With this in mind, we decided to speak to David Gale, Executive Head Chef and Co-owner at One88 in Whitefield, famed throughout the land, as well as in the Good Food Guide 2018, for their spectacular food, for some top tips.
They say that the secret to good cooking starts with good ingredients, and I’m sure that every chef in the land would agree. In terms of a roast dinner, the amount of choice and variance on each aspect of the meal is pretty much endless. Not only do you have an almost endless choice of meats to use, be it beef, lamb, chicken, pork, duck or more, David suggests that you should always try to go for organic.
Both organic meat and veg will ensure that the quality of your ingredients are as high as possible, with David explaining the vast difference between products;
“There’s such a massive difference between a supermarket standard chicken and a proper organic chicken for example. There’s also a massive difference in price too though, so buy the best you can afford and speak to either a local independent butcher or even your local neighbourhood restaurant for guidance. My top choice would be an organic brown chicken, such as you’d find at Pearson’s in Ashton or Albert Matthews in Bury”
As Doctor Who will tell you, time is very important, and David is keen to stress how you shouldn’t rush the day and for you to take your time. Preparation is key, so try to make it a bit special and enjoy the whole process.
“It’s always great to try and get everyone involved in the preparation, especially the kids. Take them shopping with you so you can talk them through the different meat and vegetables that exist and how to prepare them. Getting the family involved is always great and a nice way to spend some time together.”
David is also keen to provide some more practical advice for us without kids; “I think it’s also important to enjoy the preparation process; have a few glasses of wine while you’re cooking and especially once you’ve finished as a little reward for a job well done“.
“For me the bits that go with the dinner that make the dinner. Vegetables should be plentiful and varied but don’t do too much so it stresses you out.”
Great advice there – especially considering that trying to get everything in your roast dinner to finish cooking at the same time is probably the most difficult aspect of the whole process. Here’s what
David suggests makes the perfect ratio of a roast dinner:
- 2x steamed veg
Broccoli, carrots, French beans..
- 2x types of potatoes
Roasts, mash, new, sweet..
- 1x ‘wet’ veg
Cauliflower cheese, crushed root veg, braised cabbage..
- 2x roast veg
Carrots, parsnip, celeriac, cabbage..
- 1x Yorkshire Pudding
- Accompanying Sauces
“Horseradish and mustard with beef and Stuffing with chicken the list is endless but they definitely need to be thought of”
- Stuffing (for chicken & turkey)
“Personally I love a bit of Paxo but if you want to try making your own stuffing it’s very simple. All that is needed is some sausage meat, chopped dried apricots, rosemary, diced onions, bread crumbs and seasoning. Roll into balls and bake”
“Gravy should be thick and rich and ideally home-made. There are however, some great stocks readily available now in most supermarkets and nobody should be offended with a Bisto style powdered gravy”
This is one of the most important and simple aspects of cooking anything and is often something that tends to get forgotten a lot of the time. “You should be constantly using salt and pepper while cooking your roast dinner, especially on the vegetables.”
If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, David suggests giving paprika a try with chicken or even fennel with pork. A great idea is to add some herbs and even garlic to the roasting trays for the veg and potatoes.
“A massive factor in cooking and one that usually isn’t adhered to much at home is temperature. Get the oven turned up around 200C for great all-round cooking.” Try not to open the oven and let all the heat out too much – that’s a Ben Brown tip by the way – that one’s for free.
Finally David explains how it’s not always just about the food that makes for the perfect Roast Dinner. “As a chef there’s a part of my mind that would love to say it’s only the food that is important but after so many years of Sunday entertaining it’s really about the people you’re dining with.”
“I like to make sure that any roasts I make at home are part of a lovely elongated day with friends and family, in order to really enjoy the day and make Sunday lunch what it’s always meant to be – a massive treat and something to look forward to every week”
Some top advice there. But if you still can’t be bothered getting into the kitchen, slaving over a hot stove and putting up with the kids badly chopping some carrots, head on down to One88 every Sunday for their fantastic roast.
One88 Bar and Kitchen, 188 Bury New Rd, Whitefield, Manchester M45 6QF
0161 280 0524