The Origins of 5 Traditional English Meals – 3 – Roast Dinner

Roast Dinner

It is Sunday, so time for a Roast Dinner! It is no wonder that the French call us ‘rosbifs’!

Today we are going to talk about Roast Beef, but in England we eat lots of different meats for a Roast – sometimes even vegetarian roast!

Our love of beef started during the reign of King Henry VII in 1485. At this time, the royal bodyguards of the king were (and still are) known as ‘Beefeaters’ because of their love of roasted beef every Sunday after church.

This tradition continued so that before church, people would start cooking their meat, ready for Sunday lunch after church. At that time, for the rich, the meat was hung above a large fire in their homes and cooked for several hours. For those with less money, who did not have a large fireplace, they would take their meat to the bakers en-route to church so the meat could be cooked in the bread ovens.

Now, with modern ovens, the tradition of roasted meat on a Sunday lives on! But, of course, we do not eat just meat! We have several traditional foods that we eat at the same time:

Vegetables – a healthy addition to the meal – normally roasted potatoes and parsnips with boiled peas or carrots.

Gravy – no Roast Dinner is complete without a jug of gravy to pour over it – usually dark and rich, gravy adds a fantastic flavour to your meal.

Yorkshire Pudding – a pudding? With no sugar? Very strange! With similar ingredients to a pancake, the Yorkshire Pudding was once used to catch the tasty juices dripping from the hanging meat. Now, Yorkshire Puddings are one of the major components of England’s national dish.

Where can you eat it?

If you don’t want to cook it yourself, try going to your local pub for one of the nation’s favourite meals!

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