap up a big piece of monkfish in parma ham– for your meat fix – for some crispy fishy goodness.
Paprika roast chicken and patatas bravas
Head to Spain by adding some paprika to the chuck and then roast potatoes with the famous tomato sauce - better than chicken and chips, surely?
It has a reputation for being dull and it can look like wallpaper paste, but with the addition of bay leaf, onion and nutmeg it has a right to be on the table.
Put another roast on the barbie
Get those coals firing and chuck on a shoulder of lamb for just over two hours, infusing a smoky taste and providing meat that falls apart.
Make your own mustard
Bringing some DIY Dijon to the table is the perfect way to enhance a beefy meal and all you need is some mustard seeds, water and cider vinegar.
Place a beef roasting joint on top of some bones and then you can either enjoy the bones as a starter or put the marrow to use to make a rich gravy.
Rub my belly
You don’t always need to go for the expensive cuts; pork belly is full of flavour and the fat content allows you to not be too precise on the cookery, which is good for the forgetful - and you get crackin’ crackling.
Rib of beef
Everyone knows steak is better than everything else, so just have the biggest piece of steak around – you can have a nice hunk of rare in the middle and well-cooked on the end for those people who enjoy it definitely dead.
There’s no need to get so full you can’t move for three days; take out the roast veg and replace it all with some bejewelled cous cous, which goes beautifully with lamb and chicken.
Stop getting roasts wrong
Why have one centre-piece for the table when you can have one per plate? Roast everyone a partridge (not Alan, that’d be wrong) - it’s quick and makes everyone feel special…probably.
Bang em up
Keeps things simple by getting your favourite sausages and taking them out of their skin, before giving them a quick herb and fruit boost with parsley and raisins.
Kale is as underrated as it is cheap, so get it on your plate after mixing in some chilli and onion cooked in butter to bring some leafy excitement to the plate.
Add some spice to your roast lamb – get your paprika, cumin and coriander sprinkled all over the meat to add some heat to the succulent flesh.
Yorkshire has garlic now
Use your usual recipe for Yorkies but liven them up by infusing the milk with some garlic and herbs to add an extra flavour dimension to surprise those around the table.
It’s good for keeping you warm if you swim The Channel, but it also makes extra crunchy and flavoursome roasties. No chance of a limp spud with this method.
More booze, please
Never waste your lovely meaty juices from the roasting tray – so once the meat is done chuck in a glass or two of wine (and have one for yourself) and reduce it down for a silky sauce.
Not just for Christmas
Many dread the once-a-year force-feeding of Brussel’s sprouts, but with some added crunch and sweet spice they can be the perfect accompaniment for white meat.
For those who like their meat simply prepared with salt and pepper, it’s easy to change the flavour of any meat with the addition of smoked salt to remind you of barbecues gone by.
If you can’t wait for dessert to indulge in some sweetness, then why not cover your carrots and parsnips in the amber purity of what bees produce for fun.