My top roast dinner hacks with McCain frozen roasts

When I was growing up we would eat a roast dinner on a Sunday without fail. Back then, the shops didn’t open and Sunday was a family day. Over the years Sundays have changed, you can now go to the shopping mall and stop off to eat at a pub or restaurant on the way home.

It’s just not the same as a home cooked roast though, is it?

A home cooked roast chicken dinner using McCain frozen roasts which you can pop into the oven with no faff!

Some recent research from Kantar and OnePoll shows that the traditional Sunday lunch is on the decline. Data tells us that in 2015 the number of roasts consumed fell by 4%. That’s 1.4 billion roast dinners not being eaten!

McCain wants to challenge the widespread belief that cooking a roast at home is difficult and time-consuming. I’ve been asked to join in the McCain Roast Hack campaign by sharing my top tips and hacks to demonstrate that it really isn’t a faff to make a roast dinner. Of course, I do have a secret weapon in the form of the McCain Frozen Roasts and I want to encourage you to give them a try because if you’re anything like me and my family, you will love them! Making roasts from scratch takes way too long, once you factor in peeling, chopping and boiling, I just haven’t got time for that. Popping the McCain Frozen Roasts into a hot roasting dish and into the oven is a massive time-saver. The best thing is they taste just like homemade: crunchy on the outside and fluffy in the middle.

McCain frozen roasts

Just how we like them!

Watch the video above for all my top tips (with a cameo from my little kitchen helper!)

My top roast dinner hacks:

1.    For roast chicken, brush it with a saltwater solution two hours before you are going to cook it. Put it in the fridge, covered, to dry out and you will get a beautifully crisp skin.

2.    A roast chicken takes approximately 90 minutes, work backwards from that point and write your timings out on sticky notes. For example:

–       Chicken in at 12pm

–       Prep veg at 12.30pm

–       Preheat oven tray for McCain frozen roasts at 12.55pm

–       McCain frozen roasts in oven at 1pm and so on

–       Throw the sticky notes away as you go so you can see what you have left to do

3.    Roasting carrots in a little orange juice and zest with a few sprigs of rosemary is an easy hack to give a gourmet feel to your roast. Add a tablespoon of honey 10 minutes before they are due out of the oven. 

4.    Add the resting meat juices to your gravy (I use instant granules) and stir in a teaspoon of Marmite. Marmite haters won’t even notice but will compliment you on your lovely gravy! 

5.    Use McCain Roast Potatoes instead of making them from scratch. They are made the same way I would make mine: peeled, chopped, softened and even basted in beef dripping for a homemade taste, unlike other frozen roasties which are battered. All of hassle has already been done for you, what’s not to love! You can just pop them onto a hot tray, into the oven and they are ready in 30-40 mins. Nobody will know the difference.

6.    Pop a wet tea towel under your chopping board so when prepping veg it doesn’t move around ensuring chopping is quick and easy.

7.    A simple hack to save time – cut your vegetables nice and small so they cook even quicker. 

A roast chicken dinner using McCain frozen roasts

Yummy! It was absolutely delicious and I have promised the family we will have a traditional Sunday roast much more often.

Will you be cooking a roast this Sunday? Do share your top time-saving tips and hacks in the comments.

McCain frozen roasts are available in the freezer section at all good supermarkets. You can visit the McCain website for further details and nutritional information.

*This is a commissioned post

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  • Carolin

    Written on 1st December 2016


    The answers from the survey could be from me. I love a roast dinner but the preparation can be such a faff, especially if you want to spend a day out as well. I’ll definitely try the salt water trick and roast potatoes. Nothing beats crispy chicken skin and crunchy potatoes. I hate some of the frozen ones you can get, They’re so mushy and soggy…

  • Natalie

    Written on 1st December 2016


    Love this, so many good tips. I need to start using the meat juice in gravy. I have used frozen roasties before, but this just reminded me how easy they are for midweek dinner as well as Sunday lunch. Thanks.

  • Dean of Little Steps

    Written on 1st December 2016


    What a fabulous looking roast! In our family, it’s my husband’s specialty – the roast dinners and yes, he mostly does the Christmas dinner too, I just help him ;)

  • Karen

    Written on 1st December 2016


    I love frozen roast potatoes, much better then chopping potatoes for mash and roast. I also prefer frozen stuffing balls.

  • Alina

    Written on 2nd December 2016


    Very good time saving tips, I will give them a try but probably for boxing day as that’s when we’re hosting the family :)

  • Zena's Suitcase

    Written on 2nd December 2016


    I love the idea of roasting carrots like that, they sound really good. For some reason we never have a roast on a Sunday, it seems to happen mid week for some reason. I guess it doesn’t tie us down so much

  • Lizzie firstooth

    Written on 4th December 2016


    Brilliant tips! You’re right, I remember when Sundays were family days and no shops were open. I do miss those day because back then it was the standard thing to have a roast for dinner. These days we’re more about convenience. We love Mccain roasties for a last minute Sunday lunch. Love your hacks! I’m obsessed with crispy skin so I’m all over the salt water next weekend! xx

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