I was chatting to a friend about a couple that we both know who have an oven that is like new! They never cook. This brief conversation coincided with a collection of recipes for easy Sunday lunches that I became aware of last week.
The fact is that it isn't hard to produce such a meal with the most difficult part being timing - hell I can do it!
It is also considerably cheaper to eat fresh food as above than buying pre-packed meals or attending fast food outlets.
The piece of brisket was the most expensive element at £4.89 but it will cover 5 meals.
Potatoes were less than £1 and again that is for 5 meals.
Green beans £1 - 4 meals
Carrots 50p - 3 meals.
4 Yorkshire puddings £1
So a total of £7.75 for 4 or 5 meals £1 - 75/portion.
This idiot's guide to cooking.
Pre-heat the oven to 175degrees C
Place the meat in a roasting tin, surround with potatoes and pour in half a pint of boiled water.
Season with salt and pepper.
Cover with kitchen foil and put in the oven for about 2 hours.
Baste and turn the potatoes after 1 hour.
Remove the foil and increase the oven temperature to 200 degrees C for 20 minutes.
Time to start the vegetables
Slice the carrots and trim the beans and put in boiling water for twenty minutes.
Yorkshire puddings are the bone of contention. I have made them but it is time consuming, utensil heavy and not guaranteed successful so I buy pre-cooked because they heat up and you have a guaranteed result in 3 to 4 minutes.
Pop the Yorkshire puds in the oven about 3 minutes before serving the meat.
Remove the meat and potatoes from the roasting tin and place on a carving dish or plate. Move the roasting tin with its meat juices to the hob and turn on a low heat. Add a half pint of boiling water and some gravy browning and stir in with the meat juices. Decant the gravy to a serving jug.
Drain the vegetables and put a knob of butter in the pan (I cook them in the same pan), season and serve with their buttery glaze.
Put the Yorkshire pudding on the plate.
Carve the meat and serve with a pouring of gravy over the meat.
Couldn't be simpler!
Middle Ages Feast
So what did people feast upon five or six hundred years ago?
In the Middle Ages what you chose to eat was often dictated by outside influences such as religious considerations. So Fridays, Saturdays, Lent and Advent had foods that were traditionally served and it was usually fish. That is something that has carried on into the 21st century in some households on Fridays.
Food came to the feast table in courses made up of separate dishes. An elite meal may begin with a pottage (thick soup or stew) served alongside boiled meats such as beef or mutton, and matbe a fried dish - a 'fritter'. A second course might have a further pottage, with roast meats and prestigious birds such as peacocks or herons, a set cream dish or jelly and a fritter. A third course might include further cream, roasted small birds such as sparrows, possibly a fruit dish and (you've guessed it) a fritter. Fruit and cheese conclude the meal.
If you are a foodie it may be better if you don't read this!