Friday, 13 October 2017

The Great British Roast

Something you probably won't know about me unless you know me very well is that I am an extremely fussy eater.

I have been ever since childhood, in fact there was one period of time where I would only eat from one particular fork and I insisted it had to sit in boiling hot water in between meal times or I would refuse to eat at all! (I don't envy my mother having the task of raising me, I was not an easy child!)

I had favourite meals such as spaghetti bolognese, and meals that I absolutely refused to eat - one of those meals was roast dinners. I hated Sundays because it was roast day! I hated meat, I hated gravy, I hated stuffing and I absolutely hated veg! The only part of a roast dinner that I enjoyed were the roast potatoes.

Somewhere over the years though, common sense prevailed and now I love a good Sunday dinner...and thankfully, so do all 3 of my boys! However, cooking a roast? Not my favourite task! Something always ends up burned or undercooked...Jon is the king of the Sunday Roast in our house and he makes a really good one!

But now that our eldest has started school, we've found our midweek mealtimes have become a bit lacking in inspiration - suddenly we find ourselves living by the clock far more than we did before, with swimming lessons after school leaving only an hour to make dinner, and bath times and bedtimes far more strictly observed to make for less hectic mornings - it's important that dinners are ready quickly and are something that the whole family will enjoy without fuss.

And although all of the boys are good eaters at the moment, it can be difficult to find a wide range of meals that they all enjoy as they all have their dislikes - Sailor won't touch baked beans, Noah isn't a fan of eggs in any form and Tyne is staunchly against any vegetable except broccoli which he can't get enough of!

This week, I decided to introduce a mid-week roast dinner - something that I knew all of us would enjoy. But of course peeling veg by hand, peeling, par boiling and roasting potatoes and roasting a joint of meat on a school night with only an hour to spend on cooking would simply never work.

So we made some simple changes to speed things up! Firstly, we bought pre-prepared veg for our midweek roast - we usually save money on our weekend roasts by avoiding this and chopping/peeling ourselves but for the sake of saving time the few pence more seemed worth the splurge. It saved us a good 10-15 precious minutes!

Secondly, we slow-cooked the meat the night before so it was all ready for dinner time - it just needed to be plated up!

And thirdly, instead of making roasties from scratch which would take a full hour - we saved time by using Aunt Bessie's Crispy Home Style Roast Potatoes. They are super convenient and so easy to make - you just bung them in the oven, and you get perfect roasties every time!  They taste fantastic, are gluten-free and vegetarian, and are low in fat too.

We've used Aunt Bessie's products in our roasts for years as we were already big fans of their sage & onion stuffing balls, and the parsnips too but the roast potatoes are now a staple in our shopping trolley as they are just so convenient! They're rated by Mumsnet now too, with 75% of the 250 Mumsnetters tested stating that they'd use them again and recommend the product.

Our midweek roasts have been the perfect solution to our school night dinner dilemmas. I'd love to hear about your own mid-week mealtime saviours - what are you go-to please-everybody meals? And do you have any roast dinner hacks to share?

To find out more about Aunt Bessie's Crispy Home Style Roast Potatoes or any other Aunt Bessies product, visit

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