If there is one meal I love it’s a Sunday Roast. That’s not to say it is restricted to Sunday as the only day you can eat such a hearty meal. When it comes to roast dinners, every day is a Sunday.
Now then, cooking such a feast is all well and good. Yes you can choose your best ingredients and prepare them in your favourite way. I like my carrots a little crunchy, al dente if you will. The oven goes on and the meat gets treated to
whatever preparation is needed for the type. Gammon, for the sake of illustration, gets a good wash and placed in a roasting tin lined with foil, then it gets lovingly covered with a glaze of honey and mild mustard. A goodly slug of water to keep things moist and cover with foil before popping in the oven at a medium heat (about 170°C) for 6 hours. During that time occasionally bring that baby out to top up the water otherwise it just dries out and fails miserably. This method does not include the usual soaking of the joint. Soaking is for the removal of salt, yes I know it’s not good for you, but I like my meat salty so I skip that step.
Likewise the veggies: sometimes there maybe a little cheat here and there, tinned vegetables, frozen roast potatoes, you know to save the time and bother of pots and pans and 11 steps just for spuds. It usually results in edible but bland spuds but hey I never claimed to be a chef.
Then after the feasting has ended there is the small matter of washing up. There are disproportionately more implements, pots pans and utensils than a meal of any multiple ingredient number should have generated. Still someone has to do it, me, and after a belly full of tasty I really can’t be arsed.
So step up to the plate Carveries. Did you see what I did there, step up to the plate as in the Baseball reference, but used to infer flatware because we are talking about foo… no, OK back to the diatribe.
There are many pubs doing food nowadays, most of which serve up stuff you get out of the freezer section at [insert name of supermarket here], it’s a way of stemming the outward flow of patrons. People go to the pub for the drink and the atmosphere. Trouble is now that smoking is banned in public houses, that atmosphere mostly consists of body odour and urine. Not something to be savoured whilst eating a ploughman’s. So they temp us back in with the smell of gravy (for full disclosure it’s not the smell that temps me it’s the thought. Due to Anosmia, I sadly don’t possess that facility. My Olfactory cavity is a barren wasteland of nothingness)
The Carvery: There are two main chains of pub that do them here in the UK. I am referring to Crown and Toby. Both very good, both owned by Mitchells & Butlers, nevertheless I prefer Crown. Toby do have a pudding that will blow your socks off, Triple Strawberry Sundae, but the main course – the reason for this – is ever so slightly superior at Crown. Plus it’s cheaper and closer to home – always a good thing. We frequent The Green Tree at Hatfield just outside Doncaster, which is a 36 mile round trip.
So, great food – yes
All you can eat spuds, stuffing, Yorkshire puddings and veg – yes
Tasty and succulent meats – yes
Great atmosphere (it’s always packed) – yes
Everybody loves it – yes
No washing up – holy crap yes
At time of writing £3.50 during the week and £5.95 on Sunday is great value. Just think of the mountain of food to be consumed at a cheaper price than a fast food restaurant. Bargain.
Only down side is the omission of onion and cabbage at Crown, also sprouts, but they have to cater to the lowest common denominator. Peas, carrots, sweetcorn, cauliflower cheese, green beans are the vegetables on offer as well as new and roast potatoes. Toby Carvery do do onions and Cabbage, which is nice.
So I say to you if you live in the UK find yourself one of these establishments and try it out. If you likes a roast dinner then you cannot go wrong.