Sunday Roasts: A Year's Worth of Mouthwatering Roasts, From Old-Fashioned Pot Roasts to Glorious Turkeys and Legs of Lamb
A collection of cookbook gift ideas for 2011
Reviewed by Kate Thornberry, Fri., Dec. 9, 2011
Sunday Roasts: A Year's Worth of Mouthwatering Roasts, From Old-Fashioned Pot Roasts to Glorious Turkeys and Legs of Lambby Betty Rosbottom (Chronicle Books, 180 pp., $24.95, paper)
For most American cooks, the vast majority of the action takes place on the stove top, as stove-top cooking is perceived to be faster and less trouble. But is it? There is a lot to be said for the throw-it-in-the-oven-and-forget-about-it nature of roasting, especially during winter, when that oven heat radiates to make the whole house toasty-warm and voluptuously fragrant.
In Sunday Roasts, celebrated food writer Betty Rosbottom has put together a glorious collection of recipes including every sort of roast imaginable, from beef, pork, and leg of lamb to all sorts of poultry and seafood. Time commitments vary from four hours (old-fashioned pot roast) to a mere 20 minutes (scallop gratins with lemon-garlic bread crumbs). Best of all, when reading or making any of the recipes, it is obvious that Rosbottom has prepared each recipe personally, not once but numerous times; these are workhorse recipes that can be relied upon to turn out perfectly. I am particularly impressed with her flavor combinations, which are interesting and fresh without veering off, as some chefs are wont to do, into the needlessly bizarre.
Rosbottom includes important sidebar information with each recipe, such as marketing tips, what to ask the butcher for, acceptable ingredient substitutions, suggested side dishes (the recipes for which are also included), and leftover suggestions. In fact, leftovers are an important concept to the entire book; Rosbottom's theory is, after making a roast in a leisurely fashion on Sunday, you have the leftovers to make quick meals with throughout the week, simultaneously improving your dining experience and making your life easier.