The customs of Pubs extend beyond the Ale and into the kitchen. There is more to the menu than mere meals. Hidden behind the daily specials is the nuance of History garnished with tradition such as the famous Sunday Roast. The concept of Pubs date back hundreds of years. Within this vast span of time there were convictions and beliefs that were adapted into ritual.
These practices were introduced ancestrally, politically or religiously. The Church was a paragon of convention that set formal guidelines for their congregations. Differing foods were used for multiple purposes. From nourishment and health to symbolism, dietary staples became a part of the customary routine. Along with fish on Fridays, Roasts on Sunday became a time honored feast.
Cooking Traditional Sunday Roast
The prominence of roasted meats flourished in the late Thirteenth Century. They did not have modern amenities as we have today. Cooking meats that required longer roasting times were prepared either in front of or over a fire. This continued well into the seventeenth century. It was still encouraged to utilize the fiery method as a family could cook more meat at once. The leftover proteins were incorporated into other dishes throughout the week.
Sunday Roast was prepared before attending Church services. The cooking time began as the family headed to town. Upon their return, the Roast would be finished and waiting to be served. In the event a family was unable to accommodate the meat due to the size of their fireplace or pit, area bakeries would open their doors to assist. Bakeries were unoccupied on Sundays allowing neighbors to bring their foods and place them in the cooling ovens for a slow cook method. The same principle applied as the home version allowing individuals to pick up their roasts on their way home.
The Sunday Side
The accompaniments to the Sunday Roast are similar to what we see today. Potatoes were made in a variety of ways with a hearty side of parsnips. Vegetables grown in the garden were a fresh addition consisting of cabbage and greens. Roasting them together was preferred, however each family had their favorites. Gravy was made from scratch and added a delicious flavor to the plate.
Meat was an expense that some families struggled to afford. Farmers raised their own, and trading was common in these times. To save on meats, Yorkshire Pudding was served as a first course. If the family began with the pudding, they would consume less meat during dinner. Yorkshire Pudding is made with milk or water, eggs and flour. The batter was placed under the roasting meats to absorb the juices of the Roast. The heat from the fire would rise and cook the pudding to perfection. Covered in gravy, Yorkshire Pudding remains a must have on Pub menus.
Pubs have continued the tried and true tradition of a Sunday Roast. Families will taste the enriching history in every Roasted bite. From Yorkshire Pudding to a chilled pint of Ale, going to the pub on Sunday is the perfect way to end a busy week.