Lee from @roastsinbrighton gives his perspective on the quintessential components of the traditional Sunday meal and who does it best in Brighton.
A good roast can be hard to get right. And for a meal that typically centres around the meat on the plate, getting a vegan roast right can potentially be even harder.
Brighton Sunday Roast connoisseur, Lee, kicks off a series of roast review content for us. Starting with the best accompaniments, Lee (who's never eaten a vegan roast before) will be putting plant-based roasts to the test around Brighton to see whether they cut the mustard.
Here's his list:
The best roast potato is crispy on the outside, yet soft and fluffy on the inside. The best roasties I've had in Brighton recently were at The Preston Park Tavern. They're hard to get right when you're making so many, but when they're right, oh yes *chef kiss*
You need a little bit of sweetness in your red cabbage, along with a little tartness, and ideally, you don't want the cloves or any other spice to be too overpowering. Veeg partners, The Cleveland put a really great red cabbage on their roasts, check it out.
Green veg can be divisive. Some love their veg cooked right through, and others prefer the al dente approach. I'm more of the latter, but my partner is the former. So we never agree on whether the veg is perfect or not. Also, every pub is different, but if you like a lot of variety, The Constant Service like to pile the veg on.
Carrots and parsnips
Carrots and parsnips should be drizzled with a bit of honey and roasted slowly. You can boil them if you really want to, but they're a bit bland when done that way, IMO. Stuffing-encrusted parsnips are making their way onto a few Brighton plates - I'm keen to try the ones at The Victory Inn sometime soon.
Cauliflower is the 'vanilla' vegetable to me, but cover it in a cheesy sauce (with a hint of mustard) and I could eat it morning, noon, and night. The one thing I think I would really miss the most if I were to move exclusively to a plant-based diet. I've had some great cauliflower cheeses, but for me, the best one was at Petit Pois.
The bigger the better! There is nothing worse than a soggy, flat Yorkshire pudding! The Shepherd and Dog in Fulking know how to make them great every time: light, fluffy and crisp on the outside.
The thicker the better for me! Rich gravies using stock or juices from cooked meats are my favourite, and I'm yet to find a better gravy than the meat one that they do at The Sussex Yeoman. It takes them days to make, and all of that effort is totally worth it. I'm interested to see whether plant-based gravies can live up to what we are told 'needs' meaty flavour.