The Sunday Roast is British in origin. Stemming from the Industrial Revolution from around the 1700’s. It was the main meal typically eaten after church on a Sunday morning and is rooted in Church history. The Catholic culture of the day was to fast on a Sunday morning before the church service thus making the Lunchtime Roast quite a significant event.
Some even say that the Sunday roast became popular around the time of King Henry V11, in the late 1400’s. The Royal guard has become known as “Beefeaters” ever since due to their love for beef.
In 1871, In the book “The Cooks Oracle” by William Kitchener we find that he recommended that everyone eat 3 kg of meat per week. He also recommended that 2kg of bread and a pint of beer each day was healthy. Not everyone could afford to eat so much meat. The poorer families would look forward to their roast on a Sunday. Even then, while they attend church, they would put the food in the coal ovens or over slow fires and allow to cook. Their roast was ready to eat when they returned home from church.
Another thought was that in Medieval times the village Serfs would serve the Squires for the entire week and then on Sunday they would gather together around a feast.
Yorkshire pudding was typically eaten before the meal with loads of gravy. Vegetables that accompany the meat would be what was available at the markets or what they had grown themselves. Often it was Potatoes, Parsnips, Green beans, Peas and Beetroots.
In conclusion, whatever the origin of the Sunday Roast, It is here to stay! Families work hard all week and are busy with their separate lives. Work, school, homework. Then comes Sunday, the day of rest. Time to sit and enjoy some family time together and a wholesome Sunday Roast, with Roast Potatoes, gravy and all the trimmings!