Lola and Finn's Mum

Lola and Finn's Mum

Thursday, 8 May 2014

The ultimate family meal without breaking the bank - Sunday Roast Dinner, courtesy of Morrisons

You may be aware that Morrisons has embarked on a campaign to emphasise the fact that on 1000s of everyday products they have reduced their prices, making them cheaper than before. This, of course, is wonderful news to the ordinary customer who increasingly seems to have less and less money in their pocket, but that money has to stretch to cover those basics that had to be covered when everyone felt just a little bit more comfortable. It was with enthusiasm therefore that I volunteered to become a #MorrisonsMum, and visited my local Morrisons to see just how I could make my shopping budget go a little bit further, and to see the great produce on offer.
If the weather had been slightly kinder, then I may have ventured down the barbeque route, sampling some of the wonderful looking cuts of meat from the butcher, or perhaps would have suggested a picnic with the family, after visiting the deli and buying some excellent meats and cheeses, but living in the North, there was always a chance that wall to wall sunshine would be at a premium, so I reverted to the old faithful, the family meal that puts us all around the table on a Sunday afternoon, chattering and enjoying one another's company: a roast dinner with all the trimmings.
My choice to do this meant that I could take advantage of some of the great offers on fruit and vegetables on 'Market Street'. It is so pleasing to see that fruit and vegetables, so vital in a healthy diet, are prominent amongst the new 'cheaper' prices. I bought carrots, broccoli and onions for a great price, and also bought Morrisons 'Signature' King Edward potatoes in the hope they would produce a suitably majestic roast potato. I was not disappointed.
Morrisons also had excellent offers on beef joints this week and it meant that I could buy a substantial topside joint which if it wasn't devoured during the meal, accompanied by a dash of horseradish and an unctuous homemade gravy, would be great for sandwiches the next day. Finally, a walk along the drinks aisle revealed so many wines that I was tempted by, but I selected a Morrisons Specially Selected Rioja, it being a favourite wine in this house, and again being competitively priced.
So, the roast dinner. Well, here is how I do it...
Roast Beef Dinner with Roast Potatoes, Yorkshire Puddings, Vegetables and Homemade Gravy
Serves Lola, Finn, Mum, Dad and two others
Yorkshire Puddings
3 Morrisons free range eggs
300ml Morrisons milk
200g Morrisons plain flour
2 tsp dried thyme
1kg of Morrisons 'Signature' King Edward Potatoes
3 tbsp. goose fat
1.1kg joint of Morrisons Topside at room temperature
1 Morrisons onion, peeled and sliced
salt and pepper
300g Morrisons carrots, peeled and sliced
1 head of Morrisons broccoli, separated into florets
To accompany - horseradish sauce
Firstly, make the Yorkshire Pudding batter. Combine the milk and the eggs together thoroughly, then slowly start to add the flour, whisking vigorously to ensure a smooth batter without any lumps. This may take a few minutes. Once the batter is smooth, stir in the dried thyme. Allow the batter to stand for at least half an hour before using.
Next, peel your potatoes and cut them into decent size chunks. For the average size potato I tend to just cut them in half. For bigger potatoes, cut them into thirds. Put them into a pan of salted water and bring them to the boil and allow them to simmer until they are just par-boiled. If you can feel the potatoes yield slightly when you stick a sharp knife into them, then they're done. Drain, but reserve the potato cooking water for gravy. Allow the potatoes to steam by covering them with a clean tea towel until required.
To prepare your beef, take the sliced onion and scatter them across the bottom of the roasting pan. The aim is that they provide a 'bed' for the beef to sit on. Remove any packaging from the beef, sit the beef on the onions and then season the beef. Once cooked, the soft, slightly caramelised onions will add wonderful flavour to your gravy.
Place the beef into the middle of a preheated 180c oven. By approximate rule, for medium beef you should allow 20 minutes per 500g plus 20 minutes. I cooked my beef for about 70 minutes. Baste occasionally.
About 20 minutes after the beef has gone into the oven, put the goose fat into a roasting tin and put at the top of the oven. Allow the fat to melt and become very hot. Meanwhile, shake your potatoes together under the tea towel in the colander to rough up the edges and therefore create lots of gloriously golden crispy bits!
Once the fat is melted, bring the roasting tin out of the oven and place it on top of the stove, over a heat if your roasting tin will stand it. Quickly add your potatoes, coating them in sizzling fat. Immediately put the potatoes on to the top shelf of the oven. Check them periodically, turning them over so that they crisp up evenly and don't burn.
Next, using either special Yorkshire Pudding tins, or muffin tins, (which I use) pour a little oil into the bottom of each 'mould'. Once done, place these in the bottom of the oven, allowing enough time for the oil to become very hot. Transfer your Yorkshire Pudding batter into a jug so it is easy to pour into the tins when the time comes.
Now is time to quickly peel and prepare your vegetables. Of course you might decide to prepare your vegetables when you prepare the potatoes, in which case I would be now opening the wine. However, if you haven't done so, peel the carrots and slice them. Put them into a pan of salted water. Prepare your broccoli and either put in a separate pan of salted water, or if you have a steamer, steam them above the carrots, once you begin to cook the carrots.
Once the beef is cooked, take it out of the oven and put it onto a plate before covering it in foil. Reserve the residue left in the bottom of the roasting pan to make your gravy. When the beef is out of the oven, increase the temperature up to about 220c, turn your potatoes in the fat for the final time. Move the potatoes down to the middle shelf. By now, the oil for your Yorkshire puddings should be very hot. Put these tins onto the top shelf and then pull the shelf out with the tins on them. Carefully pour the batter into the Yorkshire pudding tins, about a third of the way up the moulds. The oil and the batter should sizzle. Once finished, quickly but carefully put the tins back in the oven, shut the oven door and do not open it for twenty minutes. If your oven door has a window in it, this of course is a less daunting prospect...
Allow the beef to rest for about 20 minutes. Whilst the beef is resting and the Yorkshire puddings and potatoes are cooking, put your vegetables onto cook using a medium heat and make the gravy.
Decant as much fat as possible from the residue left in the bottom of the pan you roasted the beef in. (I have been known to pour all the juices into a jam jar and put it in the freezer; it solidifies the fat slightly on the top of the beef juices so it is easy to get rid of). Put the pan with the beef juices and caramelised onions onto the top of the hob. and add the reserved potato cooking water as required. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up the residue into the liquid. Once the liquid begins to look like gravy, cook for a little longer to allow the gravy to thicken to the consistency you require. Taste for seasoning. Reduce the heat under the roasting tin if necessary.
Begin to carve the beef; pour any juices from the beef into the gravy. Once carved, put back under the foil to keep warm.
By this time, your Yorkshire puddings should have puffed up significantly and be more or less ready. Your potatoes should also be done and your vegetables be ready. Pour your gravy into a warmed jug or gravy boat.
You could plate up yourself. Personally I just put everything into (or onto) warmed dishes and allow everyone to dig in as they wish. Get everyone in, pour the wine, sit down, enjoy.
So how much did it cost? Well, the total cost of all of the ingredients used plus the wine was approximately £22.00, so at around £3.70 per serving I would say that for the most prestigious meal of the week, Morrisons are right when they say 'I'm cheaper!'

If you want to compare the prices you pay with the prices you could pay, visit for more details.

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