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Sunday Best

Who doesn’t love a Sunday roast? The mouth-watering dish is iconic within British cuisine and should have pride of place on your menu. Take Stock shows you how to make your roast stand out…

Get creative
Chicken and beef remain the firm favourites of any roast dinner. However, why not get creative and offer a selection of meats alongside the traditional options.
• Spiced Marmalade Glazed Gammon – a must for all pub menus. Use rindless marmalade for the roast and serve it with fresh vegetables
• Ginger Ale Brined Roast Pork Loin – keep the lean cut of meat moist by cooking it in brine and top it off with a tasty ginger ale glaze
• Pot Roast Brisket with Thyme – this heartwarming dish is a great way to use a cheaper cut of meat that will stay moist
• Roast Rack of Lamb with Merlot – indulge your customers with this luxury lamb roast and tempt them to pair it with a nice glass of red

Mix it up
Why not mix up your roast choices with something a little less traditional, while still using the same great ingredients? By putting a twist on the roast dinner it will appeal and cater for different appetites and help keep your menu looking fresh.

A Yorkshire pudding wrap – this has all the flavour of a Sunday roast but in a handheld wrap – and don’t forget the gravy dip! “We first put this together for secondary schools so that children could enjoy a roast on the go rather than being stuck at a table,” explains Alex Hall, executive chef at Unilever Food Solutions. Why not offer this as a to-go option or a special on your menu? Think about serving this dish during the week to help use up any leftovers.

Giant Yorkshire pudding – many menus now offer the popular giant Yorkshire pudding, either filled with a roast dinner or sausages and mash. Why not offer it as a sharing dish for the whole family to tuck into?

Magic of celeriac – known for its nutty, celery-like flavour, celeriac can be mashed, pureed, cooked or roasted. It works well with horseradish, served alongside rare roast beef in a ciabatta and added to a vegetable wellington. “Hot or cold celeriac is a great accompaniment – or even a hero – of any roast!” says Alex Hall, executive chef at Unilever Food Solutions.

Your must haves
Pigs in blankets – a great added extra to any roast dinner and are popular amongst customers. Paxo Stuffing Mix will add a twist to the well-loved dish, and for a vegetarian alternative try courgettes instead of sausage meat.
Roast potatoes – everyone wants to serve the perfect roasties. Ideal fats for roasting include beef dripping, goose fat, or for vegetarian dishes, olive oil. Plenty of salt and pepper is key and added extras such as thyme or an Oxo cube also help enhance flavours.
Gravy – good gravy is the perfect finishing touch. Bisto gravies can be adjusted to suit a wide variety of preferences and requirements. Ingredients such as wine, herbs, vegetable juices and caramelised onions can be added and are the perfect solution to delivering a distinctive gravy, full of flavour. The ideal accompaniments tailor your gravy to the meat, so think honey and cider with pork, and white wine and mushrooms with chicken. You’re aiming to excite your customers’ taste buds, so be creative.

Meat-free dishes
It’s crucial that your roast menu meets the needs and preferences of your vegan and vegetarian customers. “It’s important that consumers who are vegan and vegetarian don’t miss out on popular occasions such as a traditional carvery because they have not been catered for,” says Sarah Robb, channel marketing manager at Premier Foods. “Usually a customer visits a carvery as part of a large group, for a family gathering or celebration, so it is common to have a wide variety of dietary preferences and requirements. It’s important to cater for these, so the whole group can dine together with ease and everyone has something to choose from.” Some menu ideas include Jerk Black Bean & Potato Curry, Potato, Spinach & Blue Cheese en Croute and Vegan Balls with White Beans & Mushroom in a Tomato Sauce.

A roast a day
A roast dinner is so enjoyable that why not make it available on other days of the week, not just Sunday? Make the most of your roast by:
• Shout about your roasts on social media, in-house and on your website, prior to and during the event
• Create theatre by serving your roasts and sides on a board, to let customers carve and help themselves
• Celebrate seasonality – offer in-season food like pheasant and partridge
• Offer 2FOR1 or early birds menu during quieter days and times

A winning roast
Matt Healy of X The Foundry in Leeds was crowned the winner of the British Roast Dinner Week 2018 competition for his Sunday lunch, which he aims to make like a ‘home away from home’. He insists that the roast isn’t about fancy presentation but having a perfect Sunday afternoon. They serve their roast on one board for the table and it consists of roast chicken, slow-cooked beef sirloin, duck fat roast potatoes, and a bottle of wine. Since winning the competition they have extended their opening hours on a Sunday by three hours and have gone from serving 50 covers to 100!

School dinners
A roast dinner is a perfect meal to serve children at school. “It’s important that school meals are nutritious yet cost-effective, but most importantly that pupils enjoy them,” says Sarah Robb, channel marketing manager at Premier Foods. McDougalls Yorkshire Pudding Mix means caterers can make perfect puddings every time with just the addition of water and Paxo Sage & Onion Stuffing is great for keeping meat moist and also helps control the cost per portion for those up against a tight budget. It’s important that pupils who have allergies are catered for and parents will want to see that taken seriously on the menu. Those with gluten intolerance will require suitable alternatives available to them; Bisto Gluten-Free Gravy Granules delivers on taste as well as supporting the diet and is the ideal solution for caterers.

Care sector
Elderly customers must be treated with the same attention and thought when it comes to serving a roast dinner. “For the elderly and children we offer smaller portions, and are used to dealing with customers who are living with dysphagia,” says Amanda Ramsay from the Stair Arms in Pathhead. “Our slow cooked meat tends to be tender enough for them to eat. However, we do get asked to cut up the food and in some cases to liquidise it, which we are more than happy to do.” Premier Foods IDDSI Dysphagia guide provides information to help chefs who work in a care home or hospital to cook and serve residents and patients with roast dinner alternatives, so they don’t miss out. The guide also provides top tips on wider elements such as the importance of making dishes visually appealing and perfecting the texture.

See recipes: Yorkshire Pudding Wrap & Spiced Marmalade Glazed Gammon

Sources: Premier Food & Unilever Food Solutions

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