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Sunday Roast in York

York, it is said, has become a 'foodie' town. We however are interested in a traditional Sunday Roast. Are there any suggestions / recommendations for a great place that serves a Sunday Roast in York?

Posted by
971 posts

A few years back my girlfriend had the full sunday roast at a place called Gert & Henry’s right on the main square. It’s in a beautifull old, half timbered building. The roast was bland, overcooked and the veggies were boiled to mush, so I guess it must have been a prime example of traditional English cooking.

Posted by
1238 posts

At the Principal in York their Refectory Kitchen & Terrace serves a "Sunday Lunch" of 2 courses for L24 and a 3 course for L30. This menu features a Beef Roast with "traditional" sides, etc. Their website and menu looks attractive.
"The tradition of serving a roast on Sunday can be traced back to the reign of King Henry VII in 1485. His royal guard would dine on roasted beef after church on a Sunday, and so became known as the Beefeaters...they continue to guard the Tower of London to this day."

Posted by
4580 posts

A few years back my girlfriend had the full sunday today at a place called Gert & Henry’s right on the main square. It’s in a beautifull old, half timbered building. The roast was bland, overcooked and the veggies were boiled to mush, so I guess it must have been a prime example of traditional English cooking.

Ah it looks like your girlfirend fell into the well worn tourist trap of thinking that she'd receive a well cooked Sunday Roast outside of the home environment!

A Sunday roast is not conducive to being served in a commercial environment. It's a meal that is at its best served immediately as the primary components don't do well left sitting around under a hot lamp. Roast potatoes need to be served immediately from the oven as they will rapidly lose their crispness and become a shadow of their former selves. A joint of medium rare roast beef needs to be served within 20 minutes of being removed from the oven and sliced immediately before serving, likewise a leg of lamb or loin of pork. Vegetables should be steamed and not boiled and gravy should never be allowed to wallow in tepid warmth, forming a skin and coagulating into a thick, viscous paste.

Very rarely a restaurant or pub will manage to pull off something acceptable (the potatoes can never be achieved) but never will it match a good, home cooked roast. It's an elusive part of Britishness for most tourists and not one that I'd advocate seeking out unless you can manage to secure a proper home cooked one.

I've tried to compare it to something similar in Danish cuisine but it looks like there's nothing to get excited about.

Posted by
971 posts

JC I think you can swap the roast beef for roast pork if you want the Danish equivalent. It needs to get enough heat have a proper crispy crackling, without drying out the meat. And if you dont serve it within 30 minutes that crackling will become soft. Not something I would recommend getting from a pub either.

Posted by
4580 posts

Great Roast!
It was delicious, if not traditional.

I passed this when I was in York last, it did not look appealing. A joint of roast pork loin sat under a hot lamp in the window (and some other joints of meat) who only knows how long it was sat there, slowly drying out. Their website states "freshly sliced meat" not "freshly roasted meat", a telling difference. I had lunch at a Polish restaurant instead and quite nice it was too.