Sunday Roast

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I remember this cozy little pub just across the street from my flat when I was living in England. At least twice a week I'd pass this pub, on my way downtown to grab groceries, or on a Friday night outing to the Thai restaurant down the street or the shopping centers in town. Every Sunday morning, the pub would place a blackboard sign out on the sidewalk, advertising its Sunday roast. I didn't know exactly went into a Sunday roast, but the name itself brought to mind images of a warm fire, family, and a hearty meal. I kept telling myself that before I left England, I'd try a Sunday roast ... but I never did.

Out of the blue (okay, after watching an episode of "Made in Chelsea" and watching some of the cast members tucking into a roast), I decided it was high time I tried a traditional Sunday roast, and I was going to make it myself!

I didn't end up making a perfectly traditional roast because I didn't want to buy a rib roast, settling on a chuck steak instead. Otherwise, I went all out with the carrots, parsnips (I'd never had a parsnip before this), and roasted potatoes.

Sunday Chuck Roast recipe

Chuck roast or chuck steak
Cooking oil
Root vegetables (carrots, parsnips, turnips, etc.)
Any extra seasonings or spices you might like
A cast iron skillet or heat-proof pan

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Depending on how much meat you want to make and how thinly cut it is, the general consensus is that the meat should be left in the oven for 40-60 minutes per pound. Since mine was relatively thinly-cut steak, I erred on the 40 minute per pound side.

Season both sides of the beef with salt, pepper and any additional seasonings you might like. Pan-sear each side for 3-5 minutes, depending on the beef's thickness, or until browned. This will supposedly lock moisture in the meat while it's in the oven. Cover the skillet with its coordinating lid or foil and stick it in the oven. Once in the oven, your beef should take 40-60 minutes per pound.

Meanwhile, rinse and peel your vegetables accordingly. I considered using brussel sprouts in the place of parsnips, and I added roughly chopped onion into the mix. Cut your root vegetables into 1-inch pieces so they will cook evenly.

I placed the seared beef atop the cut vegetables in a cast iron skillet, along with a bay leaf or two, but you can cook them separately (you'd just need to take a bit of the juice from the beef, add some beef broth or liquid). Approximately 45 to 60 minutes before the beef is ready, you'll want to either slide the vegetables under the beef in the skillet or pop the vegetables in in its own tin.

Check the beef after the allotted time to see if it's ready, and remove from the oven, along with the roast vegetables.

Roast potatoes recipe (adapted from BBC Good Food)

Apparently the English like their potatoes crispy instead of kind of wet and creamy like we tend to eat them here in the U.S. I sort of did a hybrid of the two, and it turned out rather crispy.

Baking potatoes (I did two potatoes per person, about 2 pounds in total)
Butter or olive oil (about 2/5th of a cup, or 100 grams)
Herb of your liking
2 tsp of flour

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (350 if you're working with a gas oven), simultaneously placing the roasting tin you intend to roast your potatoes in. Wash and peel (if you wish) your potatoes. Depending on their size, cut them so that the pieces are about the size of a quarter of a plum.

Place the potato pieces into a pot, adding just enough water so that the potatoes are covered. Add salt and bring the water to a boil. Lower the heat and allow the potatoes to simmer for about 2 minutes.

Add the butter or olive oil to the roasting tin you have warming in the oven. Heat it for a few minutes so it is hot and ready for the potatoes.

Drain the potatoes, then sprinkle them with the flour, shaking the colander to ensure that the flour is evenly distributed. Place the potatoes into the roasting tin you have in the oven, rolling them in the oil to coat all sides. Make sure to keep the potatoes in one layer so they can become crisp.

Roast for 15 minutes, turn the potatoes around, and roast for another 15 minutes. Repeat one more time, then roast the potatoes for 15 to 20 minutes, or when they become golden. Sprinkle with salt and serve immediately.

Though I don't usually like roasted carrots that much, the bay leaf and onion really gave it the flavor it needed, and the roast potatoes really were very delicious. The beef was as good as I expected it to be, and all in all, it was the perfect meal for a chilly Sunday in autumn.

Before I left England, I did stop in that pub one Sunday morning, with guests who were heading out of town. We ordered full English breakfasts for the hell of it, and the pub wasn't quite as cozy as it appeared on the outside. I think it even had a pinball machine.

You Might Also Like


  1. I wish I know how to cook or work the oven. I admire anyone who cooks. Partly because I don't an interest in cooking, though I like to look and collect recipes which is strange.

    ps: to answer your qns - I went to Budapest last April. So the weather was pretty good. Windy but bearable. Taiwan & HongKong. That's how I found your blog through my "research" aka Google.

  2. I collect recipes too, and hardly ever get around to making about 80% of them! Have fun in Taiwan and Hong Kong ... I hope the weather will be bearable for you over in those parts when you're there :)



What I'm Reading