Food for Thought by Becky Cotter

Becky Cotter, Food for Thought, MPLO
Becky Cotter, Food for Thought, MPLO

With the Easter bank holiday behind us you most likely have an abundance of brightly coloured Easter eggs stashed away ready to be rationed out for good behaviour (or hidden to stop any late night snack attacks).

You also may have used the long weekend as an excuse to get together with family and friends and enjoy a big roast dinner! If every pan in the house was being juggled whilst you watched the washing up become Mount Everest vowing never to cook a roast dinner again then don’t despair, there are plenty of ways to enjoy this traditional meal without the effort. When it comes to the meat it is advisable to buy the best quality you can afford, if the meat shines then your family will be forgiving of some rushed vegetables. To make life even easier look out for pre-stuffed meat or “ready to roasts”.

Or line a baking tray with potatoes, carrot and parsnips, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle on some salt and rosemary then nestle seasoned chicken legs in between. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes and serve with gravy. There you have a wonderfully easy one pot roast that you could even make on a week night!

Cooking in advance is also a great idea when you know you’ll have a lot to do. Slow cooked cabbage, potato mash and gravy can be made in advance and kept in the fridge ready to be reheated at the last minute. You could even pre-boil some greens and tip them into a bowl of ice water to keep fresh until it is time to reheat them.

If you want homemade gravy without having to mess around with meat juices then simply chop an onion, cook in butter until soft, add a tablespoon of flour and a large glass or two of red wine. Simmer until thickened and season to taste!

There are always options to gather the family for a roast without breaking a sweat, just use these tips. Oh and whatever you do, just save yourself the hassle and buy your Yorkshires!

Becky lives in Leighton and writes a food blog called Veghotpot (