New data from a recent survey from Tesco has found home-cooked Sunday roasts are in decline, with over a third (36 percent) of UK adults admitting to cooking the popular dish less frequently than a year ago due to the increased energy cost of oven cooking. This figure jumps amongst 18–34-year-olds, with nearly half (47 percent) forgoing the Sunday staple in a bid to save money. Despite the decline, the nation’s appetite for a roast dinner hasn’t changed, and the supermarket has shared several more cost-effective methods of cooking a roast dinner without using the oven.
Jamie Robinson, Executive Chef at Tesco said: “The rise in energy costs is understandably leading many of us to look for the most efficient ways of cooking, from using existing store cupboard ingredients, cooking from scratch, and looking at alternative cooking methods to an oven.
“However, whichever way you cook it, the core components of any Sunday roast- a tender cut of meat, perfectly risen Yorkshire puddings, crispy roast potatoes and delicious vegetable sides, can be easily achieved.”
Nearly half (46 percent) of UK adults claim to have access to a slow cooker, a third to an air fryer (31 percent ) and two thirds (72 percent) a microwave.
Jamie has shared his top tips on cooking a delicious oven-free roast using these three kitchen gadgets.
Slow cooker roast dinner
Jamie said: “Slow cookers are a great alternative to an oven and perfect for cheaper cuts of meat such as brisket or pork shoulder as the lower temperature and longer cooking time tenderises the meat, whilst allowing the flavour to come out.
“Simply prepare the meat, place into the cooker with cut up veg such as carrots alongside fresh herbs and let the slow cooker do its magic.
“Traditional crispy roast potatoes may not be best in a slow cooker but there are many tasty alternatives.
“I’d recommend trying dauphinoise potatoes for a simple but delicious swap,” the expert said. “Layer finely sliced potatoes, add cream, diced garlic, season with salt and pepper, top with grated cheese and cook until the potato is soft for up to six hours (pierce with a fork to check).
“Once cooked, leave to rest for 20-30 minutes to set as it makes it easier to serve.”
Air fryer roast dinner
Jamie said: “Air fryers have risen in popularity as people realise just how versatile they are, but it may be surprising to know that you can cook a Sunday roast within an hour.
“For moist, juicy chicken coated with a crispy layer of skin, all you need is a few simple ingredients.
“Season your chicken with fresh herbs, salt and pepper before placing it in a preheated air fryer at 180 degrees. Leave to cook, rotating every 15 minutes, for about an hour.
“Once cooked through (pierce to check the juices run clear), rest for 30 minutes before serving.
“Alongside the chicken, roast your vegetables at the same time for added flavour.
“Simply chop up carrots, squash, parsnips or your preferred vegetables and place in the air fryer with plenty of olive oil, salt and pepper. Pop in a clove of garlic and roast at 180 degrees for 15 minutes. Finish with a drizzle of maple syrup or honey.”
Anyone looking to cook roast potatoes in an air fryer, Jamie shared his tips: “For your roasties, I’d recommend trying out tinned potatoes as it’s so easy to make them taste delicious in an air fryer.
“Simply drain, add five grams of oil, a light dusting of flour, salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of garlic powder before mixing together to add a seasoned coating to the potatoes.
“Cook at 195 degrees for between 20-25 minutes until golden brown and crispy.”
Microwave roast dinner
Jamie revealed: “While air fryers and slow cookers are best for meat, microwaves are a great option for cooking vegetables and can help ensure you end up with great-tasting vegetables every time.
“Try slicing up some carrots into a microwave-safe dish before adding enough water to cover the base of the dish, a tablespoon of honey and a knob of butter.
“Cover and microwave for four minutes on high power. Carefully uncover and give the carrots a good stir before microwaving for a further three to four minutes until cooked through.”
“Yorkshire puddings that are soft on the inside, crispy on the outside and have risen as the batter cooks, work just as well in an air fryer or microwave compared to an oven,” Jamie said.
“Simply mix the three ingredients together; plain flour (100g), milk (100ml) and two eggs, preheat oil, add the batter, and cook at 200 degrees for 15 minutes in an air fryer and approximately three minutes in a microwave.”
All data from survey of 2,000 UK adults conducted by Opinium in January 2023
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