What would you consider to be ‘quintessentially English’? Well, as mentioned in Carole Matthews’ novel The Cake Shop in the Garden, drinking lots of tea, eating fish and chips and indulging in a roast dinner on a Sunday are just some of the nation’s favourites.
Despite being the only country in the United Kingdom to not have a national holiday to celebrate its patron saint, at Just Good Food we thought it’d be a befitting tribute to commemorate St. George’s Day by tucking into England’s all-time favourite meal – the traditional Sunday roast.
Dating back all the way to the 15th century, it was believed that King Henry the VII’s royal guards would enjoy a fresh roasted beef after attending church every Sunday. In turn, this weekly ritual, branded them as ‘beefeaters’ and by the time the 19th century came around, the recommended beef intake for an English person – royal guard or villager indulging in the ‘beefeater’ ritual – was said to be about 3kg (that’s the same weight as 3 litre bottles of lemonade)!
By the end of the 19th century, the roast had been adopted into many church-going households and had become a ‘religious’ and social tradition which is still popular today, with many families tucking into a roast on a Sunday afternoon at home or pubs around the country.
Of course, over time the roast has been modernised from the traditional ‘beef and three vegetables’ to include different types of meat including chicken, turkey, gammon and lamb as well as other English trimmings like Yorkshire pudding, pork stuffing, mint sauce and onion gravy.
So if you’re planning on celebrating St. George’s Day today or this weekend by tucking into a delicious roast dinner, snap us a photo and share it with us on Twitter @JustGoodFoodBHM or Instagram JustGoodFoodBHM.