Recipe and History of the UK Sunday Roast


John Corso

A ritual that dates back to the industrial revolution, the Sunday roast is one of the United Kingdoms most storied and delicious of traditions. Consisting of a joint of roasted meat, roasted vegetables, and Yorkshire pudding, the Sunday roast is practice observed by almost every household in Britain and Ireland.

It is believed by many that this tradition began because a roast could be placed in the oven Sunday morning and would be finished cooking by the time the family returned home from church in the afternoon. This meal is usually enjoyed in the afternoon and is sometimes alternately referred to as Sunday Lunch and Sunday Joint (referring to a joint of meat).

Along with their choice of roast beef, lamb, or turkey; a variety of roast seasonal vegetables are also customarily served during a Sunday roast. Potatoes, carrots, peas, turnips, parsnips, cabbage, and broccoli are among many of the vegetables that are served either roasted or boiled.

Below is a recipe for a traditional Sunday roast, complete with roast beef, vegetables, and Yorkshire pudding. First you will need the following cookware and ingredients.

The Roast:

2 pounds beef round roast

salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon butter

cup water

teaspoon dried sage

Dutch oven

First preheat the oven to 175 degrees C. Next season the roast with salt and pepper. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Brown the outside of the roast on all sides in the butter. Once browned, add cup of water to the pan, and sprinkle teaspoon of sage onto the roast. Place onion and garlic into the pan if you like and season with seasoning salt.

Next cover the pot, and place the roast in the oven for 1 to 2 hours, depending on how well done you prefer your meat. 1 hour will cook the roast rare and 2 hours will be well done. Remove the cooked roast from the oven and place it in a pan and keep it warm.

The Vegetables:

If you want roasted vegetables with your roast, cut peeled potatoes, carrots, onions, parsnips, and turnips into quarters, toss with a little vegetable oil, and add salt and pepper. After the roast has cooked for about 45 minutes, arrange the vegetables in a separate pan and let them cook until tender. They should be done about the same time as the roast.

Yorkshire Pudding:

1 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoons flour

cup cold water

teaspoon sage

Drippings from the Roast

Frying pan

Melt 1 tablespoons of butter in a frying pan. Whisk flour with melted butter until its smooth. Remove the pan from the stovetop and stir in cup cold water. Mix the ingredients until you have a paste. Return the pan to medium heat and season with sage. Mix in the drippings from the roasting pan and stir constantly until the gravy is thick. Lastly, pour the mix over the roast and vegetables.

John Corso is an author who writes recipes and articles for



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