I’VE been cooking Sunday lunch for over 40 years and when we close Sundays (winter time) I always look forward to going out and having a great British Sunday roast.
Quality beef, home-made Yorkshire pudding, crispy fluffy roasts, beefy gravy, hot home-made horseradish, lots of green and root veggies. But I never get it… why is that?
Generally Sunday lunch on the coast is at best, average and at worst terrible. There are places to go for a fantastic day out, live music and atmosphere but generally the focus is on the atmosphere and not on the food.
So due to my pent up frustration over Sundays I am going to be opening on Sundays from May onwards.
However Mother’s Day is coming up and I am opening for that day in advance of May, a special day for all of us and fond memories of my Mum, I used to love to spend Mother’s Days by her side.
So why is Sunday lunch not so great on the Costa del Sol? Firstly the beef.
The beef has to be of good quality, by that I mean rib or sirloin (although fillet is tender it doesn’t have much flavour).
Quality means taking a bit of time to source your beef. Look for some age, some providence (eg where is it from) look for nice grains of fat running through it, don’t just opt for topside because its cheap, it will be chewy and tasteless unless you slow cook it and that’s not really Sunday lunch.
Try the Merca Central market in Fuengirola by the train station for meat. Secondly the Yorkshire puds.
Why do so many restaurants buy them in? It’s the easiest thing in the world to make and far better (see recipe below).
Third the roasts. These should be crisp on the outside and light and fluffy in the middle. So many restaurants cook them hours beforehand and they taste reheated, soggy and caramelized by having been kept warm so long!
Next is the horseradish. There is nothing wrong with using a bottled sauce but don’t just take it from the jar, add whipped cream, spices, herbs and black pepper (see recipe below) and it changes it completely.
Better still is freshly grated horseradish with cream and spices, but fresh horseradish is difficult to get over here.
Last but not least are the vegetables. The green veg should be green! (not brown or mushy) and slightly crisp (al dente) the root vegetables should be soft and tender, packed with flavour, not just boiled!
All of this is basic cooking, why it is so difficult to find is beyond me. For some reason we feel that Sunday roast should be a bargain, it shouldn’t be, it should be an experience!
As for the beef take the best beef sirloin (entrecote), seal first in a hot pan and roast until 57ºC in the centre.
Allow to rest then re-roast for 10 minutes, then carve.
A few famous people I’ve cooked Sunday roast for… Pierce Brosnan at The Pink Geranium, Margaret Thatcher at The Pink Geranium with Betty Boothroyd, John Major at The Pink Geranium, Chris Martin and Denise Van Outen at Sheene Mill, Paul Gascoigne at Sheene Mill, Princes Harry and William at Silverstone, Hugh Grant at Silverstone, Lord Brocket and Rory McIlroy at Brocket hall, David Beckham and Ryan Giggs at The Lowry, none of them complained!
Enjoy Mother’s Day lunch and cherish the time with your Mother.
Fabulous Yorkshire puddings
2 large eggs
125g plain flour
1 tsp maldon salt
150ml whole milk
Makes eight Yorkshires
Beat the eggs together in a mixing bowl using a balloon whisk.
Sift the flour with the salt, then gradually beat this into the eggs to make a smooth batter. Whisk in the milk until combined. Cover and leave to stand in the kitchen for about one hour.
Preheat the oven to 220°C fan. Put one dessert spoon of vegetable oil into each compartment of an eight hole Yorkshire pudding tin.
Place the tin in the oven for 30 minutes to heat up the tin and the oil until very hot. This is important or the puddings will not rise.
Stir the batter and season well, pour into a jug. At the oven carefully pour some batter into each hole in the hot oil, but be careful.
Put the tins straight back into the oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until the Yorkshires are well risen, golden brown and crisp. Serve immediately
The best hot horseradish sauce
1 small jar of prepared horseradish sauce approx. 200g (or 150 g of freshly grated horseradish)
150 ml of whipped cream, whipped till it peaks
Juice of half a lemon
1 tsp of Tabasco sauce
1 tsp of ground black pepper
½ a tsp of hot paprika pepper (Pimiento picante)
1 tbs of chopped chives
1 tsp of maldon salt
Beat the cream until soft peaks and then add the horseradish, lemon juice, Tabasco, peppers and salt.
Taste and then refrigerate for at least one hour before use.
Great roast potatoes
Everyone seems to have a recipe but here is the best way, no need for goose fat!
Ingredients 2 large roasting potatoes cut into 4 pieces per person
A saucepan of boiling water seasoned with salt
A little olive oil for the water
Olive oil for the roast tray
1 tbs of fresh chopped rosemary
2 cloves of garlic peeled and chopped finely
2 tbs olive oil
1 tbs of butter
Boil the potatoes until the knife just rides into them.
Drain them through a sieve and allow them to steam and while they are doing that season them well with salt and pepper.
Preheat your roasting tray in the oven at about 220ºC.
Now add the olive oil to the tray and heat again for about 5 minutes. In the sieve shake the potatoes until they are fluffy so that each potato has layers of mashed potato on them.
Put the potatoes into the heated roast tray and into the oven for 20 mins without moving or touching them.
After 20 mins flip them with a spatula and keep roasting until brown all over approx 45 mins.
Pan-fry the garlic with the rosemary in the olive oil and add the butter, be careful not to burn the garlic.
Cook this on a gentle heat. Drain the roast potatoes into a bowl and pour over the garlic, rosemary oil, season with Maldon salt and serve.
Divine green vegetables
Choose broccoli, tender stem broccoli or French beans and asparagus and blanch them in salted boiling water for one minute only.
Drain and refresh under cold water until cold.
Now put them onto a tray lined with a cloth so they are not in the water. This is your mise en place, ready to serve later.
When you need to serve them, simply pan fry them gently in a little olive oil and butter, season well and cook for about two minutes.
Serve immediately. Green vegetables hardly need any cooking so don’t concern yourself that they may not be ready!