The British roast dinner really is a magical thing.
Ok, we’re obliged to say that. But it’s true. There’s a national roast dinner day in Blighty for a reason.
Yes, there really is a special day dedicated to the Roast each year, although plenty of Brits cook one every Sunday too. At least, they do if they know how to make one.
That got us thinking. Let’s help those who don’t know where to start when it comes to cooking one of the UK’s favourite meals.
So, for those of you wanting to cook up a great roast dinner, here’s what you’ll need:
To cook an epic roast dinner, you’ll need good quality ingredients and some reasonably reliable kitchen equipment. You’ll also need to be prepared (to get prepared), plus some good time management skills, or, depending on your character and cooking experience, maybe some practice and patience.
This is all true, but fear not. A list of the ingredients and items you’ll need to get started are coming right up. Plus, some extra tips on what else you’ll probably need to serve up a flawless roast.
Sound too daunting? Feeling like you’d rather just stick your head in the oven?
Don’t do that. Instead, just check out where to eat the best roast dinners in the UK 😉
Otherwise, here’s what you’ll need to consider before cooking your roast dinner:
Equipment Needed For A Roast Dinner
You don’t need every kitchen gadget under the sun to make a good roast dinner. But there are a few essential pieces of equipment that’ll be required.
While you also don’t need to break the bank by going for the most expensive kit, ideally you’d get equipment that’s nice and sturdy, which’ll help you make top-notch roast dinners for years to come.
Here’s our list of suggested essential items needed for you to make your roast dinner (complete with links for you to check them out on Amazon):
- A basic set of kitchen knives
- Chopping board
- Vegetable peeler
- Roasting trays
- Measuring jug
- Mixing bowl (for the stuffing)
- Yorkshire pudding tray
- Pots and pans
- Gravy boat
Roast Dinner Ingredients
It’s important to remember that the exact ingredients you should buy for your roast dinner will largely depend on your taste preferences and dietary requirements. Cost may also play a part, of course.
All we’d say, is that the better quality ingredients you can buy, the better your roast dinner should taste.
Before we give you an aide-memoire list to glance at while you’re shopping, here’s a run-through of ingredients that you’ll typically need for a good roast:
Meat(s) / Meat Alternative
The most traditional meat for roasting in Britain is beef (served with Yorkshire puddings), but other great roast meats include:
- Turkey (especially at Christmas)
- Lamb (very good at Easter time)
- Pork (or Gammon)
If going for the most traditional and some might say, the ultimate roast dinner, you’ll probably want a good quality topside, sirloin or rib of beef from your butcher.
Vegetarian / Vegan options often involve a nut roast, or a main roasted vegetable dish, which are fine alternatives to meat.
Here’s a quick lesson on how to rustle up a great beef roast, from Jamie Oliver:
As we mentioned, Yorkshire Puddings are traditionally served with roast beef. That said, ‘Yorkies’ are so good that they often get served irrespective of meat choice.
Another quick video lesson if you want it… this time on how to make the perfect Yorkshires, from Gordon Ramsay:
Stuffing is usually a sausage meat based side, cooked with onion and sage most commonly, although there’s tons of great stuffing flavour combinations to be had.
Pigs in blankets
Little chipolata sausages wrapped in smoked streaky bacon are a must-have side-dish with your Roast, especially at Christmas. One of the ultimate British delicacies!
We suggest using Maris Pipers for the perfectly roasted potatoes, giving a crispy exterior and fluffy interior. Peel, par-boil, then roast.
Best roasted with oil, duck fat or goose fat in our view, along with garlic, rosemary and thyme for the ultimate trip to flavour town.
People often ask us “what sides go with a Roast?” The answer is that the ‘side dishes’ to a Roast Dinner are the selection of extra vegetables you choose to serve, which can be as basic or as pimped up as you like.
The options are endless, so we can’t list them all, but the most popular (or at least the most common) vegetables used for a roast dinner are carrots, parsnips, cauliflower (cheese) and peas, broccoli or cabbage. Brussels sprouts are traditionally eaten at Christmas time.
Historically in the UK, most vegetables were usually just boiled in water, but these days many of them are often roasted as well as the meat.
Here’s a great place for some Roast dinner side dish ideas.
It’s all gravy, as they say. Or when it comes to a good roast dinner, you could say it’s all about the gravy.
The thing is, you could cook a flawless joint of meat, make the airiest Yorkshire Puddings and the most wondrous veg dishes, but without making a top notch gravy to finish it off, you’ve basically wasted a bunch of time, in more ways than one (see what we did there!)
Gravy is basically a sauce made from the juices of your meat once cooked (veggie gravy also possible). In an ideal world, you’d definitely make your own gravy for the best roast results.
Just one final flourish, which is your condiment of choice (an additional sauce), to perfectly complement your epic roasted creation.
There’s no doubt that some disobedient folk in Britain just rip up the condiment rule book and pair all sorts of meats with different sauces. But here’s what condiments traditionally go with each meat:
- Horseradish sauce – Beef
- Cranberry sauce – Turkey
- Bread sauce – Chicken
- Mint sauce – Lamb
- Apple sauce – Pork
- Mustard – Beef or Pork
As with gravy, you could decide to make your own condiments. But if you’re a beginner cook or just think life’s too short, there’s plenty of good quality condiments available in the shops.
Roast Dinner Shopping List
Hopefully the following list of ingredients will be a useful guide for when you go shopping in preparation for your Roast:
- The meat (or vegetarian/vegan alternative)
- Yorkshire puddings
- Plain flour
- Pork meat (or veggie alternative) for stuffing,
plus additional ingredients of choice, e.g. sage and onion.
- Chipolata sausages
- Smoked streaky bacon
- Maris Piper Potatoes
- Vegetables of choice
- Garlic, rosemary, sage, thyme
- Condiment of choice
- Olive oil, butter or goose fat
- Meat or vegetable stock, for the gravy
- Any additional items depending on individual choices, e.g. cheese for cauliflower cheese, oranges and/or honey for roasted vegetables.
So there you are, that’s all you need to make a great Roast Dinner. Before you know it, you’ll be cooking your roast dinner step by step, and maybe someday cooking a roast dinner for 10!
British Grub Hub
The home of great British food