Tricks To Have Up Your Sleeve For The Perfect Roast Dinner

Roast Dinner Header

We’ve come up with our top hacks for creating the perfect roast dinner experience for you and your guests. If you’ve got any similar tips, let us know. Together, we can channel our expertise and master this fine, fine art. Let’s go…

1. Plan ahead and nail your timings. You want all the food to come out piping hot at once in a ‘Hey Presto’ moment so everyone can simultaneously burst into rounds of applause.

2. Find the right cut of meat that’s perfect for roasting. If you’re going down the chicken route, it’s worth spending a little extra money and going for free range/ organic. For beef: a rib, sirloin or fillet are best. For lamb & pork: choose a shoulder or loin (a bit friendlier on the pocket). For a nut roast: go stir crazy and cram a hideous amount of goodness into the tin.

3. Decide how many ‘extras’ to go for. Stuffing, cauliflower cheese, yorkshire puds, greens, root veg… Obviously, the more the better because we. love. food.

4. Go a bit ‘outside the box’ with some of your extras. Here are some ideas: Chantenay carrots, mashed swede, roasted sweet potatoes…

5. Check your condiments! Horseradish… apple sauce… cranberry sauce. Whatever the meat, you might as well send your guests home if you don’t have the right sauce. If you make your own, I take my hat off to you Sir.

Roast Meats
Recipes from Left to Right: Stuffed and Roasted Turkey. Lemon and Thyme Roasted Chicken. Original Glazed Ham. All by Sorted.

6. Lay the table before things get really hectic in the kitchen. Make sure there are plenty of serving spoons to stop a fully fledged fight occurring during plate loading.

7. Rub oil over the meat and season well before popping in the oven. If you’re roasting a chicken, pop a lemon and some thyme inside. This keeps it moist.

8. For your wee tatties go for Marius Piper or King Edwards. Par boil, shake ‘em in a colander and cover in hot fat before popping in the oven. This will probably get you a Knighthood for roast potato crispiness.

9. If you’re toying with homemade Yorkshire puddings DON’T open the door when they’re cooking. They will sink and you will feel very sorry for yourself.

10. If you’re making cauliflower cheese (if you’re not, you should be) add a teaspoon of mustard for an incredible flavour.

Sides Roastr
Recipes from Left to Right: Herby Roast Potatoes by Sorted. Thyme Yorkshire Puddings by scorpto. Cumin and Honey Roasted Roots by Sorted.

11. With regards to cooking your veg, pay attention to the boiling and roasting times. You don’t want to end up with a soggy mess. Blurgh.

12. To make it unbelievable, add a little port or wine to your gravy. Be warned that guests might start asking for straws…

13. Warm the plates before serving. Tell everybody before you’re sued for third degree burns.

14. Carve at the table. This way you’ll have several minutes of basking in warm glory and compliments.

15. Hide your gravy and pretend you forgot to make some. When everyone starts weeping, bring it out at the same time as singing ‘Celebrate good times c’mon.’

16. STUFF YOUR FACE. There are no rules for engagement. Manners go out of the window. Unless your Nan’s there. Behave, you.

17. Follow up with an equally delectable pudding. You’ve set the bar high. Don’t choke. A classic pie or crumble prepared the day before ought to do the trick.

18. Have a decent bubble and squeak recipe at the ready for the leftovers the day after, just like the one below by emilyrosestevens. If there’s a fried egg involved, invite us over please.

Pudding and Squeak
Recipes from Left to Right: Bubble and Squeak by emilyrosestevens. Sweet Cherry Pie by Sorted. Toffee Apple Crumble by Sorted

So, ladies and gentlemen, the TOP trick of all is to really experiment with your own roast dinners and make it personal to you! Find out what works, what you enjoy making and what gets the best response from your guests. In time, you could be known for your famous roast dinner. Wear the crown. Plan a speech. Give out autographs.

To help you get started, we have so many incredible roast dinner recipes here on SORTEDfood that it’s hard to keep count. Get exploring and share your combinations and photos with us. If you have any secret tips or recipes, get uploading.

  • Meshie Meaden

    And now I really want a roast! I’ve heard coating your spuds in semolina before cooking as well… never tried it though.

  • Pauline Keet

    19: rest your meat after cooking and before carving. Tent it with foil and pop it to one side. It really does make a HUGE difference to the tenderness and juiciness of your meat. With chicken this is a bit of a trade off as you do tend to lose that gloriously crispy skin, but if you’re feeding a group, tender and juicy is prob more important. I, fortunately live alone, so I just eat the crispy skin when it comes out of the oven, and then rest it lol
    Just as a kind of pointlette….a “demi-point” perhaps? Always add the juices that leak from the meat during resting, into your gravy…don’t waste flavour

    20: if you’re gonna carve at the table, make sure your carving knife is sharp. Have it sharpened regularly and hone it, using a steel, EVERY time you use it (actually, ALL prep knives should be honed at every use). Oh, and to keep the edge, don’t leave it bashing about in a drawer. Store it in a block or rack. A sharp knife is a safe knife.

    21: One other thing that I always do, if i feel that the gravy needs a little more flavour/colour, I always add a gloop of oyster sauce (don’t go overboard). It works really well with meaty flavours, and adds colour and a salty, slightly sweet, umaminess(yeah, that’s probably not a word….should be tho). I stirfry a bit so i usually have oyster sauce in the pantry, but failing that, soy is always a worthy contender.