I was cooking dinner yesterday and wondered what other people do on a Sunday.  We almost always have a roast, even in high summer.  It may be 80 degrees outside but you can find me in the kitchen with the steamer going full blast and the ovens on high making my yorkshire puddings… you could probably fry an egg on my skin but what the heck, we need our Sunday roast!

Over the years things have changed.  I’m always looking for new ‘touches’ to bring an extra bit of flavour to dinner, just little things to make the food stand out.  I guess cooking has become my hobby and for that reason i’m forever looking for new ways to make it even better.

This Sunday we had rooster from the farmers market. 
Roasted vegetable medley
Green savoy cabbage
Mash potato
Yorkshire puds (we always have yorkshire puds, doesnt matter what meat we have with it!)

I didn’t do much to the rooster, just poked some homemade butter under the skin to make it a bit juicier and put it on a high heat for the first fifteen mins to get the skin browing up a bit.

I cooked the cabbage early on.  I boiled up some water and plunged the cabbage in for a few minutes then took it out and let it cool in some cold water.  I then left it to dry off a bit on a drainer.

I prepared carrots, potatoes, parsnips, half onions and garlic and spread them on a tray.  Steamed them for ten minutes then drizzled in some olive oil, a touch of honey and seasoning and tucked some fresh rosemary and bay leaves from the garden in amongst the veg.  When these were almost done I transferred them to a dish to keep warm and added some flour to the tray and then some potato water to deglaze the pan and make a lovely veggie gravy for my son.  It was lightly coloured but had a gorgous aroma from the rosemary and the caramalized onions.

For the meat eaters gravy I used the rooster tin with its lovely juices.  I spooned off most of the fat and juices and was left with the dark sticky residue from the butter.  I added some flour to this and some of the potato water.  It wasn’t quite dark enough so I added a bit of browning powder.  I added back the juices but not the fat, thats gone in the slow cooker this morning for stock making with the bones. To sweeten it I added a good dollop of homemade blackberry jam, then seasoned it and let it reduce down to a thick gravy.

I mashed the boiled spuds, reserving any leftover water that hadn’t gone into the gravies and I’ll use that for breadmaking.  I mashed with butter and milk but took a couple of cubes of frozen double cream out of the freezer and added those for a bit more creaminess.  Finally I took the roasted garlic and squeezed the now gooey contents into the mash with a few chopped chives.

Back to the cabbage.  I heated up a cast iron wok and added to it a knob of butter and a bit of seasoning.  I tossed in the cabbage and cooked until hot and crunchy again. 

At the last minute I sieved off the reduced gravy to make a smooth dark liquid.

I’m sure its not food for the calorie counting folks out there but I enjoy ‘dressing up’ the meals.  Cabbage is so much more exciting when its stir fried instead of just sitting apologetically on the side of the plate.  The sweetness of the roasted parsnips and carrots go really well with the strong mash and topped off with the rich gravy leaves us stuffed and wishing we had all had smaller portions…. we hardly have any room left for the homemade rice pudding!