How to make a simple roast dinner

Video guide to making a simple roast dinner

Claire:  Hi, I'm Claire.

Lucy:   And I'm Lucy and we're going to show you how to make a really simple roast dinner.

Claire:  We love a roast dinner but sometimes it can feel like it's hard to have the time.

 Lucy:   All those pans to wash, all those dishes to co-ordinate at once.

Claire:  Luckily, we've discovered a really simple roast dinner recipe.

Preparing to cook your roast dinner

Lucy:  And it is really simple, I promise you. When you cook meat, it's important that you take it out of the fridge about an hour before you're going to cook it because it needs to be at room temperature before it goes into the oven. Now, my oven's heating up behind me, it needs to be about 190 degrees and then this meat will take about 20 minutes per 450g. That means it'll be nice and medium rare. This piece will take about an hour and 20 minutes to cook.

In this pan, I've sliced some vegetables; some carrots and some onions and I'm going to lay the meat on top and that'll stop the meat not only from burning but it'll give me some really lovely juices to make a gravy with later.

Claire:  That looks like a really lovely piece of meat.

Lucy:  There she goes. Right, let's put some seasoning on, a bit of salt. Couple of good pinches, bit more pepper maybe? And then I'll drizzle - what a team effort. I'll drizzle some olive oil on the top. There we go. So that's nicely seasoned. A joint this size will serve about six to eight people. Now, once I've put it in the oven, I'm going to wash my hands because I've touched raw meat.

Start preparing the vegetables

Claire: That's my cue to start preparing the vegetables. Here I have got potatoes, carrots, butternut squash  and some parsnips.

Lucy:   My favourites.

Claire:  I just need to slice them up, quite small, so that they cook in the same amount of time as the beef. I think you can never do too many when you're cooking for your family. There's lots of different ways of doing it but I have to say my favourite is one that doesn't involve parboiling.

Lucy:   Absolutely.

Claire:  Now I'm on to the carrots, cut them into four. And roasted carrots, again, are absolutely delicious and I like them when they're that much bigger because they seem to keep their flavour better and keep a bit more moist, they don't dry out so much.

Lucy:   They're so lovely and sweet when they're roasted.

Claire:  A really good winter veg.

Roast the delicious vegetables

Lucy:   Delicious parsnips, my favourite. I think what's good about this mixture of vegetables, the carrots, the potatoes, the parsnips, the butternut squash, is that because they're roasted and served with a roast dinner, your kids are more likely to eat them. It's part of the treat, isn't it, the gravy. Beautiful and now the squash. Already peeled and the seeds taken out.

Claire:  Exactly. Not too small, you don't want them to cook too quickly in the oven.

Lucy:   Perfect, and the last piece. Let's get rid of that.

Claire:  This is one of the quickest roast meals to prepare. Just going to pop those in and now I'm going to drizzle everything with some of the olive oil.

Lucy:   Shall I salt and pepper?

Claire:  Yes, lovely.

Lucy:   Nearly got your hand. And a bit of pepper.

Claire:  Now there are probably more sophisticated ways to season these properly but I always do it with my hands.

Lucy:   To make sure they're all evenly coated.

Claire:  Yeah.

Rest your roast beef

Lucy:   They all look beautifully coated. I'm going to put them in to the oven for an hour, by which time the beef should be ready, but if you do like your vegetables crispy, then you can leave them in for an extra 10 minutes whilst the beef rests.

Well, the beef smells absolutely delicious. It's been in for an hour and 20 minutes, which means it's time to get it out. Looks gorgeous, smells absolutely lovely. So the vegetables have got another 10 or so minutes while this beef rests. I'm going to move it into a separate roasting tin. It's a bit of a complicated manoeuvre, I've got a fish slice and a fork and just going to move it over here, like that. It's got lots of lovely juices that we'll use a bit later on in the gravy. I'm just going to put some tin foil over it to make sure it doesn't get cold. There we go and that's going to be about 10, 15 minutes resting.

