I’m not trying to brag, but I’ve done a few roasts and after cracking Christmas dinner (meat included) and numerous family Sunday roasts, I was quietly confident that Easter Sunday roast for 12 would go swimmingly if I kept to my plan.
That’s when I thought… Why have I never put my roast dinner plan on my blog? People always do recipes for 4 people, or 6, and I ALWAYS have to double, triple, or double and a half, each recipe I do, which gets confusing… So here is a complete plan for a Sunday dinner for 12, times included (because I’m really anal and like to do everything exactly!). Adjust times based on number of cooks in the kitchen and the time you want to eat. For this meal, we start eating at 3pm!
Here is the menu:
Melon with raspberry coulis and mint
Main Course, 3.15pm
Pan-roasted carrots, Local-honied roast parsnips & Crispy roast potatoes
served with stuffing, peas and gravy
(meat option available)
Hot-Cross-Bun Bread & Butter Pudding
And here’s the how-to:
The day before, take a trip to your local co-operative greengrocers. We have one called Unicorn in Chorlton near my house, where I got most of the list.
Shopping List (to serve 12)
-1 galia melon
-4 boxes of raspberries (18 oz)
-Icing sugar (enough to thicken the coulis, so might as well get a box of icing sugar in!)
-2/3 cup Caster sugar
-12 sprigs of mint
-A LARGE bag of baby, or just small, carrots (just over a kilogram of carrots). I went through the box of carrots in unicorn and picked out 60 of the smallest carrots and it became a bit of a challenge to find the smallest one. So that was at least 5 carrots each.
-two large bags of potatoes
-12 medium parsnips
-bag of frozen peas
-2 boxes of PAXO gravy
-1 large head of garlic
-handful of fresh thyme
-‘pure’ sunflower spread
-local honey (if you want, or you can use agave nectar)
-Boullion and bisto for the gravy
-Meat option = two legs (2kg) lamb at room temperature, handful of rosemary, 16 cloves of garlic, olive oil to drizzle.
-6 hot cross buns (vegan)
-5 cartons of vegan custard (or make your own, but I’ve not mastered the skill yet)
-‘pure’ sunflower spread (enough to butter the hot cross buns)
Preheat the oven to 200C
Peel the carrots, potatoes and parsnips.
Cut the bigger potatoes in half, so all are the same size (and will cook in the same time!)
Half the parsnips, and if some are really big you might want to cut into 3… Just make sure they’re all the same size again.
Pop the potatoes in boiling water for 10 minutes to par-boil.
Whilst you wait for them to boil, place carrots between two woks, and put by the hob ready to cook later.
Place parsnips on a roasting tray and drizzle with oil and honey. Cover.
When potatoes are finished, drain in a colander then shake the colander to rough up the sides of the potatoes. Really go for it, because the fluffier the outside of the potatoes, the crispier they will be when cooked! Cover and place either outside, in the fridge or somewhere really cold. You want them to be cold as possible when they go in the oven later.
Mix PAXO with hot water (following instructions on packet) and leave it in ovenproof dish, ready to put in the oven at 2.25pm). If you want to make your own stuffing then obviously that’s much more ideal, but I’d say have it done before midday.
11.45am- Prepare Pudding
Cut all six hot cross buns into quarters, so you have 24 pieces.
Butter all 24 pieces with ‘Pure’ sunflower spread and place in an ovenproof dish.
Cover in vegan custard and cover with cling film.
Put to one side, ready to put in the oven at 3.15pm.
12.15pm have lunch and let the meat eaters do some graft
If you’re a vegan- great! Because you can relax now and have some lunch 😀
For the meat option, get a meat eater to rub the lamb with oil, salt and pepper, then pierce 8 holes in the fatty skin of the lamb with a sharp knife and place 8 garlic cloves (8 per leg) and rosemary sprigs into the holes.
12.30pm -Raspberry Coulis
Make raspberry coulis using my sisters recipe, then leave in fridge until 2.30pm:
18 oz raspberries
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
Add all ingredients into a pan and bring to boil.
Leave to simmer for 8 minutes until the sugar has dissolved.
Sieve into a bowl. Add icing sugar until it is thick.
Leave to cool in fridge where it will thicken further.
