The Sunday roast is a traditional British Sunday meal. It is composed of a piece of roasted meat, usually beef, served with roasted potatoes, seasonal vegetables, Yorkshire pudding (a cooked pastry made of milk, flour, eggs and salt), stuffing and gravy. The vegetables are usually broccoli, cauliflower, parsnips, carrots, peas, Brussels sprouts… They can be steamed, roasted with meat and potatoes or boiled.
The Sunday roast is eaten on the way home from Sunday morning mass. Most pubs and restaurants in the United Kingdom have the famous Sunday roast on the menu.
Concerning the origin of the Sunday roast, two versions are possible:
The first version dates back to the late 1700s with the industrial revolution. Families in Yorkshire (a county in the United Kingdom) would put a piece of meat in the oven before going to church on Sunday morning, with which they added vegetables. When they came back from church, all they had to do was prepare the gravy and pour it over the meal.
The second version dates back to the Middle Ages. The serfs of the village served the lord for six days of the week. On the seventh day, Sunday, they all gathered in a field after mass to practice battle techniques and archery. They were then rewarded with spit roasted beef.
The Sunday roast is also common in other countries of the English-speaking world such as Australia, Canada, the United States, New Zealand and South Africa.