I have always enjoyed cooking for people, since a young age I used to make my Mum and Nan lunch as they came in from gardening in the Summertime and that would consist of a sandwich and crisps, at the sophisticated age of 12, I believe I may have upgraded to toasting bagels and presenting them with large chunks of cucumber and hummus.
Then when I got a little older and was allowed to use the oven without supervision, ( I once had a near-death experience with cauliflower cheese), I started to cook roast dinners for my family and then friends. I love the feeling of giving my loved ones a nice meal and all sitting down at the table together to tuck into something I have put all my love and time into…the compliments are always a bonus too!
Being vegan I do not struggle in the slightest to throw together an all singing, all dancing roast dinner, my husband is often asking for a ‘mini roast’ mid-week, so I must be doing something right! However, when it comes to my friends and family who aren’t vegan they want a meat substitute and as we are very used to not having one I had a think about what we used to eat when we weren’t vegan and decided to make an adaptation of that.
What I should probably add at this stage if you haven’t noticed by the title is this is a jerk roast as my husband’s maternal family are from the Caribbean so we have always mixed up a roast between the traditional ‘English Roast’ and a West Indian style dish.
You can choose to just, (for want of a better expression), ‘jerk up your beef’ and keep the other elements of your roast the same, or you can choose to spice things up a bit the decision is entirely yours but it is so simple to make you will be happy you have this one up your sleeve for when family comes to visit. I use Linda McCartney’s Roast which will serve about 4 people, (6 if you’re stingy.) The average price is £3-4 and you can get it from most local supermarkets, in the freezer section. The main reason I like this is that I will stock up on them and then I will have them ready for if anyone comes round.
You will need to remove the foil from this and place it in the centre of an ovenproof pot, then you will need to have your jerk sauce or choice, I like to use Levi Roots or Graces and then I will pour 6 tablespoons of this into a jug with 5 tablespoons of gravy granules and 1 litre of boiling water, then I mix this up and pour it over the roast, pop a lid on and place it into a preheated oven that is at 180 degrees for about 30 minutes.
At this point, I will remove it from the oven, taking care as the cast iron pot is now ridiculously hot, remove the lid and flip it over, spooning some of the gravy over it and then placing it back in the oven without the lid, for a further 15 minutes. At this point, I will remove it from the oven and slice the roast and then I will leave it to once side. The leftover gravy I transfer to a saucepan so that I can heat it when dinner is ready.
This is such a simple recipe but it is absolutely delicious and has been so well received by our non-vegan friends and family I thought I would share it with you guys for you to try out on you and yours – enjoy!