You know when you have a really great idea, normally after copious amounts of alcohol and drugs? Like snorting dried bleach…or even running a Roast Dinner Competition.
Then you decide to go ahead with the idea, and tell everyone.
And then you realise that you haven’t got any idea how to finish said idea?
Well that is the stage I am at. I wrote the blog post for the roast dinner competition, I had a fair amount of entries – most even managed to follow the rules and e-mail or message me directly.
Yet I don’t know who the winner is. I froze. I am still frozen. I am hoping that by time I have finished writing this I will know who the winner is. You, of course, have the option of scrolling down – that ain’t going to help me though. I’m as lost as a travel influencer stuck at home in Slough. Shit, just imagine being on lockdown in somewhere like Slough. Or Bracknell.
So I’ll start with Jeremy’s entry who didn’t follow the rules and tweeted me instead of e-mailing/messaging his entry…I needed some level of organisation so if anyone else didn’t follow the rules and wonders why I’m not mentioning their roast, there is your answer.
It’s a credible entry – pork and crackling looks decent, yorkies look nice and squidgy – the photo would suggest that the roasties need a bit longer, and a bit of chuffing post parboil, but you know this stupid competition is going to be very subjective.
However, there are peas involved so I can rule this one out. Next!
Timmy was next with this effort:
Well, he sent in two entries but one was a GIF and I cannot be bothered with going through the effort of trying to convert it into something WordPress will accept.
I’m liking the look of most of this – you’ll already know why I’m not having it as the winner, however the roasties look proper, the broccoli cheese looks sexy – I cannot quite see what is at the far end of the plate well enough, but assume it is up there.
Alas. Not only are there peas but there is sweetcorn too. Is this from a freezer bag, Timmy? Might have been considered more strongly without.
Mush from Waterloo’s Roast
Next up we have Mush who hopefully is not named after a type of enemy vegetable.
If I pretend that I haven’t seen the frizbees in the top right corner, I’d probably suggest this is the best so far – the lamb looks tasty, the roasties look excellent and the non-purple veg looks up my street.
And stuffing. Apparently she was reasonably drunk by the end of cooking too – someone has a lucky set of friends or family.
I think we’ll get even better than that though.
Jeez it isn’t easy doing this when you’ve had a long day at work…well at home working and only having eaten fruit and vegetables all day. Oh and a little bit of Manchego. Anyone else noticed how difficult it has been to get Manchego recently? Bloody Spanish need to stop doing interpretative dance with rubbish bins and make me some cheese.
Anyway, Matt made this rather stomping roast dinner – and from Tesco ingredients too! Yeah, lockdown hasn’t stopped me being so snobbish – I spent £140 on food over the last 7 days…no I have no idea how I’ve managed that either. £33 was on pies though. Oh actually that includes wine and beer. Maybe that is normal?
Just look at that pork and the crackling – pork looks so juicy, crackling looks banging. Celeriac mash, my kinda gravy – roast potatoes perhaps look a bit burnt and sweet potato is a controversial choice, though I like a bit of controversy.
Well, I couldn’t end the last paragraph like that and not add the track.
Anyway, Matt, this is definitely going to be considered. You could call it a finalist. Maybe it will be the only finalist? I’m impressed.
I guess you are wondering if there is any kind of order going on here. No, you probably aren’t, are you? But I’m going to tell you anyway, and quickly before you fall asleep.
I am writing about them in order of receipt. Fascinating.
Just look at the roast rib of beef – that looks so close to perfect…at least for my tastes. Roasties look good, roasted carrot spot on and I bet the red onion that was sat under the beef whilst cooking tastes damn fine.
But no gravy. No gravy! What are you thinking – I am Lord Gravy. Why have you sent me a photo of a roast dinner without the gravy…so close to being a finalist.
Next up was Mark’s entry.
Someone has made gravy exactly how I like it. Please tell me that you are going to work as a chef in a London pub after lockdown?
Onion gravy (obviously so I am told – not quite sure why that would be obvious), plus some Hendos. Shall I Google that for you?
Yorkshire puddings were apparently still edible the day after – some pubs struggle with this just an hour or two after burning them, I mean cooking them – everything else looks pretty good though it is the gravy that I am in love with.
And he added, “…would be good to finally meat you for a roast”. I hope he means meet.
A strong contender. There are a few stronger though.
Viscount of Roasties’ Entry
Then we have this entry from the Viscount of Roasties – the only person to have held the dubious honour of me being desperate enough for content to post his review.
You’ll need to forgive him for being American (yeah – it’s not just British people that have entered – this web thing is WORLDWIDE – impressive technology huh?), and also his presentation skills…lets just say that it’s on my level of ability.
