Saturday, 14 November 2015

Tesco 60-Minute Roast Challenge

I love a Roast Dinner, however it's not always been that way.  Sure when I lived at home my mum cooked one every weekend but when I moved away to uni they went by the way.  I worked on a Sunday and even if I didn't there was no point making a roast just for me.  The only Roast Dinner I remember having during my time there was Christmas Day in my second year when I worked at the pub my boyfriend (now husband) worked in, it was a great community experience and a fab roast.

Then I moved in with my husband and for some reason I forgot about Sunday Dinner, we would have just 'normal' food (mainly because he worked on a Sunday).  Fast forward a couple of years and I fell pregnant with Ben, by month 3 I was having the strongest cravings for chicken to the point where I bought one on my way home one night .... then realised I didn't know where to start with cooking it.

I soon learnt, and over the next 5 years added beef and pork to my repertoire.  Lamb will always remain my favourite but my husband doesn't like it so I can't cook it :(  .

Christmas Dinner

Over the Summer our Sunday Roasts have remained, but only once every 4 weekends, the rest have been filled with salad, pizza or other 'treat' nights.  But the nights are drawing in and my urge to spend Sundays in a warm kitchen cooking a roast are slowly returning.... but life takes hold and before I know it I have half a day and no inspiration  so need quick meals I can whip up in a hurry.

To help British families make the most of their roasts this autumn, Tesco has teamed up with a selection of chefs and foodies, including TV personality and home cook Nadia Sawalha, who will share their favourite recipes and tips for creating the perfect weekend showstopper, they have also asked bloggers to get involved and attempt the 60-Minute Roast Challenge.  I was a bit apprehensive when my invitation came through as normally my roasts take about 2 hours to cook.

I scoured the Internet for recipes, the obvious were out - there was no way of cooking a roast joint in an hour.  I almost thought gammon would be a go but then remembered it had to boil before the 40m+ cooking time so again that one was thrown onto the floor.   This challenge was tougher then I thought.

It made me think outside the box, just what is a Roast Dinner?

"A traditional hot meal consisting of roast meat, usually with potatoes, vegetables and other trimmings."  ( 

So I looked at smaller options.  We often have BBQ chicken breasts so why not roast these instead?  And so the menu was created....

Roast Chicken Breasts wrapped in Bacon
Roast Potatoes
Yorkshire Puddings

We even had money left for a dessert of Ice Cream.


I preheated the oven to 180' while I prepared the food.

I wrapped the chicken breasts in streaky bacon before placing them into a Pyrex roasting dish.   I then made up a Colmans chicken casserole sauce mix (we love these as they have an amazing flavour) and poured this over the chicken breasts before popping them into the oven and setting the timer.


I used Tesco's Cumberland sausages as we find these have a stronger flavour then normal ones and again placed in a Pyrex dish and put into the oven with the chicken.


I have cooked my own roast potatoes in the past and they have turned out really well but this weekend I was all about ease and quickness so we treated ourselves to Aunt Bessies duck fat basted roast potatoes.   These again went in alongside the meats on my new roasting dish.  It was also at this point I realised I needed a bigger oven!

We peeled the carrots and cut into batons, seasoned with parsley and boiled on the hob.


Yorkshire Puddings
I'm scared of Yorkshire Puddings.  I used to cook my own but then we had an 'incident' where I may have used too much fat one day and set fire to the oven.  Ever since then I buy my yorkies.  We found these ones in our local Tesco which we'd not tried before and they were lovely.  So crispy on the top yet soft in the centre and with only 8 minutes cooking time I could put them in while dishing up. 


I love stuffing so I made up a box (well most of a box) of stuffing and popped in the oven too - I was getting good at oven Tetris by this point.


Good old Bisto.


The chicken breasts (according to my recipe) were supposed to take about 30 minutes to cook.  Unfortunately I'd not factored in that a) I had put them in a gravy mix to cook and b) my fan oven was pretty full.

When the timer went off and I took the meat out the oven I was very grateful for the meat thermometer Tesco had sent me as it told me the chicken was very undercooked!  Back in it went.  20 minutes later it was ready to be served.

Technically a fail as I was serving up in 1h 10 minutes but this was close enough for me.  



Everyone loved the food.   Thes roast potatoes with their crispy outer and soft centre went down a treat with everyone asking for seconds,  The yorkies were demolished at a rate of knots and the meats were succulent, juicy and flavoursome.


Every Sunday dinner has to be followed by dessert doesn't it and when we found these mini Ben and Jerry Chocolate Brownie Ice Cream pots in Tesco reduced (clearance) to 31p each that made the decision very easy.



Aunt Bessies Roast Potatoes basted in duck fat (700g) - £2 (link)
The Real Large Yorkshire Pudding (200g) - £1.50 (link)
Tesco British Chicken Breast Portions (769g) - £5 (link)
Tesco Butchers Choice British 8 Cumberland Sausages (454g) - £1.50 (link)
Tesco Smoked Streaky Bacon 14 Rashers (300g) - £2 (link)
Tesco Carrots (1kg) - 60p (link)
Colman's Chicken Casserole Recipe Mix (40g) - 75p (link)
4 x Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Fudge Brownie Ice Cream  (100ml) - reduced to 31p each (now discontinued?  link)
Tesco Everyday Value Sugar Free Lemonade (2l Bottle) - 17p (link)
Tesco Sage And Onion Stuffing Mix (85g) - 20p (link)
Bisto Favourite Gravy Granules (170g) - £1 (link)

Total: £15.96

I also treated myself to a Tesco Non Stick Large Roaster 38cm X 30cm  - £4 (link)


I really enjoyed this challenge and realised it IS possible to cook a roast in around 60 minutes with careful planning and for a budget £4 a head.    This is certainly a meal I'll be making again one day (perhaps using leftovers on Boxing Day)

To make the most of your family time at home there are loads of recipes and tips for creating the perfect Sunday roast on Tesco's website  for you can try or get inspiration from.

Disclaimer:  Tesco sent us a £30 gift voucher to cover our meal as well as a lovely hamper containing a Pyrex dish, baster, timer, oven gloves and meat thermometer.

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