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  • Writer's pictureEmily

Prep in Advance Menu - Sunday Roast

‘Host’ is definitely one of my defining characteristics, but as much as I enjoy cooking and entertaining, I also like to be able to switch off once my guests arrive, so that I can enjoy their company... and enjoy a wine ;)


Luckily for me, my fairly extreme A-Type personality makes me particularly good at prepping dinner party menus in advance (without serving up food that has a tired, re-heated feel to it!).


So here is a deep dive into one of my most recent hosting wins – we’re making a (cheat's!) roast lamb, with veggies (some covered in cheese), and gravy. It’s a Sunday Roast! Let’s go!



BEFORE WE BEGIN

This post is less of a recipe, and more of a hosting guide. While I will give you a rough ingredients list, feel free to swap in your own favourite recipes! I'm also choosing to use a slow cooker, but you could swap this out for a Dutch Oven.


INGREDIENTS


CHEAT'S ROAST LAMB

  • Lamb shanks (1 per person)

  • Olive oil

  • Assorted herbs & spices (I used basil, oregano, rosemary, garlic salt)

  • Minced garlic

  • Salt

  • 2 cups chicken stock

CHEESY (AND BACON-Y) BROCCOLI & CAULIFLOWER

ROAST VEGGIES

GRAVY




METHOD – PREP DAY BEFORE


CHEAT'S ROAST LAMB

  • Mix the olive oil with the herbs, minced garlic, and salt to make a rub. Reserve half the olive oil mix for tomorrow, and coat your shanks with the other half.

  • Sear the shanks on a hot pan (or in your slow cooker, if it has a sear function).

  • Set your slow cooker to low / 8 hours, and add 2 cups of chicken stock to the bowl.

  • Place a small oven rack / cooling tray in the slow cooker bowl, so that the shanks can sit just on or above the liquid. (Tip – I didn’t have an own rack that fit in my slow cooker, so I sat my shanks on top of two mini cake tins with the bases removed).

  • Place your shanks in the slow cooker, just on or above the liquid, and leave to slow cook for 8 hours.

  • Once cooked, remove very carefully so that the meat doesn’t fall off the bone (I think it looks better for final plating if the bone is still in place!)

  • Cover your shanks in foil – refrigerate overnight.


CHEESY (AND BACON-Y) BROCCOLI & CAULIFLOWER

  • Steam your broccoli and cauliflower until just cooked (you’ll be heating them together with the cheesy sauce tomorrow, so they’ll continue to cook then!). Refrigerate overnight.

  • Dice your bacon into small pieces and fry until nicely crispy – refrigerate overnight.

  • Make your cheesy sauce by cooking the butter and flour together in a saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly.

  • Once the butter has melted and mixed with the flour, gradually add the milk a little at a time, stirring until the consistency thickens before adding more.

  • Once you have used all your milk, add the cheese and stir until melted.

  • Add salt and pepper to taste, and refrigerate in a food storage container overnight.


GRAVY

  • Cook the butter, flour and gravy powder together in a saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly.

  • Once the butter has melted and mixed with the flour and powder, gradually add the beef stock a little at a time, stirring until the consistency thickens before adding more.

  • Once you have used all your stock, stir through the Worcestershire, and add pepper to taste.

  • Transfer to a food storage container and refrigerate overnight.



METHOD – PREP MORNING OF


CHEAT'S ROAST LAMB

  • Rub the second half of your spice rub over the lamb, and pop under a hot grill for 5 minutes or so (until it gets a little crispy).

  • Transfer the shanks to the empty slow cooker bowl and set to ‘keep warm’ until serving.


ROAST VEGGIES

  • Peel and chop your potato and pumpkin, toss in duck fat and chicken salt, and roast according to your oven’s specifications.

  • Once roasted, turn the oven off, cover the veggies in foil, and leave them to keep warm inside the heated oven.


CHEESY (AND BACON-Y) BROCCOLI & CAULIFLOWER

  • Transfer your broccoli and cauliflower to a baking dish, dollop over the cheese sauce, and sprinkle over the crispy bacon.

  • Cover in foil and place in the oven (turned off, but warm) along with the roast veggies.


GRAVY

  • Transfer your gravy to a saucepan ready to heat at the last minute.


SET THE TABLE

  • Bonus note – don’t neglect your table! It will tie everything together for you :)

  • Be sure to include flowers or candles (or both) to create a cosy, wholesome vibe.

  • And (shameless plug incoming!) some linen napkins will create a sophisticated yet warm feel (you can shop my collection of linen napkins here!).

  • Finally, pour yourself a wine - the hard parts are all taken care of now!



METHOD – LAST MINUTE PREP


CHEAT'S ROAST LAMB

  • Your lamb is ready to go! Just transfer from the slow cooker to a serving dish when you’re ready.


ROAST VEGGIES, CHEESY (AND BACON-Y) BROCCOLI & CAULIFLOWER

  • Just pop the oven on 150 for 20-30 minutes to heat everything before serving (the time required to heat will depend how long your oven has been turned off for!)


GRAVY

  • Your gravy will only take a minute or two to heat up on the stove. Transfer it to a gravy boat and you’re good to go!