The humble roast dinner could be extinct by 2041, according to the latest statistics.
The sad truth, revealed by market analysts Kantar Worldpanel, shows that the world has fallen out of love with our much loved roast meat, veg and gravy, and it could soon become a thing of the past if the number of families tucking into a roast continues to drop by 4% each year. The potato giant, McCain also did a survey which revealed that 75% of British families (out of 2000 surveyed) haven't cooked a roast in over a month.
Busy schedules and lack of time top the reasons as to why we're choosing to snub the once-loved Sunday staple. So to help you fall back in love with your roast, we've come up with some genius time-saving hacks.
1. Spatchcock chicken
Just like the image below, spatchcocking your whole chicken will reduce the cooking time dramatically. To do so, put the chicken breast-side down on a board, with the tail end towards you. Using kitchen scissors, cut along both sides of the backbone and through the ribs. Remove the backbone and discard. Then turn the chicken over so the breast is on top and flatten it with your palm. This is also a great technique for cooking a whole roast chicken on the BBQ or grill to get a nice smoky flavour.
2. Roast dinners don't have to use big joints of meat
Not only can cooking a gigantic leg of lamb or a rump of beef be costly, it can also take a long time to cook. So, instead invest in smaller cuts of meats, like chicken legs and thighs, which will decrease the amount of time spent in the kitchen without sacrificing flavour. If you buy them on the bone, you'll still get lots of flavour to add to your gravy, too.
3. Cook your stuffing separately
By stuffing your bird or joint, you're slowing down the cooking time of the meat. Prepare your stuffing in a separate dish and you'll save yourself precious minutes.
4. Speed up your roast potatoes
It might sound obvious, but chopping up your roasties into smaller pieces will speed up the cooking process. They'll only need a couple of minutes of parboiling and 30 minutes in the oven in hot fat.
5. Don't make your own stuffing from scratch
Stuffing can still taste just as good from a packet and our Extra Special Roasted Garlic Sage and Red Onion Stuffing Mix is no exception. It's prepared with crisp ciabatta breadcrumbs and enriched with sunflower seeds and herbs. All you need to do is mix in boiling water, then bake for 20 minutes.
6. Frozen Yorkshire puddings taste just as great
The first recorded recipe of the humble Yorkshire was written in 1737 and published in a book called, 'The Whole Duty Of A Woman'. Originally the pudding was served as a starter with gravy to fill people up so they wouldn't need as much meat during the main course. But since then, this tasty combination of flour, egg and milk has become a Sunday dinner staple for roast-lovers everywhere. But you don't have to make your own to get the same amazing taste. Try our golden and crunchy offerings here which only take 5 minutes in the oven.
7. Freeze your gravy
If you've made lots of gravy and it doesn't get used - save it and freeze it in bags or ice cube trays. The next time you have a roast you'll already have a great base to save you time and add lots of flavour.
8. Invest in our Extra Special gravy
Prepared with British beef and a generous twist of black pepper our Extra Special Beef Gravy Granules have a great depth of flavour so nobody will know you've cut corners. We've also got chicken and vegetable alternatives.
10. Don't peel your veg
There's really no need to spend time peeling your veggies for a roast. The skins all add to the flavour - just make sure you wash your veg thoroughly before cooking.
11. Cook everything together
Save time, space and extra washing up by putting your roasties in with your meat in the oven. They'll also soak up all the lovely juices from the meats making them extra tasty!
12. Don't forget about frozen veg
Saving you extra space in the fridge and helping to utilise your freezer, frozen vegetables are the way forward when it comes to your roast. From frozen broccoli florets to petis pois and baby carrots and cauliflower - a portion of your five a day will be on your plate within minutes.