Saturday night and I like the way you roast, unprecedented.
Don’t look at me like that. My blog, my life, my lockdown and I will do what the unprecedented fuck I want, thank you. If I want to cook a roast dinner on a Saturday night, I shall do.
I made one at 4am off my tits once many years ago in my party days. It remember it taking forever to cook and me desperately trying to stay awake after a rather long sesh where I hadn’t eaten. It might have been a Sunday, though it also might have been a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday…I don’t know, and I probably didn’t know back then either.
You are still upset about me cooking a roast dinner, unprecedented, on a Saturday night, aren’t you? You want the song, don’t you? Saturday night and I like the way you roast, pretty gravy…
Revenge is a dish best served with cut-up bleeps. You did listen, didn’t you?
Now where was I? Oh yeah, I was about to wish congratulations to the far-right for their takeover of the Labour Party. Who would have thought that the Labour Party would have their very own version of Tommy Robinson leading the party? Gosh, Kier Starmer might not nationalise everything in exchange for free broadband…well, free everything if Labour win a general election. And for that, he is clearly THE NEW HITLER. Can I trademark that?
Hang on, just had a report from a parallel universe…Jeremy Corbyn has nationalised Debenhams. Oh, the dreams. Clearly a nationalised clothing company is exactly what the UK government requires. Masks, I hear you say? Gowns? Ahhh. I’ll move on before the parallel universe’s communist government closes all restaurants…oh.
I was kind of up for herd immunity and taking my chances, in exchange for working from home, lots of social distancing, being able to wear my imaginary ex-girlfriend’s lingerie whilst on conference calls and hopefully not selecting the video option – and being able to still go for my roast dinner on a Sunday.
Alas, Boris Johnson has been following the science – I’m heartbroken. Yeah, I know I’m not the first person to have had their heart broken by Boris Johnson.
Sundays are just not the same. I wanted to blog about something. I wanted to keep your spirits up in the same way that the bag of ketamine you bought from Silk Road is doing…hmmm…do I still have my Silk Road account? Is Silk Road still a thing? I nearly bought some Bitcoins when I set up my Silk Road account many years ago, only set up out of technological curiosity of course. When they jumped up from $100 each to $250 each I decided “fuck that” and didn’t buy any. In other news, I have just bought some shares in a cruise ship company.
Anyway, those hours…what was this paragraph about? I skipped to the next paragraph and now I’ve forgotten. PHOTO?
That was a hot look in the 90’s.
Oh my word are you also getting a massive influx of the same memes from your auntie and other people you speak to once a year? All the same memes that you saw two weeks before on Facebook. And why is my auntie sending me a picture of someone in a gimp suit?
Anyway, back to the subject. You need content – but my content is me going for a roast dinner somewhere in London, and with the pubs shut and the Twitter Stasi shaming everyone who dare go near a park or a tube train, there are few options left.
Some people said I should cook my own roast dinner. But there is a slight problem there – and I’m not just talking about my cooking skills, for that would be like a lesbian porn critic trying to recreate his own lesbian porn – the more pertinent issue is that I’ve dished out wayyyyyyyyyy wahey too much criticism.
However, you need content. You need me. My blog needs content – I have even less page views that during the election. Ohhhh, remember those hallowed times where all we worried about was a communist government or THE OLD NEW HITLER insert trademark symbol?
So I compromised. I would review Waitrose’s roast dinner. That way I can blame Waitrose instead of my middling cooking skills for what goes wrong – though I opted against the misery of frozen meals, and went for the hope of pre-prepared roasting items.
With slight unease at my job situation, I went for the cheapest option that Waitrose had, which was chicken. Granted, I am still shopping at Waitrose, though in my defence it is the closest large supermarket to my house. I don’t count Iceland.
In case you haven’t realised, there is a point here in that I am trying to replicate your options for an off-the-shelf roast dinner, for the purposes of a review. Hence everything had to be pre-prepared, off the shelf kinda thing. No making my own roasties, no making my own gravy. For the purposes of the review – this has to be available to you.
The ingredients came to £12.98 – though this was easily enough food for two. Alas, I’m not finding it any easier to get laid since lockdown. How’s Tinder going for you right now?
Saturday night came…hang on…Saturday night and I like the way you roast, pretty gravy.
Greatest hits? Plural? Man, I have missed out. Shame I don’t have time to research the rest of her greatest hits.
So Saturday night arrived…and I fired up the oven, pretty gravy. You might think that I was just putting shit in the oven, which I was – Waitrose shit nonetheless, however this was unexpectedly complicated.