12.45pm (for meat only)- If catering for the meat option, place the lamb in a lower heat oven if possible, or on bottom self, basking it in its juices every half hour. Take out of the oven at 2pm. Cover with as much tinfoil as possible to keep the heat in, and let it rest until its time to serve.
I can’t believe I’m putting this photo of meat on here!
Now, I like to take a minute to get everything ready to start cooking. So fill the kettle and boil it, so when you go to boil it next time it’ll be done quicker.
Get 2 pans out for the gravy and the peas.
Decide which roasting trays you are using for the potatoes- you’ll need two.
Put 12 plates in the microwave, ready to heat up nearer to serving time.
Trust me. Rather than doing flavourless, bland carrots, you should make these! And once you make them you’ll never go back. They are BEAUTIFUL. Here is a photo of them the first time I made them a while back! This is what they turn out like if you use normal sized carrots cut into smaller pieces. It is more ideal to use whole, small carrots for maximum flavour experience! (for Easter, I used whole small carrots and they looked and tasted amazing).
This is the recipe from the book easy vegan by Ryland Peters & Small. This recipe is designed to accompany a barley risotto recipe, and serves 4.
2 tbsp oil
12 baby carrots
2 tbsp vegan margarine
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 garlic cloves, unpeeled and halved
Salt and pepper
Heat the oil in a pan until very hot. Add the carrots and cook for 8-10 minutes, turning every 2 minutes, until golden. Add the margarine, thyme and garlic to the pan with 1/2 cup/125ml water and season well with salt and pepper. Cover the pan with a tight fitting lid and cook over medium heat for 15-20 minutes, turning often, until the carrots are tender.
I multiply this recipe by 5. So 60 carrots, with 30 in each wok.
At 1.15pm, heat the oil and add carrots for 15 minutes. They might take even longer as there are quite a few of them. Then add all the other ingredients and leave them to simmer away until 3pm when you are serving. Keep stirring.
Fill the two roasting trays for the potatoes with oil. Place them in the oven. You want the oil to be SO hot before the potatoes go in it.
Take the oil out of the oven. Shuffle the potatoes into the hot oil. If it sizzles you know you’ve done it perfectly! Make sure each potato is touching the bottom of the tray, so they all have a chance at crisping up.
Meat option- take meat out of oven now, covering in loads of tinfoil and putting in the hottest place in the kitchen to rest (I put mine on top of the oven) until serving time
Place the parsnips in the oven. Shuffle the potatoes around a bit.
Put the stuffing in the oven for half an hour (or until crispy on top). Place it on bottom shelf.
2.30pm- get the starter going- with help!
Find someone to help with this. Get them started then leave them to it whilst you get the gravy/peas/finishing touches done!
Cut melon into 12 slices.
Then cut each slice into cubes. Keeping them in a uniformed way, transfer to a plate without the skin.
Smear some raspberry coulis onto the plate, then place a sprig of mint in the melon to finish.
Aim to have all the starters on the dining table ready for when people come to sit down.
Make the gravy:
Fill a large pan with boiling water from the kettle.
Add a few tbsp of Bisto gravy and Boullion, and keep tasting until you get a gravy to your taste. Boullion is very salty so add less of this to avoid a salty gravy.
Leave gravy on a low heat with lid on
Add peas to boiling water for 5 minutes
2.50pm – finishing up
Get all starters out onto the dining table and get your guests seated.
Turn oven off, all hobbs off, and drain the peas then cover.
Heat plates in microwave for 10 minutes
3pm- eat starter
The cook has to accept they will need to rush their starter then back into the kitchen!
Now is the big rush/panic. Main Course!
Have a table or a large surface (I use an extra table) cleared, and lay out 12 hot plates.
Next to the plates, have space for all the veg. Ready?
Take stuffing out of oven & place on table.
Take crispy parsnips/potatoes out of oven, and onto the table.
Take carrots, you guessed it, onto the table.
Drained peas … onto the table they go.
Whack heat up on the gravy to make it piping hot.
Now, enter any helpers!
Dish out equal amounts onto each plate and get the plates out to the dining table ASAP.
Turn gravy heat off. Pour gravy into gravy jugs and place at equal sections throughout the table.
Meat option- carve now and serve.
All dishes should be out now, and everyone merrily eating.
Put hot cross pudding in oven, then go and enjoy your meal!
Take pudding out of oven, and serve!
And it’s as easy as that! :p