25. Brussels Sprouts
Acceptable at Christmas. Never otherwise.
Great for flavouring, terrible for eating. Cook them in gravy, roast them with potatoes then leave them off the plate. No-one should be biting into onion, regardless of how they’ve been cooked.
22. Yorkshire Pudding
Despite being integral to the Sunday Roast, it’s been over-hyped. When dry, it’s a crunchy pancake. With gravy, it’s soggy and still pretty flavourless.
Great flavour, terrible physics. A roast dinner is too important to leave little balls rolling all over the place.
Ditto. Also feels like it should have butter, which doesn’t fit the roast.
Really salty, and you’re supposed to eat it with pineapple. Not cool.
18. Red Peppers
Culinarily, it’s quite nice, but it just feels fundamentally wrong. Like you’ve kicked one of the Queen’s corgis, or sub-tweeted Stephen Fry.
It’s a good meat - delicious, in fact. Roasted, however, is never going to be the best way to eat chicken, and for that reason, it loses points in the meat rankings.
Goes a small way towards redeeming chicken, as stuffing does add a pretty awesome flavour, especially if sausage-meat is involved as well. But when it comes down to it, you’re still stuck with chicken that hasn’t been deep-fried.
Great vegetable for stir-frys, and soups, and bakes, but for a roast it manages to be too bitter. While there are plenty of recipes around to help it out, they’re all a bit complex for a roast.
Pork is the default meat. It’s not that exciting, and there’s a lot of variation in quality. Sometimes delicious, all too often dry and not very interesting.
Apple + pork? Lovely. Apple + gravy? ABOMINATION.
Especially when combined with carrots, swede is a great flavour to add. Loses points for not being great roasted - it really needs to be mashed.
13. Nut Roast
Non-veggies probably haven’t experienced a nut roast, but it’s a much more enjoyable replacement for a joint of meat than you might think.
12. Green Beans
The main reason to recommend them is the colour. Sometimes you need to break up all the earth tones, and green beans are the best way to do that.
Acceptable, but they’re never anyones favourite. They need extra-special treatment to make them taste great, and even then are chewy.
It’s totally unexpected but totally worth it. The dye seeps out, which can make eating purple potatoes an experience, but the earthy taste is a welcome variation.
Very under-rated. Actually delicious, simply because it’s brilliant at soaking up gravy, meat juice, and all the other good stuff.
8. Pork w/ Crackling
Pork might be only adequate, but add a thick lump of crisped up fat, and it flies up the rankings.
There is a very real argument that a roast leg of lamb is the best tasting meat, but it slips down for two reasons. The first is that it costs more. It’s a pricey option, whether for a family of six, or a students making a community dinner. The second?
By far the worst of the meat-specific sauces, this sloppy green mess adds nothing to the meal, unless you happen to fancy some of your dinner having a distinct hint of toothpaste.
Really bland. It’s not even an interesting colour. Why so high?
BECAUSE CHEESE SAUCE. Someone once looked at a roast dinner, and decided that what it was missing was cheese. They were correct.
Actually fairly unpleasant on their own, when added to cheese sauce, they become exceptional. They’re higher than cauliflower because Leeks & Cheese > Cauliflower & Cheese > Cauliflower > Leeks. It’s science.
The ultimate roast dinner vegetable. Incredible when roasted, it’s the only non-potato vegetable that is utterly irreplaceable. Occasionally, honey-roasted and then unexpected MOUTH ORGASM.
Gravy really ties the meal together. People might be putting it on chips (The North/Canada), but it’s true home is the roast dinner. Also, provides moisture.
Probably the most traditional meat, and when cooked well, the juicy headline star of a great roast dinner.
As a condiment, Horseradish wins out easily. It adds a sorely needed kick of complementary hotness to the meal, and confirms the ranking of beef.
1. Roast Potatoes
The inevitable winner, and the crispy, fluffy core of a roast dinner. Goes with everything, makes everything better, and brilliantly, everyone makes a slightly different variant, meaning there’s always room for innovation.
Of course, your mum still makes the best ones.
NB - all views above are subjective, unrepresentative, and possibly wrong.
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