Everything you need to know to make the best roast dinner

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How to make a Sunday roast dinner Easy Food

There’s nothing more comforting than a Sunday roast dinner. Whether you’re an old hand or you’re getting ready to cook your very first roast for your family, read on to find all the basic recipes, tips, twists and inspiration you need.


The meat

Let’s start with the classic roast chicken, a staple on many a Sunday table. There’s nothing quite like the smell of a freshly roasted chicken, bringing many of us back to our childhoods. If it’s your first time, check out our back-to-basics recipe to guide you through the process. When you’ve mastered that, you may want to add something extra; try roasting the bird over root vegetables for a delicious all-in-one dinner; add flavour with a garlic and herb cream cheese mixture; try something completely different with this Indian-spiced alternative; or really embrace the advent of autumn with this fabulous squash, sage and barley combination.

Roast Chicken Squash sage and Barley Easy Food
A beautiful combination of autumnal colours and flavours.

If you’re more in the mood for red meat, this sticky orange glazed ham might be just what you need; if orange isn’t your thing, you’ll find other ham-worthy glazes here. For a special occasion, this garlic and herb roast beef is a show stopping centrepiece, with alternative crust ideas here. We’re also low-level obsessed with this sausage-stuffed pork loin with roasted apples, the perfect balance of sweet and savoury, while this roast stuffed pork steak is ideal for two people or a smaller family.

Roast stuffed pork steak Easy Food
Our top tip? Make this for just two people so you can enjoy the leftovers in a sambo.

The spuds

Having a roast without spuds is practically illegal here in Ireland. Obviously, the classic choice is roasties; if yours never turn out quite as crisp as you’d like them to, click here for our step-by-step guide. Our all-time favourite roast potatoes are cooked in goose or duck fat for that perfect golden crunch — it’s definitely worth making more than you think you’ll need!

Roast potatoes in goose fat Easy Food
Those crispy edges, though.
creamy baked mash Easy Food
This is a great make-ahead trick to avoid panicky, last-minute mashing.

If you’re more in the mood for buttery mash with your roast dinner, we can’t blame you — there’s almost nothing better. Perfect your mashed potato method with our easy guide here, and then save yourself the last-minute madness by prepping them ahead and baking along with your roast. Trust us: the only thing better than creamy mash is a baked creamy mash with a golden, lightly crisp topping.


Gravy and stuffing

Both very necessary in order to qualify your meal as a full roast dinner, gravy and stuffing are easier to make at home than many people realise. You’ll return to this classic gravy recipe again and again, while this vegetarian version is an easy way to take care of any non-meat-eaters at the table. If you’re making roast beef or lamb, you may prefer to go for a rich red wine jus. When it comes to stuffing, our classic thyme and onion never fails to please.

Gluten free stuffing Easy Food Christmas dinner tips
Thyme and onion: the king of stuffings.

 

The veggies

Last but definitely not least, your roast dinner won’t be complete without some properly tasty vegetables. Step away from the over-boiled carrots! Instead, try these roast carrots with a herby gremolata or opt for a selection of tarragon-mustard vegetables. For something richer, this winter vegetable gratin provides all the creamy comfort food you could ask for — and also makes a fantastic vegetarian main dish. If you fancy something completely different, we highly recommend this braised lettuce recipe.

Braised lettuce with creamy peas how to cook vegetables Easy Food
This new way to prepare lettuce combines creaminess and crunch.

What’s your favourite roast dinner? Are you Team Roasties or Team Mash? Is there ever such a thing as too much gravy? Tag us in your creations on social media @easyfoodmag — we love to see what you’re cooking.