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You can’t help but notice that the seasons are changing at the moment. The glorious spring and summer have given way to the rain and the darker nights, so sometimes you need a lovely, hearty meal to help you through. Not that us Brits need the weather to be an excuse to cook up a roast. It seems it’s an evergreen favourite whatever the weather and time of year. One thing we particularly savour about it is its ability to bring the family together and it’s the perfect excuse to banish the phones, tablets and the TV for an hour to eat great food and catch up.
The other thing about them is that the non-meat eaters amongst us don’t feel too left out either. A great roast brings plenty of veg to the table and a caring host can easily make a separate veggie stock gravy. While the easy option is to get everything from your supermarket and consume food from around the world for rock bottom prices, what you’re buying has lower animal welfare standards and we really can’t tell what kind of life the animal has had and how much weight has been added by pumping water in to the meat. Your vegetables might have some interesting preservation techniques too and it’s not always possible to know how long they’ve been out of the ground! That’s not the case if you shop locally and pay a visit to your local butcher. There you can ask about the meat you buy, find out if it’s grass fed beef, free range chicken or lamb, or even slow growing rare breeds for that extra flavour.
If you’re lucky enough to have space and the dedication to grow your own veg, the humble roast is a great way to use up your bounty from the garden. Now’s the time to consume your Cabbage and Leek crops and they’re perfect by themselves or in a cauliflower bake. If you want something different, try roasted squash to partner your golden roast potatoes. They’re brilliant with left over peppers and a beef or lamb joint. Just halve and stuff them with some tomatoes and a touch of basil pesto, bake for 30min at 200c and you have a perfect accompaniment to a rich joint with some mashed potatoes.
You need look no further than our local food map for producers and retailers offering everything from delicious British meat, to condiment companies making the tastiest mint sauce and mustards.
And, whatever your meat preference – lamb smothered with mint sauce, or pork with a dollop of apple sauce and a chunk of crackling, you’ll find the best meat for sale on the BigBarn marketplace.
If you have a favourite roast dinner recipe, why not share it with us? For the chance to win a prize, please video your recipe and add it to KIS (Keep it Simple) Cookery. Please have a look at existing videos here and try and keep your video less than 2 minutes long.