Traditional English Roast Beef Dinner with Yorkshires

My first ever roast!! Growing up, my Mum would make the most AMAZING Roast dinners every sunday after church. Looking back, I don’t know how she did it… every plate was piled high with food, and there were nine members of my family plus my parent’s friends, my friends, my brothers and sisters friends…it soon added up to about 20 people, and it was a loud, crazy happy place to be! I miss being with all my English friends and family, and I miss my mum’s English roasts, which is why I have decided to learn how to make them! (That, and plan a trip to England this summer!)

I called my Mum yesterday to ask her lots of cooking questions… sure I could have gone online and found some great recipes, but I wanted HERS, because I think they’re the best! Her response was: “Sarah! You’ve never made a roast??!” My answer was something like: “does a pot roast count?” The truth is, I haven’t ever made a sunday roast… until today!

For some reason, roasts just make me nervous. Cooking perfectly juicy, tender meat (when I have no idea about cuts, and temperatures, and cooking times!) and then simultaneously cooking potatoes and carrots and parsnips and gravy and peas so it all comes perfectly together at the end- is just SCARY! I am the world’s worst multi-tasker (which isn’t fair because I am a woman, and I need that skill) so this was by far the most challenging meal i’ve ever made! But once I had planned well for it, it actually wasn’t too bad! I’ll share a couple of recipes, and a couple of things I learned in case you want to make this too:

The meat:
I tried to find a Prime Rib Roast, which is the most traditional cut- but I couldn’t, so I ended up using a bottom round roast instead… which didn’t turn out that great! This cut of meat is better for pot roasts than for roast-roasts! (I have to learn some things the hard way I guess!)

The Yorkshires:
Even though the meat didn’t turn out that great, I was happy because I found a PERFECT yorkshire pudding recipe! I have made several before: the first time I set my oven on fire because I poured too much oil in the bottom… another time they weren’t cooked in the middle, then multiple times they’ve sunk, and been flat and not very good. This time they were SO spot on, that I’ll use the same recipe every time I make them from now on!

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup mik
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp Lard
1 egg
Beef drippings

Heat your oven to 450degF. In a muffin tin, put a tsp oil in each cup (the “oil” can be the drippings from your beef, some cooking oil, or some lard… I used  crisco for the first time ever today, and it worked!) Then put the oil in your warming oven to get really hot! Meanwhile, mix your milk, water and egg until frothy. Pour your flour in a bowl, then create a well in the middle and pour the egg/milk mixture into the well and stir to incorporate.
Take the hot oil out of the oven, and pour the mixture into the cups. (This made 6 big ones). Cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until puffed and golden on top. Cover with gravy!

I need a good English gravy recipe!! I forgot to ask my Mum, so I used one I found online, and it was horrible!! It claimed to be “traditional” with the pan juices de-glazed by some red wine and some vegetable stock, but it was thin and watery. You want a nice, thick brown gravy for your mashed potatoes and yorkshires!

Honey glazed parsnips and roasted carrots:
 I noticed ONE big problem with making a roast dinner… I only have ONE oven! So, the meat was cooking at 250degF, and I couldn’t cook roast potatoes or veggies or even my yorkshires at the same time, because they need temperatures around 425-450degF! So, I did a little experiment, and put the carrots and parsnips in at the same time and temp as my meat, and it actually worked out great!

I cut them small, so they’d cook quicker. Covered the parsnips with honey. Coated my carrots with some olive oil and salt and pepper and roasted them at 250degF for about 1.5 hours and they were SO GOOD! Would definitely do that again.

I am glad that I got out of my “comfort zone” today and pulled off a roast dinner, but I don’t think i’ll try another until I have two ovens and two teenagers (to do the dishes!) P.S. I’m kidding, i’m more determined than ever to make roasts as good as my mum’s… and then maybe i’ll be able to bring my family and all our friends together on sundays. (In the far future when babies aren’t mushing their mashed potatoes between their fingers and squishing their peas on their plate!)

Happy Sunday everyone! Hope you have a relaxing day and a good week ahead!

Love, Sarah