Preparing the cabbage

Claire:  Which gives me time to get on with the cabbage. The first thing I need to do is take out the core, so first I'm going to use all my strength and cut it through the middle.

Lucy:   Perfect.

Claire:  And then I'm going to cut a V out and take the core. So there you go. One and then do this.

Lucy:   That's a tiny one, that one. Lovely, let me get rid of those for you.

Claire:  Now I'm going to cut this as finely as I can.

Lucy:   Cabbage is a really under-rated vegetable, isn't it? But so delicious, especially when you've got lots of butter and cinnamon. It's going to be gorgeous.

Claire:  I think the older you get, the more you enjoy it. Getting children to eat cabbage isn't something that I've managed yet but I think with the cinnamon...

Lucy:   And the butter.

Claire:  Yeah, they might like it.

Lucy:   Like a cabbage cake.

Claire:  I do find that if you season things nicely, children really like it. The next thing is to put the heat on and put this on a medium heat and then put some butter in, not too much but enough to make it taste delicious. I'm going to put a pinch of cinnamon in.

Lucy:   And a bit of salt and pepper too?

Claire:  Yeah, always. Maybe two pinches of cinnamon.

Lucy:   Some salt and a pinch of pepper.

Claire:  Lovely, and now that smells delicious and warm.

Lucy:   It does, it smells really fragrant.

Claire:  And then what you also need is a splash of water, just to help it cook. Nice sizzle there.

Lucy:   I love it when you find these new flavour combinations, like cabbage and cinnamon, things that you wouldn't normally expect to go together but when you do, you're like, "Why didn't we try this before?"

Claire:  And now this has got to cook for about four to five minutes.

Making a simple gravy

Lucy:   And now for the gravy. Gravy strikes fear deep into my heart because it's absolutely crucial to a roast but it can be quite tricky to get right. Now, I've got some instant I made earlier and I'm just going to pour it into the tin in which I roasted the meat. If you remember, I've got all those lovely vegetables there that's going to give it lots of extra flavour.

So I'm just going to pour that in and I'm going to mix up all those lovely meaty juices and also I don't want to waste anything so I'm going to pour the juices from the resting meat as well into the pan. Gorgeous, so using up absolutely everything. Brilliant. And now, if your cabbage is done.

Claire: Yeah, the cabbage is ready, it looks delicious.

Lucy:  It's very fresh and vibrant. Can I sneak onto that gas ring?

Claire: Yes, it's on.

Lucy:   Brilliant and now we're just going to give it a stir and make sure all those lovely bits and the vegetables and the meat juices. This is going to be the piece de resistance of the meal, I can tell.

Lovely, that looks done, can you pass the gravy boat please? I'm going to get a ladle and just tilt that down, I can get the gravy out.

Claire:  While you're doing that, I'll get the vegetables out of the oven.

Lucy:   Perfect, I bet they're lovely and crispy now.

Claire:  They look great.

Lucy:   Gorgeous, all crunchy.

Claire:  Yeah, lovely and crunchy.

Lucy:   Right, that's probably enough gravy. Just get rid of that.

Claire: Could you pass me the fish slice?

Lucy:   Yeah, of course, there you go.

Tips for carving your beef

Claire: Thank you. Test my carving skills. I'm going to turn this round so that I can cut it more easily along the grain of the meat. I'm going to cut here, just so the slightly drier end is removed. And now I've got my perfectly medium rare beef, looks absolutely delicious. And then I'm just going to cut off slices.

Lucy:  Oh, it looks beautiful. I love this moment, it's like a real moment of anticipation. It's all nearly ready, you just can't wait to get it on your plate.

Claire: It's the reveal.

Lucy:  It is, isn't it? They look great, beautiful. Lovely, now the moment I've been waiting for all day, the tongs. Tongs are brilliant, if you haven't got them in your kitchen, you should get some. They're really versatile and good for everything from getting pasta out of water to cabbage out of pans. And because you can never have too many roast potatoes, there you go.

And that's how you make a roast dinner.


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