We lead mega-busy lives these days, right? That means the tradition of eating family roasts together is being snubbed due to our hectic schedules. It’s no surprise, given the amount of time they take to cook. It’s a shame since eating together can support a solid family unit, especially if you have teens. Meal times can be a great chance to ‘check in’ with each other.
But if it’s the lack of time that puts your family roasts on the back burner, fear not.
Roast dinners needn’t involve half a day’s cooking. Food manufactures have done the hard work for us, creating the crispiest and fluffiest roasties around to the softest Yorkshire puds. It’s not cheating if it means you get to spend more time with your loved ones.
So, cut yourself some slack and crack on with some of these super-simple roast hacks.
Bring on the Frozen Veggies
Frozen veg often gets neglected. Not only do they save you extra space in the fridge, they’re a great addition to your Sunday roast.
From frozen peas and broccoli florets to baby cabbage and carrots, your portion of five-a-day can be on your plate within minutes. So, be sure to stock up on frozen veg to save precious time peeling, scrubbing and dicing. Rather than chopping up your own squash, opt for a frozen version or keep things simple by opting for frozen carrots or peas.
Another fab veggie trick is to buy a bag of pre-chopped mixed veg. Scatter into a roasting tray and drizzle with honey and oil. Roast for about 30 minutes and voila.
As Good as Homemade Roasties
It’s no lie that roast potatoes are tricky to get right. You have to spend tons of time faffing around peeling them, boiling them and then cooking them in just the right amount of fat. A truly time-saving hack is to keep some McCain roast potatoes in your freezer. You’ll enjoy super-crispy, fluffy roast potatoes again and again.
Plump for Pre-Cooked Chicken
What beats a warming bag of rotisserie chicken? You know, the ones you’ve seen in the supermarket. A family-sized chicken takes around an hour and a half to cook while a hassle-free pre-cooked bird is obviously already done.
Alternatively, choose a pork fillet, which normally cooks in about half an hour. The best thing? There’s zero waste.
Buy Smaller Cuts of Meat
Another good idea for your Sunday roast is to get smaller cuts of meat like chicken thighs and legs. It beats cooking a mammoth rump of beef or an enormous leg of lamb – things can get seriously expensive.
By investing in smaller cuts, you’ll slash your time in the kitchen without compromising on quality of flavour. Another thing – consider buying your meats on the bone. This way, you’ll still get loads of flavour to add in your gravy.
Prepare Stuffing Separately
Did you know? Stuffing your bird or joint can really slow down the cooking time of the meat. So, cook your stuffing separately – make your stuffing in a dish of its own. You’ll save yourself so many valuable minutes.
More About Stuffing
Another stuffing-saver is to get a ready-made packet. Stuffing can still taste delicious from a pack. Some are prepared with crisp ciabatta breadcrumbs; others are flavoured with sunflower seeds and herbs.
Your only job is to mix in boiling water then cook for about 20 minutes.
Frozen Yorkshires Are Perfectly Acceptable
And who said you can’t use frozen Yorkshire puds in your roast? They taste just as delicious. This scrumptious combination of egg, flour and milk has quickly become a Sunday staple for roast fans everywhere.
But if you’re short of time, you don’t have to create your own to get the same level of taste. These days, frozen Yorkshires take a mere five minutes in the oven. Bellissimo.
Fake the Gravy
Transform your shop-bought gravy into something really awesome. Sauté a couple of slices of bacon, pour in some gravy powder and water, simmer and bingo. The flavour will be utterly delectable as all the juices from the bacon will be injected into the gravy.
Save and Freeze Your Gravy
How many times do you make loads of gravy but there’s still tons left-over post-roast? Save it and freeze it for next time. Pop it in ice cube trays or bags so the next time you have everyone over, you’ll have a fantastic base to save you time and add oodles of flavour.
Don’t Spend Time Peeling Veggies
Ditch the peeling. Instead, leave the skins on to add flavour. Just be sure to rinse your veggies thoroughly before cooking.
Put Your Roasties in with the Meat
Have you ever considered cooking everything together? Not only will it save time, it’ll save space (and washing up). Putting your potatoes in with meat in the oven means they’ll absorb all the spectacular juices from the meats, making them uber delicious.
Have a Buffet-Style Roast
You don’t have to plate everything up in the kitchen. It’s just as suitable to throw everything in large bowls in the centre of the table and let everyone help themselves. Just be sure to have some extra roasties in the kitchen for anyone who helps with the washing up.
Follow these genius, time-saving hacks, and we’re sure you’ll fall back in love with the once-adored Sunday roast.