My go-to side dishes for a wintery roast dinner

I’ve already mentioned how much I long for a Sunday roast when the autumn springs and, although the concept is always the same, being a foodie, I’m always keen to switch up what I’m eating. I know some people have their set go-to roast dinner with all of the same trimmings each time and that’s absolutely fine - a family tradition is a family tradition! But, for me, it’s all about shaking it up each week.


My rotation generally consists of chicken, pork and beef, but will shake it up if I get my hands on anything special.


For my chicken roast, I love warming Mediterranean flavours of lemon and herbs. Think thyme, rosemary mixed with red onion and white wine. Pop these in with your chicken to elevate the meat, keep it juicy and pack a punch.


For my pork roast, it’s a traditional apple pairing I opt for - slices of sharp Granny Smith with white onion and a good glug of cider. This enhances the meat and you’ll lift it even further with some sprigs of rosemary.


For my beef roast, it’s wholegrain mustard, red wine and red onion that do it for me.


I’m not a fan of lamb personally, but when I’m cooking for others, I pair that generously with garlic cloves, plenty of rosemary and red wine. My secret ingredient is some fresh orange wedges and a hidden star anise to lift the meat even further!


These flavour pairings leave plenty of room for creativity in side dishes and most of my go-to sides can be selected for each roast.


Roast Potatoes, of course! Par boiling is key, then toss in goose fat, crack a good grind of black pepper on top, generously season with sea salt and let them sizzle in a hot oven for about an hour to crisp up.


Roast Veg - usually this consists of carrots, parsnips and onions, a whole bundle of herbs for freshness, a drizzle of honey and some good olive oil. Pop them into the oven for the last half hour of the potatoes cooking and the honey will caramelize like a treat!


Kale & Hazelnuts - this one is a favourite, it’s so simple but packs flavour and adds texture with the crunch of both. Add the nuts to a dry frying pan on medium heat and toss. Add the kale after 2 minutes, drizzle with a splash of olive oil and toss again. Keep tossing the pan for about 4 minutes - the kale will crisp and the nuts will toast. Voila.


Charred Broccoli - Pop some tenderstem broccoli into a large frying pan without any oil or butter over a medium heat. Make sure you turn the stems regularly and they’re cooked through. It’ll take about ten minutes, but in my opinion, this is the best way to enjoy these beauties! Be careful though, there’s a fine line between charred and burnt!

Sweet Potato Mash - This is my favourite with pork or beef, and is also super simple. Bake the sweet potatoes whole, then take them out of their skins when they’re baked and pop the flesh into a pot. Add a good knob of butter, a splash of milk or cream and season generously with salt and black pepper. I like a little texture with it, but if you wanted to pass it to make it velvety smooth, go for it!


There’s just a few to add to your rotation list this winter.




Lauren Loudon


Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published