Spruce up your roast

Spruce up your roast

When it comes to Sunday dinners, the meat doesn’t always have to be the main attraction. Here are a few ways to turn those standard sides into sumptuous showstoppers…

Sunday dinners can be so much more than your conventional meat, potato and vegetable combos. With a little innovation and a whole host of exciting ingredients, you can bring something unexpected to the table with some super side dishes. Read on for a little inspiration…

Pimp your potatoes
Potatoes are so versatile, and there are many ways you can jazz them up. Duchess potatoes are a great alternative to mash. Simply boil, drain and dry 850g potatoes and then mash well. Beat together two eggs, 60ml cream, two tablespoons of grated parmesan and a dash of nutmeg and then add to the potato with some seasoning. Cover and leave for 20 minutes and then place the lukewarm potato mixture into a piping bag with a star nozzle. Pipe into swirls on a greased baking tray, brush lightly with egg yolk and bake until golden.

Alternatively, you can play around with seasoning instead. Boil some potatoes for 20 minutes in some salt water and then place them on a tray with oil, coat with garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper and then oven bake for 40 minutes. To finish, put a little marmite on the top and crisp up for a further 10 minutes and you’ll have some tasty tatties.

We’ve got a great range of potatoes on offer, which are perfect for both mashing and roasting.

Vitalise your veggies
It’s amazing what a spot of seasoning can do. For example, you can get creative with your carrots by placing them into a dish, drizzling them with olive oil and then pouring some honey across the top. Mix until evenly coated, add some salt and pepper and then bake to your preferred degree of crunch.

Meanwhile, you can add some extra texture and flavour to your red cabbage with the addition of white wine vinegar and raisins. Simple, but effective. Or, for a more festive feel, you can whip up some sticky spiced red cabbage using ginger, onions, allspice and mustard seeds. Red wine vinegar and caster sugar will help achieve that great glaze.

The sweet with the savoury
You’ll be familiar with the classic pork/apple and turkey/cranberry combinations, but there are plenty of other options for you to explore when it comes to mixing your meat with something sweet.

For a simple twist, you can add caramelised nuts to your meal to give it some crunch. Maple candied nuts can be sprinkled over vegetables in bite-size pieces, and all it requires is heating maple syrup and butter (we love to use Cotswold butter for this because of its rich, creamy flavour) until melted and thickened. Then you can stir in the nuts and thyme and cook until sticky, and spread on parchment paper until firm.

If you fancy being even more experimental in the kitchen then you could try your hand at baked apples filled with bacon and cheese. They’re easy to prepare and they make for a sophisticated side:

Ingredients
4 cooking apples, with the top cut off and the inside hollowed
4 pieces of bacon, cooked and crumbled
340g soft cheese
1tbsp Cotswold butter
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
60ml cream
Salt and pepper, to season

Method
1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius (356 degrees Fahrenheit).
2. Gently heat the butter, onion, garlic and cream in a saucepan until the onions have softened.
3. Scoop a tablespoon of the mixture into each apple, and top with the bacon.
4. Season the apples with salt and pepper and place them on a lined baking tray.
5. Back until the apples are soft and the cheese is bubbly.

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