He did attempt a compliment, “it’s the funny people that make life fun” yet this isn’t really a roast dinner is it? They are not roast potatoes, there is no Yorkshire pudding and just one solitary green leaf for show?
And he sent me a photograph of a girl he is trying to hook me up with.
I bet it tasted great but it isn’t a roast dinner. Soz.
You are correct that I misspelled her name at first and also that I have no idea how to pronounce Saoirse.
It looks similar to my mother’s roast dinner attempts – a respectable effort though that teeny tiny bit of stuffing does upset me!
Plenty of food and at least I can see the gravy unlike other efforts, but I have seen better, as much as I’d be very happy eating that tonight. Though I do have a damn fine meal already in the fridge for dinner.
More than halfway now – you may think you’d got it tough as a reader to get through my drivel, but I have to write the damn thing – and judge.
Thankfully my friend, Will, made it easy with his entry.
To be fair, I’ve had less credible roast dinners than a bag of roasted chicken and thyme crisps.
A real entry came later:
Except it has rice. Seriously, Will? And peas. You know me – you actually know me and we have been for a roast together, got drunk together, celebrated election results together…yeah maybe not the last one. Don’t worry, at least you have your choice of mayor for a bonus year.
I’m told it’s a jerk chicken with creamy spinach, and it does look like it tastes bloody great. And the flowers are really nice and I’m up for a game of poker in 2021 to celebrate the Police & Crime Commissioners Election results, if you fancy.
But this ain’t a roast. Sorry, bud.
Another gorgeous looking rib of beef – my favourite cut by a long way came from Courtney.
A mound of roastedish potatoes, possibly some gravy – a huge splodge of horseradish yet no Yorkshire pudding? Do they not have flour, milk and eggs in your local supermarket? Actually that is quite possible.
And with a side of Korean BBQ sprouts – which sound and look amazing but if you look closely, what are those white bits that look like rice? I can tell you that I think they are rice.
So not a roast dinner, but enticing enough to ask if she requires a flatmate – alas, Minneapolis is too long a commute. And I’ve heard the odd story about their president being, perhaps, a tad…basic.
I said that I would have the results by last weekend yet I threw a strop because nobody read my Worst Roast Dinners in London post and Dean was actually offended by my attitude.
So I decided that his Monday night concoction would replace his original entry…or replace his entry that replaced his original entry.
Yes, his missus insisted that he replaced his original entry, which was a fine-looking pork joint, with this beauty:
The garlic and rosemary lamb looks sexual, roasties and parsnips on point – veggies look fresh and tasty. It’s a finalist. Perhaps because I admire the bravado in posting a chilli in yorkie dish on social media.
I’m onto my 3rd can of Gamma Ray now so I’m probably going to accept any entry as a finalist even with peas. Hey, my competition, my rules.
This comes all the way from Malaysia – see, told you about the power of this newfangled world wide web thing – the whole world can read this. I’m still not sure why anyone in London would read this nonsense let alone Malaysia, but hey. Maybe it is for my fashion advice?
All guys wear lacy lingerie nowadays, right?
The cauliflower and broccoli cheese just screams “please lick me” even more than wearing that lacy lingerie on a date would, the chicken looks gorgeous as does the potato dauphinoise.
A lot of effort has gone into this and I’m very close to putting it as a finalist.
The final roast. Don’t worry, your pain is nearly over – Daniel started his e-mail with “Love your work” and I can confirm that he is a finalist.
Oh, the roast.
Another rosemary and herbed lamb that just looks amazing. Roasties on point, gravy looks just how I like it – and thanks for letting me actually see the gravy unlike some other entries!
And look at those stuffing balls made to look like hot cross buns, for Easter weekend. Amazing. Actually is a finalist just for that level of ingenuity.
But peas. Peas. Ah fuck it, Daniel is the third finalist, pretend I didn’t see them…and the grotesque quantity of creamy liquid!
These guys were serious.
And the winner is…
Why? I could have chosen any of the finalists…and perhaps a couple that didn’t make it to the final, there were good arguments for several.
But there has to be a reason, and that reason is gravy. All about the gravy.
Yet Matt’s gravy really stood out compared to the other finalists.
And £25 has gone to his charity of choice, which is London Air Ambulance service.
I am sure Matt will be celebrating this as his finest achievement of 2020…though staying inside and baking a loaf of bread seems to be the limit of most people’s achievements this year.
And a massive thanks to everyone that entered. Would you have chosen a different winner? Let me know in the comments section below.
I’ll be back where I belong soon.
And I will need your help writing two upcoming articles…keep an eye out.
Reader’s Roast Competition Winner,
Where now, sailor?
Random roast review: The Dove, Hammersmith