A Simple Roast

What’s not to love about a good old British roast? To me, it represents what family is all about. Sharing a big meal, with a comfort pud to follow makes for a pretty special part of the week. Sitting down together as a family is hard to achieve in our household. I work, my husband works. The children have endless after school activities which seem to finish later and later as they get older. So, often supper has to fit in when it can.


So, Sunday is a perfect time to put the oven on and get roasting a bird for a family lunch. I am going to give you some of my top accompaniments to go with any roast and that includes your Christmas turkey too.


Please keep in mind that your Christmas lunch is


Nothing more, nothing less. So, calm down, grab a pew and use some of my failsafe recipes to see you through any roast at any time of the year.


The Bird


Set the oven to 190 degrees and cook your chicken for 1 & 1/2 hours for a medium-sized chicken to feed up to 6 people. Put the chicken into a roasting dish along with a chopped onion, carrot and stick of celery. Pour a little oil over the chicken and season well before placing in the oven to roast.


The Easiest Crispiest Spuds


The only requirement for this recipe is that you use a fluffy potato that breaks up a bit as it cooks. I have had the best results from  using King Edwards. Chop and throw your UNPEELED but washed potatoes into a pan of boiling water and cook for 10 minutes. While the potatoes are cooking place another roasting tin in the oven with a layer of oil in the bottom to heat up. After 10 minutes drain the potatoes and shake them up to rough up the edges then transfer them to the hot oiled roasting tin and sprinkle with salt. Turn the potatoes in the oil then turn once again after 30 minutes. Leave them in the oven for as long as it takes to achieve the crispness you like. I would say as long as 1&1/2 hours. When the chicken is resting, blast the oven to 220 degrees and this will finish them off beautifully. Shards of crisp edges and light fluffy interior is want you want to aim for.


Sausage & Bacon Rolls


Wrap 1 packet of good cocktail sausages in 1 packet of good smoked streaky bacon and place on a baking tray at the bottom of the oven to cook away for as long as it takes for the bacon to crisp up. You could add them in for the last 30 minutes of the chicken’s roasting time. Again leave them in with the potatoes to get a blast of heat at the end of cooking time.


Special Stuffing Recipe



  • 450g pack of sausagemeat

  • 1tbsp olive oil

  • 3 leeks finely chopped

  • 1tbsp fresh Rosemary finely chopped

  • Zest of 1 orange

  • 40ml Port (Balsamic would also work)

  • 50g dried cranberries

  • 50g grated Parmesan cheese

  • 100g fresh breadcrumbs

  • 1 egg


1. Fry the leeks & Rosemary in the olive oil over a gentle heat for 10 minutes until they begin to soften.

2. Add in the orange zest, cranberries and Port. Let the mixture cook away for a further 5 minutes then take it off the heat and allow to cool.

3. Place the sausagemeat, breadcrumbs, egg and Parmesan into a mixing bowl the add in the cooled leek mixture and combine well using your hands.

4. Shape into little stuffing balls or alternatively cook the mixture in a roasting tin or baking tray. This mixture makes 30 sausage stuffing balls or 1 large tray of stuffing.

5. Bake in the oven (190 degrees) before the chicken goes in. 20 minutes for the stuffing balls and 30 minutes for the whole tray of stuffing. You could cook this the day before and re-heat it. Or if you have space, cook the stuffing along with the chicken, in its own tray/tin/oven dish.

This is a delicious stuffing, fruity, savoury and also great served cold with leftovers.




I like to cook up a fresh cabbage and some frozen peas or  frozen fine French beans. I would pre-cook the chopped cabbage, drain it then place in a pan with lots of butter ready to heat at the last minute. A splash of cream also works well with cabbage. The frozen veg can be done at the last minute. If you are cooking Brussel sprouts, these could also be pre-cooked and re-heated in butter. For cooking times always refer to the packets which provide guidelines for cooking times. But, always err on the side of caution and taste them as they are cooking to be sure.




Once the chicken is cooked, place it on a carving/chopping board and use the roasting tray to make your gravy in. Drain most of the fat into a bowl then throw a couple of tablespoons of plain flour and some salt into your roasting tin and put it directly onto the heat of your hob to cook out the flour (medium heat). Keep whisking the flour while you put a kettle of hot water on to boil for the gravy. After a couple of minutes cooking the flour, add in a splash of wine if you have some to hand then pour in a couple of mugfuls of boiling water. Stir well and let the mixture cook for 5 minutes. Next, strain the gravy into another saucepan to remove the  lumpy bits and also the carrot , celery and onion that were in the roasting tray. If the gravy is too thick add a little more water. If it’s to thin boil it rapidly to reduce the liquid down. Check for seasoning. Sometimes I add in a little Bouillon stock powder to flavour the gravy. Others I know, do add gravy granules/browning. That is fine too.




Yes, I love Yorkshire puds. I make them regularly in our house to go with roasts using THIS recipe and they always get eaten first so a large batch must be made to ensure second helpings. If you can’t make them yourself then you can buy them ready-made from Aunt Bessie’s and other leading brands.  Here is a very funny little video made by the Aunt Bessie crew to get you in the Yorkshire frame of mind. “For added roastiness” as they say in the vid!



The video content featured within this post is sponsored. I received payment for the writing of this post.





  1. says

    Love your stuffing recipe….with rosemary and cranberries. I like your advice to keep Christmas lunch in perspective!! My top tips are to add a squeeze of anchovy paste to my gravy and even a drizzle of golden syrup is good too…. Sounds mad but it works – honest! x

  2. says

    Reading this is making my mouth water. I’ve taken to cooking a roast chicken on a Monday evening bizarrely – not every week, but sometimes it seems a really nice comforting thing on a Monday evening to sit down to a roast dinner together and then have leftovers including stock for risotto last into the week. Like the idea of roasting the potatoes unpeeled.

  3. Jude says

    I’ve always been strict about Sunday lunch being a family meal, a roast is such a fabulous meal, and my grown up sons still turn up for their roast potatoes and Yorkshire Puds when we’re here.  

  4. says

    Even though we rarely do anything like a roast dinner (the closest we come is a big,’knobs on’ curry), this post has made me think how important it is to eat together, share the day, plan the week and enjoy family traditions. Plus, any excuse for roast potatoes is always good in our book ;D

    And what you say about Christmas dinner, you are right – it is just another roast dinner! 

    • says

      Yes Kellie, probably doesn’t matter even if it’s sharing a bowl of spaghetti, it’s just good to have a tradition for sharing a meal at least once a week. I would prefer it to be curry too!

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