How To Cook The Perfect Sunday Roast

We asked professional chefs to share their tips on how to make a Sunday roast you’ll remember. The perfect Sunday roast awaits.
Kudu R Aoast
The roast at Kudu Grill is good. Very good.

Do you want to know to cook the perfect Sunday roast? Considering the fact that you’ve clicked on a page that promises to tell you how to do just that, I’d expect you’re pretty interested in finding that out. The ideal roast dinner for most is typically one that was served to you by a loved one when you were a wee nipper. It’s something that’s familiar and comforting and preferably eaten in a dining room where you can be as heavy-handed with the gravy as you see fit.

We’ve got a bunch of Sunday roast-adjacent recipes on this website that will help you serve up a lunch you can be proud of. That includes everything from classics like perfect roast potatoes, nut roast Wellington, and glazed pigs in blankets to out-there creations like our ‘nduja roast potatoes, a peri-peri roast, and Bombay roast potatoes. Regardless of what you’re cooking, however, there are a few tips and tricks that we think everyone should know in order to cook the perfect roast dinner. We went and asked some extremely talented professional chefs to share their tips with us on how to cook the perfect Sunday roast. Here’s what they had to say. Follow all of this sage advice and you'll be nailing your next roast beef dinner.

Paul Ainsworth

"Sunday roast is definitely one of my favourite meals. My go-to is always roast pork which I love served with broccoli, steamed with stock and butter and seasoned with Cornish sea salt alongside roasted potatoes cooked with pork fat and a touch of turmeric; cauliflower and leek cheese; pigs in blankets (not just at Christmas!); roasted carrots; and Yorkshire pudding filled with roasted onions and a lot of gravy of course! When I want some extra comfort, I also add mashed potatoes. When I serve roast at home, I don’t usually plate it – I like to put everything in the middle and have everyone pass around the dishes. It’s definitely the ultimate family meal for me!"

Paul is Chef-Owner of The Ainsworth Collection.

Fabio Magalhaes

"I’ve got plenty of tips on how to cook the perfect Sunday roast. To start, you’ll need a good piece of meat with around 10 to 20% of fat. I usually go for ‘bone in’ cuts. Before roasting, score the fat, so it renders better. Start the roasting process of the meat at room temperature, never do it from cold. After the desired cooking point is reached, let the piece rest well (usually, a third of the cooking time). For the veggies, I always save a bit of the rendered roast fat to season it. Especially potatoes – it makes a great difference when you roast it with fat instead of butter or olive oil."

Fabio is the Head Chef at FIELD by Fortnum’s.

Will Murray

"For me, the three key elements of a perfect Sunday roast are potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, and cauliflower cheese. For the perfect potatoes always go for starchy ones: King Edwards are my favourite. I tend to steam them rather than boil, and then let them dry, then bash and cook them with beef fat and sunflower oil. Be sure to start roasting them at a high temperature, turning it down throughout to keep them crispy. I like to dress them with garlic, shallots, and lots of fresh herbs! For the Yorkshire pudding, make the batter a day in advance and always add a couple more egg yolks to make it a bit softer and give the Yorkies a lovely colour. For the cauliflower cheese, steam the cauliflower and make a punchy béchamel with Dijon and wholegrain mustard. Adding the cauliflower leaves will also bring a bit more flavour!"

Will is the Chef-Patron of Fallow.

Patrick Williams

"A Sunday roast, for me, means cooking some of the ingredients over charcoal or wood. This really elevates the flavour, especially of the meat. I always like to use beef rump, it’s a bit more affordable and yet very flavoursome when cooked right. As for the gravy, you're going to want none of that instant gloopy gravy. I look for a proper jus that’s glossy, dark and flavourful. For this, I recommend lots of thyme, garlic, and my special addition, treacle, which we add to the jus at Kudu Grill to give it that extra something special. I know the Yorkshire pudding is traditional, but I prefer something different. At Kudu Grill, for example, we serve cornbread. As for sides, a good cauliflower cheese always hits the spot – but more important for me is what precludes the roast. A good selection of appetisers and snacks can really set you up for a hearty roast to follow. I recommend a French onion soup to start and a nice chunk of bread to mop up the gravy."

Patrick is the Chef-Patron of Kudu Collective.

James Jay

"The most important part of a Sunday roast has to be the Yorkshire pudding. And don’t listen to the purists who say you can only serve a Yorkshire pudding with roast beef – at Sur-Mer at The Suffolk we serve a Yorkshire pudding with roast chicken and pork because everyone loves a good Yorkie! My top tip for a super light batter is a mix of water and milk so it stays nice and light. Take 200g of flour, the same quantity of eggs, and the same of half-water/half-milk and whisk it all together. Make the mixture on Saturday and leave it covered in the fridge to rest until it’s time to make them on a Sunday. Use lard or dripping in the Yorkie tin (this is important for flavour) and whack them in a hot oven. They’ll be the fluffiest Yorkshire puddings you’ve ever had!"

James is the Head Chef at The Suffolk.

Ben Tish

"I love Sunday roasts at home. It’s always a chicken for me during the winter months. I love roasting a Packington free-range chicken stuffed with lemon, garlic and rosemary and drenched in olive oil until crisp and golden. I roast the bird on a trivet of shallots and carrots – this then all adds to the pan gravy I make using fresh stock and plenty of red wine. For my roast potatoes, I use nothing other than good quality extra virgin olive oil and lots of sea salt – they crisp up perfectly. I steam some winter greens and my wife, Nykeeta, makes a sage, onion and sourdough stuffing which is the total nuts. It’s an opportunity to get stuck into a nice bottle of red – usually a Southern Italian like a Nero D'Avola or Etna Rosso. That is a perfect Sunday for me!"

Ben is the Chef Director at Cubitt House.

Richard Corrigan

"A tip for a calmer kitchen when making your Sunday roast is to keep it simple in the vegetable department; just one or two root veggies will do. Take your carrots and roughly chop them, throw them in with your roast potatoes with a little olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper. The time spent in the oven will caramelise the vegetables, giving them great flavour, as well as saving on oven space and a whole load of washing up! Scrubbing a million pots and pans is the last thing you want to be doing on a Sunday evening."

Richard is the Chef Patron of the Corrigan Collection.

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