First the roast potatoes required 40-45 minutes at 200’C. The chicken required 40 minutes at 180’C. The stuffing required 15 minutes at 160’C and the carrots required 20 minutes at 180’C. I have one oven. And easily lose track of time. Yeah I know, I’m the only person shopping at Waitrose who only has one oven…poor scumbag pleb jumping above his station.
Desperate one oven pleb situation
This roast dinner cooking shit ain’t easy I can tell you. If I hear anyone criticising chefs next year once Sir Boris Johnson grants us each one Sunday out of our home, then I shall send the Twitter Stasi around.
And how the fuck did Osama Bin Laden manage so long in that compound?
My roast took around an hour or so to arrive – I kind of kept forgetting that I was cooking as I was trying to write this at the same time, yet I managed not to burn anything which is always a bonus.
Yeah I know, my presentation ain’t the greatest – but if you saw my Tinder profile then you’d probably appreciate the above as a comparative work of beauty.
Starting with the Chanteney carrots – all three colours of them. Having vaguely followed the instructions these were still too tough for my liking and really didn’t get the best out of them – the purple ones in particular were so plain that I couldn’t bear eating them. These are good quality carrots, but they really need roasting longer and at a higher temperature than Waitrose’s packaging advises.
Gosh onto the roast potatoes already. Roast potatoes are easy to make. Honestly, they are. I followed the instructions by decanting them (their words, not mine) into a baking tray. This was such a mental struggle not to put some oil, pepper, rosemary or anything on them – but that would have gone against the point of this review.
I think they were better than frozen Aunt Bessie’s roast potatoes though it is so many years since I’ve had such abominations – even at my most hanging I can make a few roast potatoes.
Vaguely crispy on the outside, somewhat soft on the inside – they would likely have been better had I had two ovens and not had to turn the temperature down.
The Yorkshire puddings were fine – better than Aunt Bessie’s by some way and better than at least half of those I’ve had in pubs, normally sat under heat lamps for days until they become brittle. You could tell these Waitrose yorkies weren’t fresh, but at least they weren’t brittle, burnt or dry – even if they did feel a bit plastic. More an appreciation of what they weren’t rather than what they were.
The butter basted chicken breast joint wasn’t the largest before it went in the oven and was notably smaller after. It wasn’t amazing, I’m not sure it was even quite good. It passed in a way that I’d expect any pre-prepared supermarket chicken to do so bar Iceland. There was a slight peppery texture to the skin and the chicken was a little dry despite the silver foil tray being half-full of juices after cooking.
Things went downhill with the stuffing and weren’t exactly gleaming before. It kind of had this earthy, uncooked feel to it despite my having followed the cooking instructions. Perhaps I should have trusted my own intuition when it came to cooking?
Finally, the gravy. Marketed as delicate and savoury – I can only assume delicate means tasteless, and savoury means watery in a Waitrose marketer’s world, with apologies to my friend who works in Waitrose marketing though he did vote for Brexit so make that a half-apology as I’m still waiting for the NHS to get their £350m extra a week.
This “gravy” requires an apology nearly as much as Brexit (woohoo – more Brexit than virus references!). It tasted of water. It did have a kind of syrup-like texture so it wasn’t texturally shite, but this was no better than many of the watery nonsenses that so many pubs in London serve. I actually threw the rest away. Yes, I threw gravy away. £1.99 gravy.
This Waitrose roast dinner was massively unsatisfying and puts quite a few of my roast dinner adventures into context. Perhaps I should have expected this and perhaps this is a failure of my expectations, or even my fault for only having one oven. I could have microwaved the stuffing too, which would have made it easier…and wouldn’t have made the stuffing worse.
And there was enough for leftovers. Fuck my miserable loner life.
There was no highlight. Even the beer that I had chosen to drink with it was disgusting – some grapefruit thing, yuck – the perils of buying a box of random beers. The worst part was the watery gravy, by far.
If I scored it a 4.5 out of 10, that would probably sound generous – though I think other supermarkets would do a worse job. Asda and Tesco, surely?
All that was left was for me to wait for my dessert, which was bread and butter for some reason. Alas, I hadn’t quite caught Michael Gove’s instructions.
This is a failure that I am in no rush to repeat any time soon – I might as well have gone to Morrisons. I guess you know what my next roast dinner review will be of…maybe. Suggestions and inspiration for these tough times welcomed…
Next week there will probably be something new or at least regurgitated in writing. Whether or not I can bring myself to cook a roast dinner again is another matter.
Don’t forget the unprecedented reader’s roast competition!
Where now, sailor?
Random roast review: No 32 The Old Town, Clapham