Roast Sunday Dinner: Roast Joint Of Lamb!

By Neil Muir (NEILMUIR1) on December 21, 2010

The Sunday roast dinner was a tradition in U.K., where the whole family sat round the table and ate a wonderfully cooked roast meat of some sort, with seasonal vegetables. It was always the highlight of the week for us. Mother used to cook and father used to carve, and the family used to talk about things over dinner. Sadly this wonderful family tradition is now dying out. Children now like to eat meals watching the T.V. or playing on their computers, a tragic thing!

This wonderful tradition is old in this country, although I am aware it is popular in other Countries as well. Some say in the U.K. it was brought about by bakers refusing to cook bread on Sundays as they used their ovens to roast the meat, etc., or in the case of the communal cooking the meats. Others say it was the Church; but that may be having a go at the licensing laws, as pubs could only open from twelve till two in the afternoon on a Sunday lunchtime as people were expected to go to church on a Sunday, and the rest of the week the pubs could open from eleven till three at lunchtime. I know that in the villages and towns where there is a church, there will be a pub nearby. As the roast was cooking the family would go to church and then the father would go in the pub, whilst the mother cooked the rest of the meal. Then the dinner would be served at three o'clock when the father came home.

Here are some of the ingredients.

This is the top end of a leg of lamb.

Broccoli, Carrots, Cauliflower, Leeks, Parnips and Potato's.

Plus we are having Yorkshire Pudding with it.

You can use whatever vegetables you so wish, but due to the exceptional weather in the U.K. at the moment most stuff is hard to get as it is frozen in the fields or covered in snow. So I could only use what I could get! It is also common to have mashed potato as well.

To enlarge any picture please just click on it.


So now the fun starts. Preheat your oven to gas mark 5 or 375F. This is optional but I love garlic with lamb, so peel some garlic cloves and slice them. Then with a small knife cut some crosses into the meat through the fat. You do this as many times as you so wish depending on how much garlic you like, if you have bits of garlic left put them in the bottom of your roasting tin they will add flavor to the gravy. This is how I do it in the picture on the left. Then sprinkle with Rosemary or any other herbs you like. I am using dried Rosemary here as my Rosemary bush is under lots of snow. Then place in the centre of the oven for 30 minutes a pound and 30 minutes extra, basting at least 3 times all over with the juices that come out whilst cooking. If you want it pink then cook for 30 minutes less. In the U.K. we eat beef pink but tend not to eat lamb or pork pink, but that is up to you.

2010-12-20/NEILMUIR1/5a6a6d                              2010-12-20/NEILMUIR1/a8884e

Now get two pans of water on the boil and a colander ready! For, we are going to do the parsnips and the potato's. Yes we are going to roast them, as we have the oven on for the meat. Parsnips are a very underrated vegetable, they are sweet to eat and easy to do. Look here on my recipes Roast Parsnips.  Peel the parsnips and potato's and cut the parsnips as shown, or read my recipe! Then cut the potatoes with sharp angles to get them crispy. Now place the parsnips in the boiling water for 5 minutes depending on the size, do not get them soft! Put the cut and washed potato's in the boiling water and cook until they are tender. As soon as the parsnips are done, drain and allow to cool. Then when the potato's are done, allow them to drain. Place two roasting tins in the top of the oven with a little oil in and your Yorkshire Pudding tin with oil in if you are having them! Whilst they are heating up do your vegetables.

2010-12-20/NEILMUIR1/5b36a8                              2010-12-20/NEILMUIR1/023ae7

Now it is time to check your meat, which is always a very good idea as all ovens differ! So get it out of the oven and turn the oven up to make the oil in your roasting tins as hot as you can get them. Now to check the meat some people have thermometers and things, I use a knife! For if you stick a knife in the meat and red stuff comes out it is not cooked whereas if it is clear or none comes out it is cooked or overcooked. This depends on what meat you are cooking and if you like it rare or not.

Here is mine perfectly cooked.


 Now meat must rest for at least 20 minutes once it is out of the oven. You can cover it in it foil and it stays warm for ages. Now put your parsnips in the hot oil and baste them with it and put back in the oven, then the potato's, then I leave it for a couple of minutes and put the Yorkshire Pudding mix in and close the oven door turning it down to gas mark 7 or 425 F. I use a steamer for my vegetables so get the water boiling and sort out what vegetables take to cook longer so get them on first although they should only take a short time. Whereas your roast vegetables and Yorkshire Pudding may take 20 minutes or more!

What I do is put the meat on a warm plate as you have all them wonderful meat juices in that roasting tin. So you want to do is what they call de glaze the pan. This means to take all the lovely meat juices etc., off the bottom of the pan/tin and use them to make a gravy! I do this my grandma's way and put it on the top of the stove on a low to medium heat and then once it is hot, use  a liitle wine or stock. Then stir it with a wooden spoon. As it reduces it gets thicker. Some people put it through a sieve to make sure the gravy is pure. Finally add a knob of butter to it as that will make it glossy and shiny, plus taste even better.

By this time you will be probably looking forward to your well earned drink! You can carve the meat at the table and put all your cooked vegetables etc., into bowls. However I have never had it like that even in Simpsons in the Strand, which is world famous for it. I do it all in the kitchen and serve it up, and this is what you get. Served with gravy and mint sauce.


This is not restaurant standard or pub standard, or even my standard; this is what I could get in the appalling weather. Roast lamb, Yorkshire Pudding, roast parsnips, roast potatos, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli and leeks. But it was lovely with a nice glass of beer. Well it is 22F outside, so was nice and warming. The rest of the lamb is getting used in a shepherds pie.

Some people always say how can you eat lamb, thinking they are tiny things. Let me correct you. To UK standards a lamb is up to one year old. After that it is called mutton and is stronger in flavour and can be tough so needs a lot of cooking.

May I take this opportunity to wish everyone on cubits a Happy Christmas and a most prosperous New Year!




For Nancy.

About Neil Muir
I started as a seven year Apprentice for a Parks Department on the London\Kent borders. Going to college one day a week and working in the varied Victorian parks, gardens and nurseries five days a week.
After this I worked for many large estates and became Head Gardener in different locations. However with the growing use of pesticides and herbicides I went back to University, primarily to study Conservation and Ecology, but relevant to the now growing organic movement in the UK. After 28 years in Horticulture due to an accident I was informed I could no longer do the physical work involved and was retired. I love supporting the Great British Gardens we have in our small island, and cooking the traditional food of this Country. My hobbies are listening to bagpipe music, steam trains and model making, plus of course gardening.

« More articles

Comments and discussion:
Subject Thread Starter Last Reply Replies
Roast Lamb murielw1 Jan 9, 2011 2:32 PM 1
I knew it!! Ridesredmule Dec 30, 2010 8:41 AM 17
Now I am Hungry ! RetSgt Dec 23, 2010 2:57 AM 18
Tradition pajonica Dec 22, 2010 5:48 PM 3

British Gardening & Gardens!

British Gardening & Gardens. Famous Gardens & Parks. Private Gardens. Flower Shows and discussions! Neils Recipes. Great Photos as well. The Recipe Database is now open to all!

» Home
» Forums
» Articles
» Database
» Photo Contests
» Links

Cubit owner: NEILMUIR1

Admin team:

» Contact the admins

There are forums on; my Recipes, a "Have Your Say" forum, and a working Recipe Database.
Plus a lot more!
I hope you enjoy your visit.

Other places of interest.

Kent Tourist Board. Click here
"Please remember to be polite to everyone on this cubit.
It is a nice friendly cubit, so no controversy, please!"

HOME! Click here