Chefs from the best restaurants in London and beyond give us their top hacks for the perfect Easter roast
The easter roast might not have the same cultural cache as Christmas dinner (which is a shame, but more on that below…) but trust us, it can be just as decadent and delicious as its more famous festive cousin. We asked some of the country’s top chefs their top tips when prepping a roast, from getting the tatties right to making sure you rest the meat.
Paul Ainsworth, chef patron of No.6 in Cornwall
For the ultimate roast potatoes, boil them first in salted water and leave them to steam in the colander. Give them a good shake to rough the edges up then season all over with English mustard powder and sea salt. Add to a hot tray with duck fat, a few sprigs of thyme, rosemary and crushed garlic and roast until golden and crispy.
Chet Sharma, Chef Patron of BiBi in Mayfair
Warm your plates! It’s such a small thing but so important for well-rested meats. Meat should never be piping hot and steaming – that’s a sure sign it is overcooked. Nor should it ‘bleed’ as that’s just drying it out. All the heat in a good roast needs to come from the gravy and from having warm plates. This is something even the most seasoned cooks forget when a table is pre-laid.
Julien Maisonneuve, Executive Chef at the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel
The most difficult thing about a Sunday roast is getting everything on the table at the same time, so preparing the day before is important. Peel your veg the day before, wrap them in a damp cloth and store in the fridge. Also peel and boil your roasties a day ahead, then drain, cool, cover and chill them in the fridge. On the day, work backwards from when you want to serve the food – start with the meat and roast potatoes and while the meat is resting finish your veg and gravy on the stove.
Richard Corrigan, Chef Patron of the Corrigan Collection
A tip for a calm kitchen on Easter Sunday is to keep it simple with your vegetables. Just one or two root veggies will do – it saves on hob space and also on the washing up. Take carrots, keep them whole, and throw them in with your roast potatoes with some olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper. The caramelisation brings added flavour and it makes plating up so much easier.
Matt Brown, executive group chef at Hawksmoor
The key is great quality meat. Buy beef from a butcher who works with passionate farmers doing the right things. Roast myth buster; you don’t need hot fat to make perfect Yorkshires or roast potatoes.
Patrick Williams, Chef Patron at Kudu Collective
Replace your Yorkshire pudding with a Millie bread, a sweet cornbread. Everyone can do a Yorky, but personally I prefer the bread, it’s better for mopping up gravy. It’s a South African tradition that we adhere to in all our restaurants at the Kudu Collective.
Will Bowlby, Chef Patron of Kricket
Adding Vin Jaune to your roast chicken juices for the last ten minutes of cooking lends a really nice flavour to your chicken gravy. Such a simple trick but it really elevates your Sunday roast.
Oliver Gladwin, executive chef at Local & Wild
Get your Easter meat in early to allow time to rest it at the end. The longer the resting the better the meal. This also applies to roast chicken. This allows the juices to run which will make the best gravy.
Sami Harvey, The Laundry
Don’t rush your roast potatoes – ensure they have plenty of time to boil in salted water, drain and fluff them well in a colander before placing into trays of hot oil and give them plenty of time to roast and become golden.
Sven-Hanson Britt, Chef Founder at Oxeye
The most important thing is to cook your joint, whether it’s a pork shoulder or rib of beef, from room temperature! This will ensure even cooking, less cooking and a more tender finished product.
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